One small stomp for man, one giant gulp for the
That means the Lions will be without the anchor of their offensive line for their biggest game of the season, a finale at Green Bay with the
Raiola, who has been cited for six player-safety violations since 2010, has three days to appeal the suspension. If the punishment stands, the Lions will start rookie third-round pick Travis Swanson at center.
Both Green Bay and Detroit are assured of at least wild-card berths. They played each other Sept. 21, with the Lions holding serve at home, 19-7.
In that game, Packers quarterback
One of those sacks was by Lions linebacker
The Lions caught their share of breaks in that game too. Detroit's
On the next play, Green Bay's
Both Rodgers and Lacy have been considerably more explosive since then.
Asked Monday about having the incentive to play for something in Week 17, Packers Coach
Two weeks ago, Pittsburgh routed the
Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell trampled the Bengals, too, running for 185 yards, reeling in six passes for 50 yards, and scoring three second-half touchdowns.
Whereas that game was a blowout, the
Atlanta won, 19-17, getting a touchdown pass from
It's astounding that these teams are still vying for a playoff spot. The Panthers were 1-8-1 during a 10-game stretch in the middle of the season, and the Falcons are 1-9 outside their division. Yet here they are, each of them one win away from hosting a playoff game.
Barring a tie, the NFC South champion will finish 7-9 (Atlanta) or 7-8-1 (Carolina), just the second time in league history a team with a losing record made the playoffs. The first time was 2010, when the
"Now it all comes down to one game, and that's all we can ask for is to be in that situation," Carolina Coach
In recent weeks, Falcons players have taken to wearing T-shirts that read "1-0" as a reminder to concentrate on the now, rather than glancing at the abysmal path that got them to this point.