There’s a lot at stake and plenty to play for when the Green Bay Packers square off against the Detroit Lions in the regular season finale on Sunday. But, can the Packers muster up enough ambition to lay it all on the line against a Lions team that has lost eight straight games and enters with a
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has wasted no time in declaring the importance of this game to his players.
“This is a playoff game for us,” LaFleur said. “There’s no doubt about it. That’s the way we’re approaching it. Because if you’re able to take care of business and win this one, you get a week off. Our guys have to understand that.”
A win for the Packers on Sunday guarantees them no worse than a 2-seed, which brings with it a week off and at least one home game after that. If Seattle knocks off San Francisco on Sunday night and the Packers beat Detroit, they would be the number-one seed and all playoff games would come through Lambeau Field, as long as the Packers remain alive.
LaFleur gave his players the day off on Wednesday for Christmas and the coaches only worked a half day. So they’re already working on a short week.
The Lions would like nothing more than knocking off the Packers on Sunday and despite their record, will most likely have the energy and drive to start. But a fast start for the Packers could take the wind right out of the Lions sails.
Matt LaFleur has done a masterful job of getting his team to buy in to the one-game at a time mentality. Their 12-3 record is proof. Now, can they maintain that focus for one more week, earn a 13-3 record and guarantee a week off?
From one player to the next, they’re all saying the right things and seem focused on the task at hand. We’ll all know by around 3 p.m. on Sunday if the players truly got the message.