Nate Caminata (RoarReport.com Publisher): As an 0-15 team walks into Lambeau (where they haven't won dating back to 1991), is there an unsettling feeling/general fear within the organization and fanbase that comes along with a potential for loss? Or is it already chalked up as a win?
Bill Huber (Packer Report Publisher): There's no fear among the players and coaches, though they certainly aren't chalking this one up for a win. Teams that are 5-10 and on a five-game losing streak can't chalk up a win against anyone. Besides, division games are different, as you know. The Lions have hung in there against the North teams all season, so there's no reason to expect anything different on Sunday. As for the fans, yeah, they're afraid. Very afraid. It's been a horrible season already. Losing to the Lions would really create a firestorm and exponetially up the heat on coach Mike McCarthy and GM Ted Thompson.
NC: The Packers season certainly didn't unfold as many expected, especially after a strong-start to the Aaron Rodgers era. If Brett Favre ends up playing in the post-season, what will the immediate story be in Green Bay, and is it deserved?
This image, coupled with a losing season, didn't exactly inspire much confidence in Green Bay's front office brass
NC: Many blamed the Packers' defense for the struggles that plagued the team through 2008, but how much of the blame falls upon Rodgers? Does he remain the "answer" in Green Bay?
BH: There's no doubt he's the answer. It's not like he's been throwing three interceptions in all of these losses. Has he come up short in some close games? Yes. Does he deserve some blame? Yes. Then again, if Mason Crosby makes a field goal in the final seconds against Minnesota, if the special teams can cover a kickoff against Carolina, if the defense doesn't yield 400-plus passing yards to the Texans or if Crosby makes a field goal in the final 25 seconds against Chicago, we aren't talking about Rodgers' late-game failings.
NC: Knowing that the Lions are entering a upheaval during the off-season, what is the general consensus on Detroit from a division rival? Is there a concern that the team now has the potential to turn it around, or will they remain a doormat in the eyes of their closest competitors?
BH: That's a tough question. It all depends on who takes over for Matt Millen. Get a legit football mind who can hire a legit NFL coach and bring in legit NFL players, then there's reason to believe the Lions will become relevant. Look at the Atlanta Falcons, who were a disaster last year with Michael Vick in prison and the coach quitting to go back to the collegiate level. Now, the Falcons are one of the league's top surprises. If the Falcons can do it, so can the Lions. But they need leadership first.
NC: Evidently, anyone can turn it around in today's NFL. With that said, is there really a profound difference between a team that finishes 0-16, and a team that finishes 6-10 (or a similar mark)? Or, like most things in sports, is it purely about the image that it portrays rather than a testament to the state/future of a franchise?
BH: I was talking to ESPN's Ron Jaworski the other day, and he said the NFL is an 8-8 league. Get a few breaks and stay healthy, and you win 10 or 11 games. Don't get any breaks and don't stay healthy, and you win five or six games. With that said, 0-15 is unbelievably bad. From the outside looking in, the Lions have some talent, but not nearly enough. They don't have a quarterback, they don't have a difference-making lineman and their secondary is horrible. There's a lot of holes to plug. Then again, the aforementioned Falcons looked like a lost cause at this time last year.