By Chris Morgan

The Detroit Lions had the potential to put a real capper on a dream season in their finale. If they beat the Green Bay Packers, they would have earned not just their 12th win of the season, but their first division title in over 20 years, as well as a first round bye in the NFL playoffs. However, in truth, that was a bit of a pipe dream. After all, this was a game at Lambeau Field, where the Lions had not won in over 20 years, and the Packers are a very good team. Even with a hobbled Aaron Rodgers, the Packers won by a score of 30-20, a final that flatters the Lions a bit. Here are the grades for the Lions regular season ending loss, as they hope to regroup for their playoff trip to Dallas.

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Offense: Things started off slowly for the Lions offensively, as Matthew Stafford struggled and the offense limped along. They did, eventually, figure things out, leading to their 20 points on three touchdowns, most of that coming from Stafford and the passing game. Joique Bell ran reasonably well, although he was also largely responsible for a lost fumble. Calvin Johnson caught two touchdown passes on four receptions for 39 yards, but that came on 11 targets. The offensive line also had to deal with the loss of Larry Warford, to go along with Dominic Raiola’s suspension, but they still only let up two sacks. In the end, given the circumstances, it ended up being a decent day offensively. Grade: B

Quarterback: As previously stated, Stafford got off to a poor start, throwing a bunch of bad balls that should have been completed, or at least should have been catchable. That’s partially why he only went 20-for-41 for 217 yards, but he also threw for three touchdowns, which can’t be sneezed at. He ran for 29 yards, and although he was credited with fumble it was more Bell’s fault. On the other hand, his intentional grounding penalty in the end zone which led to a safety was definitely his fault. The three touchdowns flatter Stafford on a mediocre day. Grade: B-

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Special Teams: Special teams managed to be a problem even though Matt Prater didn’t attempt a single field goal. The first touchdown of the game was a punt return by the Packers. Sam Martin also kicked a kickoff out of bounds, which is never good for field position. On the other hand, they did block a field goal, and Jeremy Ross had some good returns of his own. Still, when you give up a special teams touchdown, it can never be a good game. Grade: C+

Defense: The Detroit Lions have been led by their defense all season, but they were not able to keep up with the Packers at Lambeau. Eddie Lacy ran for 100 yards, and the team as a whole ran for 152 yards on 38 carries, including a rushing touchdown. Despite Rodgers’ calf issues, which briefly led him to leave the game, he still threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions did pick up two fumbles, but they only had one sack, three tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits. For one day, the defense was merely good, instead of great, and that wasn’t enough. Grade: B

For more Lions news and updates, visit Lions Central.

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Chris Morgan has been a diehard Detroit Lions fan through the good (Barry Sanders) and the bad (Matt Millen) and that love has led him to take jobs writing about sports, including as a fantasy sports “expert.” His work can be found on Examiner.com. .