Monday, January 2, 2017

Game 16 2016 - Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers @ Home on Sunday Night Football


The 9-7 Detroit Lions lose to the Division Winning 10-6 Green Bay Packers 24-31 in the final game of the season on Sunday Night Football. Since the Redskins lost earlier in the day both teams make the playoffs. The Packers will host the New York Giants next weekend and on Saturday night the Lions will play the Seahawks in Seattle as a wildcard team, 6th seed. Should the Lions win, they will head to Dallas the following weekend for the right to advance to the conference championship game. The Lions losing streak must now be over or the Lions off season will begin.

Matthew Stafford was 26 of 41 (63.4%) for 347 yards 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Zach Zenner and Golden Tate managed only 76 yards rushing. The offense did enough earlier in the year to get the team into the playoffs, but the Lions have lost the last 3 games straight, all played while Stafford has a brace on the middle finger of his throwing hand due to the dislocation there.

Meanwhile the Lions defense allowed Aaron Rodgers to go 27 of 39 (69.23%) for 300 yards and 4 touchdowns with no turnovers. There was also 153 rushing yards allowed. The defense has definitely not been holding up it's end of the game, but it was good to see Slay back in the backfield, if only the rest of the players were able to show up as well. Still, the Lions were in the game for a very long time until they were unable to keep the pressure up on Rodgers, at which point he was unstoppable.

There was the usual questionable officiating and the odd coaching decision here and there, but overall this season was going well due to Stafford being able to pull off great drives in the 4th quarter to come back to win close games. The other parts of the team just aren't stepping it up to cover for him while his finger (hopefully) heals up. The lack of a run game, the lack of giving their QB time (such as Rodgers tends to get), the lack of perfect execution across the board, makes every game a lot trickier to win. Still, the Lions are only 3 wins away from the superbowl, so doing more, just a little bit more, from here on out, is what needs to be found. Can the coaches find it? Can the players? Heck, can the training staff? We (the fans) will start to find out in only 6 days.

There are a ton of points I could make about the game, such as the time the Packers snapped the ball quickly to get a 12-men-on-the-field flag thrown on the Lions when they thought they were about to get a stop, but it'll all come back to the Lions simply need to play near perfect games in order to win. This game was not one of them. The next one hopefully will be closer (to perfect), for the Seahawks are not playing great either. There is a chance for the Lions to win this next game, perhaps even a better chance then the Packers will have against the Giants. I for one am looking forward to it. If the Lions should win, I'll even be looking forward to the Dallas game, as I think the Lions can compete in the dome in Dallas, barring further injury. But I am getting ahead of myself, the Lions need to spend the next 5 days preparing to beat the Seahawks in Seattle then fly out there and win that game. They and we can not afford to doubt a win, nor can we or they look ahead to Dallas, it's playing one play at a time correctly, it's preparing one day at a time well, that will make these playoffs worth playing in.

We've waited 2 years for the Lions to get back into the playoffs, they are now there, enjoy it. I am.

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