Five things to watch: Packers at Lions
We’ve reached the end.
It’s been a strain to try and find five reasons to watch the Lions for much of the season, but we made it.
Of course, the biggest reason to watch this one is for draft positioning.
I’m not going to tell you how to be a fan: If you can’t stomach hoping your team loses, that’s understandable.
But there’s no doubt a loss on Sunday benefits the Lions organization more than a win.
Week 17 wins don’t carry over anything positive into the next season.
Although I will concede that for Lions’ fans, it’s certainly always a good feeling to beat the Packers — especially as spoilers.
Here are five things to watch as the Lions play host to the Packers (1 p.m., Fox, 760 AM):
The Lions might as well see what they’ve got with current backup quarterback Kyle Sloter (pronounced SLOW-ter). The former Northern Colorado signal-caller has had great preseasons with Denver and Minnesota in the past, but has never played a regular-season down.
Might as well see what he can do, and give him a jump on trying to win a spot on the team next season.
Man, things really unraveled for the Lions this season with a couple of questionable hands to the face penalties called on Trey Flowers that Monday night in Green Bay.
Could the momentum from a huge road win lift the Lions to something better, keeping the negativity at bay?
We’ll see if the defensive end can get some revenge on the Packers and close his solid season with a strong send-off.
Guard Graham Glasgow could be playing in his last game with the Lions, as he’s due for free agency.
It’s been a little bit of a mystery why the versatile Michigan alumnus hasn’t gotten extended like guard Joe Dahl did in training camp.
However, Green Bay extended guard Lucas Patrick on Saturday, so don’t count out something getting done at the buzzer.
Local boy does good
As a backup Lions reporter for the News, I hope to break bits of news here and there and carve out my own little corner. One thing I’ve done this season is attach myself to Anthony Pittman a bit, interviewing and talking to the Birmingham Groves alum more than anyone.
The Wayne State linebacker was an undrafted free agent and spent most of the season on the practice squad. It’s a nice local story.
Even more, Pittman was moved up to the 53-man roster and could get his shot Sunday, giving me a chance to again include my favorite stat, which I publish in the paper seemingly weekly: If Pittman plays Sunday, the Lions will extend their run of having at least one Michigan-born player suit up for them every season since the team moved from Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1934.
Lions’ fans don’t need to be told that it’s been ugly, but that’s true in the sportsbooks too.
As Adam Thompson of bookies.com points out, while Detroit has not covered the spread in nine straight Sunday games, a cover on Sunday isn’t that far-fetched.
In fact, the Lions have covered the spread in each of the last five meetings against Green Bay, including the 23-22 loss in Week 6 when the Lions were 3.5-point road underdogs.
As of Saturday, the Lions were 12.5-point dogs on Sunday after the line opened up at 10.
Matt Schoch is a freelance writer.