After a 16-0 shutout loss to the Minnesota Vikings in their home finale last week, the Green Bay Packers will take on the Detroit Lions in their season finale. Both the Lions and Packers come into this game with no chance at making the playoffs, but division rivalry games are always games that get the best out of each team. Here are three Packers Keys To Victory to ensure that Green Bay finishes it’s season at .500 and on a high note.
Week 17 Green Bay Packers Keys To Victory
Detroit’s pass defense this season has given up nearly 250 yards a game through the air and 3,739 in total, good for 28th in the NFL. If the Packers want to finish this season with a win, they’ll have to turn Brett Hundley loose and let him make plays. Where Hundley has found success this season is in the quick passing game, in particular slant routes over the middle and quick screens to wide receivers.
Quicker pass routes that don’t take as much time to develop are the bread and butter of this Packers offense, even when Aaron Rodgers is playing. They allow the field to open up a little more and give the quarterback opportunities to complete more downfield throws as the game progresses, not to mention they also give the numerous playmakers on this team more chances to make plays with the ball in their hands.
The key will be getting Hundley to get rid of the ball quick and not allow time for him to overthink or sit on a route and create possibilities for sacks/turnovers. The quicker Hundley is able to deliver the ball to the playmakers on the team, the more success the Packers will have in the passing game.
More Aaron Jones, Less Jamaal Williams
Jamaal Williams has been great for the Packers this season. He’s a powerful, downhill runner that would be a great third down/short yardage back for the Packers. For some reason, however, he’s getting more reps as a starting running back than Aaron Jones is. Williams this season has ran for 474 yards on 131 attempts (3.6 yards per carry) and only once eclipsed 100 yards rushing. On the contrary, Aaron Jones has rushed for 448 yards on 81 attempts this season, an average of 5.5 yards per carry. Twice has Jones ran for over 120 yards, and those were the only two games in which he was given over 15 rush attempts. In this season finale against Detroit, giving Jones the snaps he deserves at running back will give the Packers a major boost offensively and potentially help them win their final game of the season.
Pressure the Quarterback
Getting sufficient pressure on quarterbacks this season has been a chore for the Packers. Ultimately, what has caused this defense to fail so many times is their lack of a pass rush, which has given quarterbacks plenty of time to find receivers or make plays with their legs. With younger players such as Reggie Gilbert, Kenny Clark and Vince Biegel getting more opportunities now, the Packers will have a chance to evaluate the young talent they have up front, and make decisions on who will stay and who will go for next season.
The Packers may be out of contention, but if the young players up front can put on a show in the final game of the 2017 season for Green Bay, they might just be able to secure their spot for next season on the roster.
Win or lose, Sunday will wrap what has been a major disappointment of a season that began with a promising 4-1 start only to it all crumble after Rodgers went down. But a win against Detroit, while it wouldn’t quite matter in the long run, can give this team and its fanbase a nice sendoff into the off-season and hope that next season will culminate in something far greater.
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