NFL Predictions: Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions 12/31/17

Beth Cruz
January 1, 2018

He made a terrific back-shoulder catch for 26 yards later in the second half that helped set up Detroit's last touchdown.

"It's been something we've been working on for a long time and Jim Bob and the offensive guys thought this would be a good game to utilize it".

But it wasn't almost enough against an efficient Stafford (20-of-29, 323 yards, three TDs, 140.4 rating) and a fast, stunting Lions pass rush, once both got going. "We thought we'd get the kind of look we needed". Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray (25) rushes during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, in Detroit.

After a 54-yard touchdown pass from Lions QB Matthew Stafford to Kenny Golladay was followed by a muffed punt deep in Green Bay territory - Packers rookie cornerback Donatello Brown allowed himself to get blocked into return man Trevor Davis, who was trying to make a fair catch - the game started to get out of hand.

Consider Detroit's late two-point conversion a reply to an early wrinkle by the Packers.

Asked if he'll make a case to keep his job - he's the team's winningest coach in the Super Bowl era, after all - Caldwell suggested he'll let his record speak for itself. The team is also expected to be without several defensive players, which bodes well for the Lions offense.

The Packers opened the game with an onside kick in a game with no stakes but pride. Kicker Mason Crosby booted a nice one-bouncer 14 yards into the hands of safety Jermaine Whitehead at the Green Bay 49-yard line. Brett Hundley has thrown for 1,664 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his place.

McCarthy and the Packers coaching staff obviously saw something on field they thought they could exploit and did.

"We have an evaluation we get rolling sometime here this week, so we'll see", he said. When he came into the post-game press conference, he brought his family and his three grandchildren, many of whom were wearing Lions gear. The 2016 Pro Bowler has struggled to create impact plays.

This year, the big play was back in a big way. Marvin Jones Jr. hauled in four passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. He threw for just 172 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. They had seven all of past year.

"For me, this is the first year that I've ever gotten to play as a starter in the NFL", Hundley said. Jamaal Agnew did well, seeing his most extensive playing time of the year. "It was a lot of fun".

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