3 Reasons Sunday Night’s Game Will Be a Barn-Burner

When the Packers play the Lions Sunday night in the last game of the 2016 regular season, for each team it could be do or die. The Packers are hot, with Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson looking unstoppable. The Lions are at home and have a great quarterback in Matthew Stafford, who has offset the absence of Calvin Johnson this year with ball distribution to Golden Tate et al. Sunday night the winner will be the NFC North champion and guaranteed a playoff spot…for the loser, however, it could be a completely different story. Here are three reasons this game is going to be a barn-burner.

1. The Lions strength against the Packers weakness

The Lions success starts and ends with Matt Stafford. The Packers, on the other hand, can stop the run but have rarely been able to hold good quarterbacks to average passing numbers. The safety duo of Morgan Burnette and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been great, and Micah Hyde is a veteran presence, but the young cornerbacks Randall, Rollins, and Gunter have been spotty at best. Stafford is great in the 4th quarter and with the Packers’ ability to stop the run, the game will quickly fall on his shoulders (or arm rather). Regardless of the score at the half…PackerNation will be worried about another second half collapse, this time against a good offensive team. This could be a shootout folks.

The Packers have been riding Aaron Rodgers’ arm since their winning streak began and that will not change. But the Monty, Michael, Rip combo will have to play a part. Aaron Rodgers has been playing better football than anyone on the planet in recent weeks and Packers fans will need him to continue that if they want to see a deep playoff run.

2. It is the last game of the 2016 regular season

The flexed Packers versus Lions game becomes the last game of the season. Everyone will know their exact scenario before the game begins. For the Lions, it is more likely that they will be eliminated with a loss. They are going to bring it. The Packers have Aaron Rodgers, who I would take over any quarterback in the league, but I don’t see this game as an easy one on Sunday night at Ford Field.

Every eye in the nation (not just PackerNation) will be watching this game and if the Packers struggle in the running game, like they did against the Vikings and Matt Stafford finds success against the Packers suspect cornerbacks…this one could be too close for comfort.

3. Week 17 is always a close one

For 4 straight years, the week 17 North rivalry matchup game has been for the title. And we all know how close these games have Jordy Nelson 2015been. From Randall Cobb (and I think he will have a part to play this year) beating the Bears, to the forgettable loss to the Vikings last year when the Packers gave up the crown…these games always come down to a play or two. Who will get those precious plays Sunday night will determine who is in…and who might go home.

The Packers resting Randall might be very important in this game, and if Davante Adams can catch everything that is thrown at him, it could be a convincing win unlike the past. We all know what Jordy Nelson can do but also that if Darius Slay can play…they will be blanketing Jordy with him all night long. I don’t think Slay has what it takes to keep up with Jordy all night long but if Jordy’s performance is limited, it will be a factor.

So the Packers’ fortunes rise and fall with Aaron Rodgers but the play of Jordy Nelson on Slay, the ability (or inability) to run the ball, and a cornerback situation that needs to be addressed will all play into the final result of this game. Keep in mind, the Packers failed to collect an onside kick in the game against the Vikings and while it didn’t matter to the final outcome then…it could come Sunday night. But the Vikings have a better defense than the Lions and with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, I have hope that a good pass rush, a couple turnovers, and the future 2016 league MVP will bring it home for PackerNation.

Go Pack!


3 Reasons Sunday Night’s Game Will Be a Barn-Burner
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