What to look forward to in the Green Bay Packers’ final game of 2018.
The 2018 regular season is coming to an end, and will finish in disappointment for the Green Bay Packers. For the first time since 2005 and 2006, the Packers will miss the playoffs for their second consecutive season.
This Week 17 matchup versus the Lions has no playoff implications, however, being that it’s the final game of the regular season, Green Bay can end the season on a high note. With a win the Packers would finish the season 6-1-1 at home.
Although this game is meaningless to the playoff picture, there are still things to look forward to. One being that this is the last audition for interim head coach Joe Philbin to impress the Packers front office.
This game could give some insight on what the Packers will look like heading into next season.
From the season opener the Packers season was altered when Aaron Rodgers went down with a knee injury. The remainder of the season, something about Rodgers seemed off. His injured knee clearly hindered what he could do on the field.
Nonetheless, last week versus the New York Jets, Rodgers looked the healthiest he has all season. Rodgers scored his first two rushing touchdowns of the season. Not to mention, scoring on a two-point conversion on a read-option play call.
In addition to his rushing touchdowns, Rodgers also threw two touchdowns passes. He had one of his best games of the season, while helping lead the Packers to their highest scoring outcome of the year.
Last week Rodgers insisted on playing through his groin injury because he is a leader in the Packers locker room. Rodgers will play again this week in hopes the offense can duplicate the success they had against the Jets.
A big part of the Packers season is the emerging young players on the roster. Many first and second-year players are starting for the Packers heading into Week 17. Even in a meaningless game, real game experience is vital for these younger players.
The secondary has young talented players like Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, Josh Jones, Kevin King and Raven Greene. Meanwhile, on offense both the wide receiver and running back groups are young. Running back Jamaal Williams and wide receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Jake Kumerow and Equanimeous St. Brown all had an impact last week.
Once again this week, these young players need to play well and stand out. This is their last chance to impress both the coaching staff and front office. Heading into the offseason, these young developing players need to show they don’t need to be replaced via the draft or free agency.
Once eliminated from playoff contention, most teams have two goals, either play spoiler, or to finish the season strong. Since Green Bay is playing Detroit they cannot play spoiler, but they can finish out strong. Also, show your home fans that you have not quit on the season, similar to what happened last week.
Last week, Green Bay fell behind 35-20 in the fourth quarter versus the Jets. They could’ve easily mailed it in and finished the season winless on the road. Nevertheless, the Packers staged a great comeback and eventually won 44-38 in overtime.
Furthermore, this is still a divisional opponent the Packers are facing. Earlier in the season, Detroit defeated Green Bay. It would embarrassing to get swept by the worst team in the NFC North.