Detroit Lions-Green Bay Packers flexed to Sunday Night Football Week 18

SideLion Report

It was a growing possibility, but the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers will indeed play the final regular season game of the 2022 season Sunday night in Week 18.

When the Tennessee Titans-Jacksonville Jaguars to decide the AFC South champion was announced for Saturday night in Week 18, and with the uncertainty over Baltimore Ravens-Cincinnati Bengals meaning the same for the AFC North, it felt possible. Indeed, it’s happening.

Per the NFL’s announcement Monday afternoon, the Detroit Lions trip to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers has been flexed to Sunday Night Football, to complete Week 18 and the 2022 regular season schedule.

The Lions notably did not have a single prime time game scheduled this season, of course with the faint possibility they’d be relevant and flexed into one late in the season. It took winning seven of nine games since a 1-6 start to put themselves into the playoff picture, and all the way to Week 18. But it happened.

Detroit Lions getting prime time showcase opportunity in Week 18

For Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, it’s simple–beat the Lions in Week 18 and you’re in the playoffs. The Lions need to win, naturally, and for the Los Angeles Rams to beat the Seattle Seahawks (a 4:25 ET kickoff next Sunday) to get the final playoff spot in the NFC. There’s another scenario where the Lions would get in–a Packers-Lions tie, a Rams-Seahawks tie and the Washington Commanders beating the Dallas Cowboys in another 4:25 ET game Sunday–but it’s unlikely.

So the Lions will know, barring the aforementioned win and tie, if they have a chance at the NFC’s last Wild Card spot before the 8:20 ET kickoff on Sunday night. If not, they’ll be purely trying to play spoiler to the Packers after the Seahawks won. Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, head coach Dan Campbell made it clear he doesn’t care what the scenario ends up being.

Either we’re playing to get in or we’re playing to be spoiler, and that’s it,” he said. “So either way, we win.”

If the Lions don’t have a chance to make the playoffs by kickoff Sunday night, the next best thing is to beat the Packers at Lambeau and knock them out too.

The Lions have been a fun story during the turnaround of the last two months. But now they have a primetime opportunity in Week 18 to show how much better they are, and offer the world a glimpse at their promise for the future.

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