The Detroit Lions closed out their season on a high note, yes, in a meaningless game, but it’s always fun beating the Green Bay Packers. Jared Goff led the Lions to a 37-30 victory over Aaron Rodgers and the playoff-bound Packers.
Earlier on in the season, it seemed like it would be just another painful Lion-like season starting 0-8-1. If you recall, many of us had a sigh of relief knowing that the Detroit Lions wouldn’t be the first team to go 0-17 after already going 0-16 once before.
Things appeared to get worse in the short term after the head coach stripped the play-calling duties from former NFL head coach Anthony Lynn. I’ll admit, I loved the Lynn hire, but it’s clear things didn’t work out, and to no one’s surprise, the two sides are expected to part ways now that the season is over.
Campbell had never called plays before, and it showed early on. Campbell, who likes to go for it on fourth down more than any other coach sometimes to a fault, also followed that aggressiveness up with ultra-conservative play calling. Detroit often called draw play after draw playing on third and long situations. But I will say this; things quickly turned around for the Detroit Lions offense during the second half of the season.
With Campbell calling the offense, we’ve seen the emergence of rookie pass-catcher Amon-Ra St. Brown, along with excellent production from their in-season acquisition, Josh Reynolds. It shouldn’t go unnoticed that despite being without their star center, Frank Ragnow, for the majority of the season, Detroit got their stellar left tackle Taylor Decker back right as Campbell assumed the play-calling duties.
Having Decker plugged in over on the left side, and rookie Penei Sewell excelling on the right side allowed quarterback Jared Goff the time needed to push the football down the field a bit more rather than always opting for the quick check-down.
The Detroit Lions winning was the bow on top of the 2021 season.
As the day progressed, the Detroit Lions, with a loss, would have secured the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Surprisingly, the Indianapolis Colts squandered their playoff hopes by losing to the worst team in the league.
With Detroit upsetting the Packers, and the Jaguars doing the same, everything remained the same at the top of the draft. The Lions would upset the Packers and find themselves finishing the season 3-13-1 amid missing out on the number one pick.
The Jaguars will pick first, and the Detroit Lions will pick second. This seemed to upset some fans, but when you realize that there are two elite caliber pass-rushers at the top of the draft and not what is considered to be a franchise quarterback, beating Green Bay ending the season on a high note is far more crucial.