Preview: Lions at Green Bay Packers

DETROIT MI - DECEMBER 12: Matt Flynn #10 of the Green Bay Packers looks to throw a second quarter pass behind Ndamukong Suh #90 of the Detroit Lions on December 12 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

As far as Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions are concerned, the regular season is effectively over. Both teams are looking ahead to the playoffs. If this game meant something to either of them, then this would be a preview of how these two teams match-up. Instead, it's a preview of how they might approach it.

While the Packers can gain nothing from winning, other than pride, the Lions could secure the No. 5 seed. Head coach Jim Schwartz wouldn't say whether he'd bench his players (which is probably a sign that he will) but he acknowledged that it's unlikely the No. 5 seed will lead to a home playoff game. The Lions do have another motivation to win: a first round playoff game against the Giants/Cowboys is more attractive than traveling to face the Saints. Probably due to that extra motivation, the Lions are favored by three.

Mike McCarthy hasn't been talkative about whether he'll bench his healthy starters. He's actually been stressing how important it is for LT Chad Clifton to play in this game. But the beat writers have been writing stories about Matt Flynn playing on Sunday, so the vibe in the locker room must be leaning towards a lot of rest for the starters. However, the last time the Packers were in a situation like this, their 2009 regular season finale against the Cardinals, McCarthy had his team run full-speed because he wanted to keep them sharp and to gain momentum for the playoffs.

I think it's also possible that the Packers take a middle approach. The offensive playbook is very deep and it could give them a lot of options. They might open up the playbook, but not in a bland or conservative style. On the other hand, I don't expect the defense will want to tip off the Lions as to how they'll play them in a possible playoff match-up. Dom Capers might just line them up in their base 3-4 and see how his players react.

The weather could also play a part. It could be windy and snowing, which would keep the game a low scoring affair, even if both teams tone down their game plans.

I don't have an exact score prediction, but I expect it'll be low (compared to their usual 34 points per game) and close. As much as I'd like to see them wrap up the regular season with a win, it's more important to keep the important players healthy and keep their playoff game plans under wraps.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Acme Packing Company

You must be a member of Acme Packing Company to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Acme Packing Company. You should read them.

Join Acme Packing Company

You must be a member of Acme Packing Company to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Acme Packing Company. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker