Five things to watch: Lions at Packers
Well, readers and Lions fans, we made it. The end of the line.
My first season pitching in on Lions coverage has been … well, it’s been.
The first season under coach Matt Patricia has been alarmingly dreadful, with the emergence of Kenny Golladay and Kerryon Johnson as not enough to numb the current uncertainty at quarterback, head coach and the top of the front office.
Here are five things to watch Sunday as the Lions play at Green Bay (1 p.m., FOX, WJR 760):
1. Draft dreaming
Sadly, scoreboard-watching has risen to the most important part of the weekend.
There’s basically no reason to be hoping for a Detroit win. If they lose, they can do no worse than the fifth pick in the 2019 draft. The Lions could possibly jump three 4-11 teams if they somehow win: Oakland at Kansas City, the New York Jets at New England and San Francisco at the Los Angeles Rams.
2. Pro Bowl vs. Pro Bowl
Darius Slay was selected to play on Jan. 27 in Orlando as currently the only Lions representative.
On Sunday, he could be asked to stop Green Bay’s two Pro Bowlers: The passing connection from quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Davante Adams.
Adams caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in the Week 5 loss to the Lions, season-highs at the time that helped launch his best statistical season.
3. Silver lining
It’s possible the Lions could win, as poor of an idea as that is.
After losing 24 straight times in the state of Wisconsin, the Lions have won two out of three games at Lambeau Field.
Winning three out of four in Green Bay once seemed inconceivable, but with a Joe Philbin-coached team in flux, maybe it’s worth enjoying the ride as the conquerors of Cheeseland.
4. Swan songs?
In addition to Glover Quin’s probable final game with the Lions, the Packers could be saying goodbye to a couple franchise mainstays.
Wide receiver Randall Cobb and linebacker Clay Matthews are free agents.
Cobb, who has reportedly been cleared to play after missing a game with a scary concussion, has his second-most career yards against Detroit than any other team with 559.
Matthews, 32, has a career-low 3.5 sacks and seven tackles for a loss this season.
5. Channel surfing
On CBS, the Patriots will be going for a first-round bye, hosting the Jets in a game that could impact the Lions draft positioning.
Alternative viewing of more successful franchises include The Real Housewives of New York City on Bravo, The Office on Comedy Central, and Game of Thrones on HBO2.
As a sports writer, I’m also obligated to point out the Springsteen On Broadway concert that recently dropped on Netflix. It’s excellent.
Matt Schoch is a freelance writer.