Sunday, December 28, 2008

Packers - Lions preview

In a season-ending futility bowl, the Packers find themselves listed as 11-1/2 point favorites over the Lions. We should all hope that the Packer players aren't aware of the lopsided favorite they are supposed to be. After a season of 7 losses by 4 points or less, the players shouldn't assume they are favorites in any game. And especially one where the potential notoriety of being the only team to lose to the Lions is there.

The fact that a lot of fans are nervous about this game just goes to show how schizophrenic this season has been. We've seen a team that, with one real exception, has been in every game and dominated many, only to see special teams or defensive failures cost the team a victory, usually in the final minutes. Part of the problem, as we also know, has been the play-calling and execution which has left points on the field in crucial situations, setting up scenarios where opponents are close enough to tie or take the lead with one big play of their own or one miscue by the Pack.

So, what's the answer today? The Packers talent far exceeds that of the Lions. The Lions have a legitimate big-time receiver in Calvin Johnson and a good running back in rookie Kevin Smith. Other than that? Nope.

But you know what they say? On any given day...

So, will the Lions fight to avoid being the only 0-16 team in NFL history? Or will the Packers fight harder to avoid being the only team that loses to a team that should be 0-16? The fact that the second question even needs to be raised at this point is indicative of the state of the Packers in this final game of a forgettable season.

Win or lose (wait, forget I just said that last word), the Packers will be undergoing changes in the offseason. They need to undergo changes to get things back on track. With personnel that, overall, should place them at the top of a mediocre division, there is no excuse for a final record of 6-10...with 2 of those 6 wins being against the Lions. But better than the alternative.

Yes, at this point, after five straight losses, sweeping the Lions at Lambeau is just what the doctor ordered. We're taking the Pack 31-17 over the Lions.

We've been so wrong over the last few weeks that, if nothing else, the odds finally have to be in our favor of being right this time around.

Let us pray...

Go Pack Go!!!