With nothing left to play for, the Green Bay Packers capped off the 2018 season with a 31-0 loss to the Detroit Lions in the season finale at Lambeau Field.
The Packers lost quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a concussion early in the second quarter and any hopes of pulling off a comeback came to a quick end.
Concerning though is the fact that the Lions entered the game with just as many injuries as the Packers and just five wins. Yet they didn’t lay down, sweeping the season series with the Packers for the second straight year.
The Lions totaled 402 yards of offense, while the Packers were able to muster just 175. The Lions converted 7 of 13 third downs against the Packers defense and scored a touchdown on a fake field goal, adding to the Packers season-long issues on special teams.
A strong performance by the Packers in the finale might have given interim coach Joe Philbin a chance to stick around, if not as head coach, as a coordinator or assistant coach. But the Packers dismal performance and lack of energy may have cost Philbin any future opportunity in Green Bay.
DeShone Kizer got his first real opportunity of the season, albeit a difficult one. But he struggled in the passing game, completing just 16 of 35 for 132 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He finished with a quarterback rating of 44.0. Kizer did scramble for a couple of first downs, rushing four times for 40 yards.
Davante Adams was held out of the game after missing practice all week with a knee injury. That meant Adams didn’t get the opportunity to break Sterling Sharpe’s record for receptions in a season (112), or Jordy Nelson’s record for receiving yards in a season. Adams would have needed 134 yards to pass Nelson’s team mark.
The Packers finished 6-9-1 and own the 12th pick in the upcoming 2019 draft.
According to reports, Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy isn’t expected to fired the teams assistant coaching staff, many of whom are under contract yet for next season. He’ll let the new head coach decide their fate and there’s a chance at least a few of them could be retained.
The Packers have already interviews former head coaches Jim Caldwell and Chuck Pagano last week. Their coaching search now takes center stage. According to reports, the Packers will ask permission to interview Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern, after the Wildcats face Utah in the Holiday Bowl tonight. Murphy hired Fitzgerald in Evanston when he was the Athletic Director at the school in 2006.
The Packers are also said to be seeking permission from the New England Patriots to speak with coordinators Josh McDaniel and Brian Flores.