Special Teams-4/5 Stars
The most unfortunate development from this game is that Jack Fox is no longer perfect as a passer.
On the plus side, Fox still has a bazooka for a leg. His only punt that didn’t get blocked went for 66 yards.
Riley Patterson had another perfect day, hitting all three of his field goals and all four of his extra points. Were they the most difficult kicks in the world? No, but Patterson offered some needed consistency upon stepping in as the Lions’ kicker this season.
The kick and punt coverage was pretty average. The punt team gave up a pretty solid 23-yard return to Amari Rodgers, but the kick coverage didn’t allow a return over 25 yards. Ultimately that’s about par for the course.
Coaching Staff-5/5 Stars
Really quickly going to praise Aaron Glenn, despite the mediocre game from his defense.
Glenn has utilized a double-A-gap look in obvious passing downs all season to help disguise pressure. He used that look against the Packers all game long.
This play from late in the first quarter stood out:
Glenn brought extra bodies to the line to confuse the Packers, then after the snap, the Lions execute a stunt with Julian Okwara looping over the top. Additionally, as one of the linebackers drops back into coverage A.J. Parker comes in from the slot.
The play is supposed to overload the right side of the line, and that’s exactly what happened and Jessie Lemonier finishes the play and gets the sack.
Now onto Dan Campbell. Say what you will about him, but no one can deny how aggressive he is. The Lions set the NFL single season record for fourth downs on Sunday.
Beyond just being aggressive, he has shown significant improvement as a play caller since taking over those duties after the bye week.
It seems Anthony Lynn’s time as offensive coordinator will come to an end, However, Detroit might opt to split coorrdinator duties and have those titles assist Campbell with the weekly offensive game plan while Campbell keeps play calling duties. Whatever Campbell decides to do, he certainly has proven himself to be a competent play-caller.
It goes without saying Campbell has gotten the most out of this roster this season. The 2021 Detroit Lions were a bad team, but the players clearly believe in the new coaching regime.
At the end of the day, that’s a win for Campbell and his staff.
If fans were supposed to just enjoy the season finale, the Lions made the game very easy to enjoy.
From trick plays and long touchdowns to generating key turnovers in the biggest moments, this was about as much fun as anyone could have asked a meaningless Week 18 game to be.
Final grade: 4/5 Stars