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Lions vs. Packers, 8:20 ET
About halfway through the season, you would’ve never expected this Sunday Night Football game to involve two potential playoff teams. By the time of kickoff, they will both know where they are headed. But, even if the Lions are eliminated by the time the game starts, they are still looking to cap off a nice season.
The Lions come into this one having just absolutely annihilated the Bears. They have already made claims that they will play hard in this one even if they are eliminated from the playoffs – see they need Seattle to lose for their playoff hopes to even remain. They want to beat the Packers though because as they sit currently at 8-8, they will either have a winning or losing season based on the outcome of this one. The Lions, winners of four of their past five contests, need to win this game for any chance to make the playoffs. If they lose I believe they are out even if Seattle loses because Seattle has a tiebreaker over them. The whole thing is a bit complicated and even after looking up 20 different articles, there hasn’t been one clearly written one from people. Anyway, the Lions did beat Green Bay back in Week 9 where they held Rodgers and the Packers to just 9 points. It wasn’t an offensive explosion from the Lions either, with them scoring just 15 points. The Packers seem to be in more of a groove here though.
Alright, so if the Seahawks win, the Packers are in the playoffs. If they lose, and then the Packers lose, I think the Packers are out and the Lions are in. So, do they choose to rest everyone in the game if the Seahawks win? They don’t need to play if Seattle wins. They only need to play if Seattle loses. In that case, they would finish behind both Seattle and Detroit. What will it take for Green Bay to win this game? Well, Aaron Rodgers has already looked better in the past few weeks of games so I expect that to continue. He’s made more connections with his wide receivers and seems to have them running better routes, or at least not having as many misunderstandings as before. The running game has gotten going a little bit which is another sign for encouragement. The defense of the Packers has stepped up lately and their secondary is one of the better in the league. I don’t think they play everyone long if the Seahawks win the game. However, I do think they will have their starters in the game for the first half.
I’m buying a half point and playing Packers -3 in the first half of this game. I think they likely come out and try to win the game early. If the Seahawks lose they need to win and play the full game – which means they come out motivated. If the Seahawks win, I think they try hard with starters and then not care about the game in the second half.
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