Rogers' 10* NFL Game of the Week >> Top Week 17 Play!
Green Bay vs. Detroit,
01/01/2017 20:30 EDT,
Score: 31 - 24
Point Spread: -3/-120 Green Bay
The set-up: The Packers and Lions are each 9-6 as they get set to meet Sunday night at Ford Field in a game which will decide the division title. The loser will need Washington to lose to the New York Giants earlier in the day to claim a wild-card berth. Green Bay has all the momentum, carrying a five-game winning streak into the season finale, while Detroit is coming off two road losses, including a 42-21 thumping at Dallas this past Monday night.
Green Bay: Rodgers said that the Packers could run the table when they were 4-6 and he's one big victory from backing up that claim. "We feel our season is just getting started," Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy said. "We understand what we needed to do to get to this point. This is about beating the Lions and beating them in that dome." McCarthy is sure helped by Rodgers, who is currently the hottest QB in the NFL. He has thrown 14 TD passes without an interception in the past six games, after carving up the vaunted Minnesota defense for 347 passing yards and four TDs plus adding a rushing score in a 38-25 home victory last Sunday. WR Jordy Nelson's injury from 2015 is now behind him, as he has 38 receptions and 528 receiving yards (along with five TD catches) during the winning streak. Nelson has 91 catches and 14 TDs on the season. It would sure help Rodgers if the Packers could develop a running game but that's unlikely (103.2 YPG ranks 20th).
Detroit: A win here would be huge for both Detroit (Lions' last division title came in 1993) and QB Mathew Stafford, as a victory over Rodgers in this setting would elevate Stafford to elite status among his peers. Stafford's season is about more than just his passing numbers (65.5% for 3,980 yards with 22 TDs and 9 INTs), as Lions come in having won their last six home games, rallying in the fourth quarter each time. They have an NFL record eight fourth-quarter comeback victories this season, each one led by Stafford. Like Rodgers, Stafford doesn't get much help from a running game averaging 82.3 YPG (30th).
The pick: Stafford is 20 yards shy of becoming the fourth QB with 4,000 in six consecutive seasons and as noted above, has been "Mr. Clutch" in the fourth quarters of games this season. However, Stafford has posted three of his four lowest passer ratings over the past three games, tossing four interceptions against one touchdown since injuring the middle finger on his throwing hand. Meanwhile, no QB has been better than Rodgers the last six weeks! Rodgers threw a 61-yard Hail Mary pass on the final play of the game to shock Detroit in his last appearance at Ford Field but this win will come much more easily. Green Bay is a 10* play.