Skip to content
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800 GAMBLER Responsible Gaming Responsible Gaming
Green Bay Packers - Lambeau Field
  1. NFL

NFL: Week 17 Talking Points

The Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks remain in the hunt for the NFC's last remaining wild card berth after convincing Week 17 wins.

A final-week showdown between the Lions and Packers at Lambeau Field will be one of the most eagerly-anticipated games - together with the crunch AFC North clash between Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars may not be too happy with the scheduling of their game, however, which has become one of the talking points to emerge from the weekend.

Packers star 'felt like a Ferrari' before 105-yard score

Despite being a pre-game injury doubt, the NFL's top kick returner set the tone for the Packers' 41-17 walloping of the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Keisean Nixon, who returned a kick-off 93 yards in the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins last week, didn't practice all week due to a groin injury.

The Fins tried a squib kick later in that Christmas Day contest to keep the ball out of Nixon's hands, such is his growing reputation as a devastating returner.

So the Vikings were probably happy to see his name on the Packers' injury report in the days before their trip to Lambeau.

When he couldn't practice on Friday, the fear is he wouldn't be available for Sunday's showdown against the NFC North champions.

But, after sitting around and hoping for some improvement in his situation on Saturday, the 25-year-old woke up feeling much better on Sunday.

"I texted the coaches this morning like, 'I feel like a Ferrari.' He's like, 'Huh?' I said, 'I feel like a Ferrari'."

Trailing 3-0 early in the first quarter, Nixon took Greg Joseph's kickoff from 5 yards deep in the end zone, burst through a gaping hole in the Vikings' coverage, stiff-armed the kicker to the turf and was gone.

The ensuing 105-yard touchdown was the third-longest in Packers history.

Nixon has five kick-off returns of 50-plus yards this season while no other player in the league has more than two.

Packers playing well in all three facets

Green Bay's late bid for the No.7 seed has seen them play some complimentary football with all three facets of the game functioning in harmony.

Aside from the spectacular special teams play and Aaron Rodgers' growing chemistry with his receiving corps, plus Aaron Jones' hefty contributions in the rushing game, the Packers' defense is playing lights out too.

Joe Barry's unit took to Kevin O'Connell's offensive gameplan like a wrecking ball with stud cornerback Jaire Alexander exceeding his own pregame hype against Vikings star Justin Jefferson, who was held to just one catch in the game.

Darnell Savage returned an interception for a touchdown and fellow safeties Adrian Amos and Rudy Ford also picked off Kirk Cousins while DL Kenny Clark had a sack-fumble that snuffed out a Vikings drive in the third period.

Related NFL News

NFL Playoff Picture: Tom Brady inspires Buccaneers while Dolphins could miss out

NFL: Five Standout Moments of 2022

Has the Lions' roar come too late?

Detroit's 41-10 destruction of the Chicago Bears was yet another warning to the rest of the NFL that the Lions are a team to be feared again.

Sunday's annihilation at Ford Field took them to 8-8 on the season, but 7-2 in their last nine games.

"As a whole, we have probably played better games, just a little, but this is certainly up there," head coach Dan Campbell said proudly of a team that is averaging 28.9 points a game across the past nine weeks. 

Since Detroit's win over Green Bay in November, QB Jared Goff has completed 65.8 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns against just one interception.

No team, not even the red-hot San Francisco 49ers, would relish facing Campbell's team in the postseason.

But the Lions, who are +825 to make the playoffs, need to beat the Packers and hope +275 Seattle can't get the win they need to sew up the last wild-card berth.

Jags jolted by Saturday switch

As part of ESPN's media deal, the NFL schedules a Week 18 double-header on Saturday and one of this year's games will decide the AFC South division title.

If the Titans win in Jacksonville on Saturday, the Jags could still clinch a wild card berth if the Pittsburgh Steelers lose to the Browns, the New England Patriots lose to the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins lose to the New York Jets in Week 18.

But Jacksonville, -290 on the Money Line, will not be thrilled about the game being switched forward by a day to the Saturday prime time slot, as the +235 Titans will be getting three full days of extra rest, having played on Thursday in Week 17.

Tennessee RB Derrick Henry and QB Ryan Tannehill did not play in that 27-13 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, but while the former could probably have played at a pinch, the latter is not going to be available in Week 18 due to injury.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy