Sunday, December 31, 2017

NFL Week 17: Packers vs Lions ... The End.

Week 17 of the 2017 NFL season brings with it, mercifully, the end of the Packers waylaid season. Striving to finish at 8-8 today against the Lions in Detroit, after beginning the season with Super Bowl hopes, the Pack will be hard-pressed to make that happen being without at least 7 starters. This will be essentially a preseason game for the Packers with lots of youth on display and probably not much else. Backup QB Brett Hundley needs all the help he can get and then some to score points; that will be in short supply today. The only thing that creates a possibility for avoiding another shutout is that the game is on the road where Hundley somehow performs marginally better.

The Prediction

Yes, we're getting this out of the way early for those who wish to move along quickly. While some players might be playing for contracts, or auditioning for other teams, playing for pride just doesn't seem to matter much lately. If it did, we wouldn't have seen the level of play -- even from back ups -- that we've seen over the last several weeks. Whether that's a coaching problem or player problem or even a general manager problem, the effect has been the same: poor play. Why would we expect that to change today? Don't.

The Lions are favored by 6-1/2 points. Let's see: Matthew Stafford at QB vs. Brett Hundley at QB? C'mon.

We're calling it Packers 10 - Lions 24.

Still...Go Pack Go!!!

After the Game...After the Season...

The now well-documented demise of this season began with the broken collarbone to QB Aaron Rodgers and an ongoing rash of injuries decimating virtually every other unit on the team. As we know, though, injuries don't explain all of the problems.

The autopsy of the 2017 Packers has been underway for weeks and will continue long into the post-season. It's not shocking. Word already has it the long-suffering (at least on the part of Packers fans) defensive coordinator Dom Capers is out once the season is over. Who will head coach Mike McCarthy choose to replace him? There are many good options, as this article by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's great writer, Tom Silverstein, points out.

Some talk has been floating that it's time for GM Ted Thompson to move on, despite one year remaining on his contract. We would be shocked if Packers President Mark Murphy were to force Thompson out before the end of that contract, even though there are mounting reasons it would be a wise move to make at this time. Expect Thompson to be pulling the trigger for the 2018 NFL Draft and free agency.

Thompson did get an early start on the offseason in the last several days signing WR Davante Adams and C Corey Linsley to contract extension. Wise moves, although the money for a three-times-concussed Adams might be a bit on the high side. Time will tell.

Again, we'll have plenty of time to dissect this past season and project our collective hopes onto next season in the weeks and months ahead. We'll be seeing you around. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more real-time commentary!  :-)

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