Matt LaFleur suffered his first loss to the Detroit Lions in the Green Bay Packers‘ season finale.
You could argue it would have had a different outcome had the Packers not pulled their starters early in the game, having already secured the No. 1 seed.
Regardless, the Lions could be one of the most improved teams in the NFL this season. Neither game will be easy.
The rebuild in Detroit got underway in 2021, and the results were predictable.
Detroit lost its opening eight games before the bye week. Any concerns of the first-ever 0-17 season were ended when the Lions earned a tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Dan Campbell’s team showed fight all year long — six of their 13 defeats were by one score.
Their hard work began to show late in the season with the Lions winning three of their final six games, including a victory over the Packers in Week 18.
Still, a 3-13-1 record was the worst in the NFC.
When are the games?
Detroit hosts Green Bay at Ford Field in Week 9. It will be the Packers’ third straight road game. The matchup will kick off at noon CT on Sunday, Nov. 6.
The Packers will close out the season against the Lions for the sixth time in seven years. The game at Lambeau Field is in Week 18 on Sunday, Jan 8, although the kickoff time is yet to be announced.
The Lions have built an excellent wide receiver corps.
Amon-Ra St. Brown is coming off an impressive rookie season. Detroit signed free-agent receiver D.J. Chark and drafted Jameson Williams in the first round this spring.
Detroit also strengthened its defense by drafting edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson second overall, edge rusher Josh Paschal in the second round, and safety Kerby Joseph in the third. They also signed free-agent cornerback Mike Hughes.
Last meeting with Packers
January 9, 2022: Lions won 37-30 at Ford Field
Player to watch
Jameson Williams: It’s unclear when Williams will return from a torn ACL, but there’s every chance he’s back by Week 18. Will the Packers regret not trading up to get Williams? He could soon become one of the best wide receivers in the NFC North.