The Green Bay Packers are heading into Week 17 with a big opportunity. If they are able to take care of business against the Detroit Lions and the Seattle Seahawks can knock off the San Francisco 49ers on their home field, Green Bay would win the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture and the NFC side of the playoffs would run through Lambeau Field.
During this time of year, there will be quite a few teams that want no part of playing at Lambeau. Green Bay has always had a bit of an advantage when playing at home.
Aaron Rodgers and company know that everything starts with them beating the Lions. They are not going to take this game lightly even though Detroit has had a rough season. The Packers have to lock in and get the job done.
All of that being said, let's dive in and take a look at four reasons why the Packers will come home with a win this week.
4. Aaron Jones Will Have Another Big-Time Game
Green Bay has loved what they have seen from rising star running back Aaron Jones. Last week against the Minnesota Vikings, Jones put together one of his biggest games of the season. He ended up carrying the football 23 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns to help seal the NFC North division title.
Against a fairly weak Detroit team, Jones is going to have another big day. He will end up with at least 125 total yards to go along with another two touchdowns. The Lions simply will not have an answer for the Packers' biggest weapon.
3. David Blough Won't Handle The Packers' Pass Rush
Detroit has been taking a long look at young quarterback David Blough. He has shown signs of talent, but he will not be ready for the Packers' pass rush. Both Preston and Za'Darius Smith have become stars in their own right, but we may get an even bigger look at rookie pass rusher Rashan Gary in this game.
No matter who the Packers put on the edge, they are going to get to Blough. The pressure will force some hurried decisions and Mike Pettine's defense will capitalize on them.
2. The Packers Aren't Taking This Game Lightly
Matt LaFleur knows that this game could end up being a trap for his football team. He has been preparing the team like Week 17 is a playoff game rather than what should end up being an easy win.
A focused Green Bay team is going to be a nightmare for the Lions to handle in their current shape. The Packers are going to come in and punch Detroit in the mouth right off the bat. While the Lions are going to do everything they can to stay in the game, the Packers should end up winning this game in convincing fashion.
1. Aaron Rodgers Will Finish the Season Strong
Gone are the years where the Packers need a miraculous season from Rodgers to compete for a top playoff spot. Now, the Packers can utilize Rodgers in a much lesser role. He still must make clutch passes and take care of the football, but Green Bay can move the football without him playing to the top of his ability.
On the season, Rodgers has completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 3,679 yards, 24 touchdowns, and three interceptions. This week, however, Rodgers is going to be masterful. He is going to slice and dice the Detroit secondary for 300 passing yards and two touchdowns, leading the Packers to a victory and a first-round playoff bye.