Tom Greene | December 30th, 2019
If you’re a Lions fan (or, at least, have read my recaps throughout the season), you know this story all too well. Having another lead during the game, only to see it slip away in the end. A 23-20 defeat puts a cap on a 3-12-1 season, one that started filled with optimism only to end with the third pick in the draft.
As for what the Lions should do with said third pick, we’ll inform you about that later. For now, here are the three things to look at from this game, one where both teams knew their fate.
1. The Lions held the Lead
That they did. A 17-3 first-half lead over a team looking for a first-round bye seemed very encouraging. Kerryon Johnson found the end zone for the first time in many weeks. Danny Amendola threw (yes, threw!) for a score, and with that, the Lions provided another trick play in Week 17 against Green Bay. The team may have been 3-11-1, but in the first half, the team played like they were 11-3-1.
2. But then, lost it
Then, Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers lit a fire into the Packers. So did Mike Pettine. The Packers only allowed three points in the second half and began to look like their 13-3 record shows. Rodgers may not have looked like himself to start, but finished the day with 323 yards and two scores.
Aaron Jones and the running game has been a point of emphasis this season under LaFleur. He rushed for 100 yards on the day, with the team rushing for 120 yards total. Surprisingly enough, Detroit outrushed the Packers, 171-120. But, like most years, Rodgers’ arm and receiving corps made the difference. Allen Lazard and Davante Adams each found the end zone. That, of course, made fantasy owners happy, whether they were playing Draft Kings (Like me), or on the second leg of a Fantasy Championship aggregate (which, sadly, wasn’t me).
3. The Ending is All Too Familiar
Just like in Week 6, Green Bay won on a last-second field goal by Mason Crosby. After missing five field goals at Ford Field last season, he hit three inside the Lions’ Den to sink the team that looked sunk.
What helps Detroit fans cope is that this time, there were no illegitimate “Hands-to-the-face” calls against them. This defeat to Rodgers and the Packers came fair and square. This is also the first time Green Bay has swept Detroit in the regular season since 2016. Yes, Detroit had won four straight games over the Packers, which seems hard to believe.
But, when it matters, Rodgers pulled through once again. Lions (and other NFC North fans) despise it, but it happened again.
As for the Lions, the regular season has concluded. As painful as it may have been to watch it, read about it, or live it, it’s finally over. To be honest, it pained me to recap loss after loss as it may have been for you to read about it, or the team to play through it.
Now begins the long offseason. Detroit will pick third in this coming draft. Stars like Chase Young, Jeff Okudah, Andrew Thomas, and Justin Herbert on the board. There will be more to this coming in an offseason article from yours truly soon.
As for now, hope you’ve enjoyed the recaps and the Tom Greene Podcast. More content coming soon!
Oh, wait, I forgot the pun and/or music reference! Guess it’s time to “Pack it in“!
Questions and comments?
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images