The Lions will face the Packers on Sunday under a very different set of circumstances than the first time they met back on Thanksgiving Day. As such, I checked in with Ray Rivard from Lombardi Ave to get his thoughts on the Packers and their upcoming game with the Lions.
Here we go…
Zac Snyder: Whether or not the Packers rest players is obviously a hot topic. What do you think they will do and what do you think they should do?
Ray Rivard: Coach Mike McCarthy is keeping his plans pretty close to his vest, but it’s pretty clear that he’s going to do whatever he can to win the game. Losing to the Lions just before the playoffs when they may meet again within a couple of weeks wouldn’t be a good thing. Not only that, but I really think McCarthy has his team motivated to win 15 games, the most in franchise history.
That said, he’s also smart enough to know that if he plays his starters he’s got to call a game that gives them that chance to win, but also minimizes the chances for injury. I feel he will start any starter who is healthy – and completely healthy. However, he will probably also start pulling starters after two or three series on both sides of the ball. It’s really the best of both worlds for the Packers and McCarthy. He has a chance to win a game, but he also has the opportunity to get players on the field who haven’t had the opportunity … players that may come in handy come playoff time. While this is like a preseason game, I’m excited because this will be a chance to see some of the players who could make an impact in the future.
ZS: The Lions haven’t won in Wisconsin since 1991, do Packers fans talk about that and if so, would they be disappointed if the streak is broken because the Packers rested players for the playoffs?
RR: Packers fans don’t talk much about it because, I’m sorry to say it, for the most part the Lions have been the doormats of the Central and North Division the past 15 years. There were some tight games going back to the early and mid-90s, but over the past decade, the Packers marked two games in the win column at the beginning of each season when it came to playing the Lions.
So, no, Packers fans won’t be disappointed if the Lions break the streak. It’s got to end sometime and if it’s Sunday it really won’t be that big of a deal in the long run.
ZS: How disappointed are Packers (aside from the lady that choked her daughter and tried to punch her husband in the face) fans that the team lost in Kansas City and don’t have the opportunity to go for a perfect season?
RR: Ok funny guy, not every Packers fan is as stupid as that drunk lady who obviously has more issues than we would ever want to know about. That said, I really feel most Packers fans were relieved to have had the streak end when it did. This is the NFL that we’re talking about and losses are a fact of life. I don’t think any Packers fan realistically thought they could go through an entire season unbeaten, so the loss really came at the right time. Everyone would agree that a loss in the playoffs would be crushing. Though anything can happen, we all feel better going into the playoffs having lost a game during a season that has been unbelievable … that is on both sides of the ball. The offense has, for the most part been unstoppable, while the defense has been a sieve … It’s very much the opposite of the team that saw the field last season … that is until they hit the playoffs. I think we all saw the loss coming … especially the way the defense was playing. The offense simply couldn’t carry the load for an entire season.
But it sure would have been nice to have had the chance to try to go unbeaten.
ZS: I saw how Packers fans gobbled up those $250 pieces of paper. I’ve got some swamp land I’d like to show you, any interest?
RR: Those aren’t just pieces of paper … they’re part of a legend, part of a franchise that is as unique on the face of the planet as you will find. The history of more than 90 years in existence, the glory of the 1960s, the joy of 13 championships and four Super Bowl championships, the humiliation of the 1970s and ’80s and the excitement of today’s team and a bright future are all wrapped up in those “pieces of paper.”
Go sell that swamp land to the Vikings – I hear they’re looking for some.
ZS: What is your prediction for the game on Sunday?
RR: I’m really not clear on how to read this one. I think both teams, though the game really doesn’t mean a damn thing, will come out and try to get a quick lead and hold it because they will then look to coast through the second half, control the clock, utilize field position and get out with a win without any injuries.
I am going to pick the Packers to win only because they are playing at Lambeau Field – and I don’t see this one as a high-scoring affair.
Packers 22 Lions 17