The Packers maintained their №1 ranking in points per game (31.5) and moved into second place in offensive yards per game (397.6) after their 31-point, 410-yard performance against the Lions.
To accommodate a rare Saturday night game, LaFleur has adjusted the practice plan without changing the schedule.
Players are off Tuesday as is usually the case, but with one less day to prepare will cram their usual Wednesday and Thursday practices into one Wednesday session. Thursday will be like a Friday and Friday will be like the usual walk-through they do on Saturday.
LaFleur said he is doing it this way so that his coaches have Monday and Tuesday to prepare for the Carolina Panthers and the players have sufficient time to rest their bodies.
“You get to this point of the season, I think it’s absolutely imperative that our players are fresh and ready to go,” LaFleur said. “When you’re limited on a short week, I want to make sure we have a great game plan in place and also the guys understand and take care of their bodies.”
The Packers also rose from fourth to second in third-down conversions (49.67%) and rank №1 in red-zone touchdown proficiency (77.08%). They lead the league in average time of possession at 33 minutes, 2 seconds.
The defense ranks eighth in yards allowed per game (335.7) and tied for 16th in points (24.8).
Instead, in a continuation of shoddy special teams play that has become the Packers’ most alarming weakness, the Lions returned the ensuing kickoff 71 yards. Crosby needed to make a tackle to avoid a kickoff return for touchdown, which would have been the Packers’ third return touchdown allowed in three weeks. Even still, the long return gave the Lions possession 33 yards from the end zone.
The Packers’ defense forced Detroit to settle for Matt Prater’s 32-yard field goal and Green Bay prevailed 31–24. They surely know a better opponent, such as they’ll see in the postseason, might have punched the gift of a return into the end zone.
That would have made things much more interesting.
“Certainly, I thought obviously the glaring mistake was the long return,” LaFleur said.
Otherwise, LaFleur thought the Packers’ special teams were improved Sunday. He pointed to not only Crosby’s 57-yard field goal and his perfect day on extra points, but also holding the Lions to 24 yards on their other kickoff return.
“I know it’s not good enough when you give up a big explosive, and we’ve got to get better in that regard,” LaFleur said, “but I thought for the most part it was pretty solid. Now on that one return, we had guys aborting to the wrong side of the return. We got pinned inside by the double team. So we’ve got to do a better job on that.”
A source said Jones filed the paperwork to fire his previous agents with the NFL Players Association on Dec. 8. ESPN first reported the news he was changing agents Sunday.
The five-day waiting period between firing an agent and hiring a new one ended Monday.
Several prominent agents said they were in the process of bidding to represent Jones, who will become a free agent after the season. However, Rosenhaus, who has one of the largest client lists in the agent community, apparently struck a deal quickly.
Rosenhaus isn’t a favorite among many agents, but he is known for getting deals done. Negotiations between Jones and the Packers stalled and the fact he decided to switch representatives now would indicate he is still interested in signing an extension.
It’s not uncommon for players to fire their agents when their contract demands aren’t met or there is a difference in opinion of how much the player is worth.
The Packers are in no hurry to sign Jones. They have until March before he becomes a free agent and even if he were to enter the market they would still have a chance to re-sign him.
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