Jamaal Williams' heads-up play vs. Lions may have gamblers and fantasy managers fuming


The Green Bay Packers found themselves in an ideal spot with time running out against the Detroit Lions on Monday.

With 1:36 remaining, Green Bay had a first down at the Detroit 11-yard line with 1:36 seconds remaining and the Lions out of timeouts.

All they had to do was milk the clock and convert a chip-shot field goal to pick up a critical NFC North victory.

Williams’ heads-up play

The Lions were clearly aware of this fact and cleared the way for Packers running back Jamaal Williams when Aaron Rodgers handed him the ball on the first-down play.

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But Williams didn’t take the bait. As Detroit defenders sidestepped to give him a path to the end zone in an attempt to get the ball back, Williams plopped down at the two-yard line to keep possession for Green Bay and the clock running.

From there, Rodgers knelt twice, and the Packers took a timeout with two seconds remaining. Mason Crosby took the field to kick the game-winning field goal as time expired. The Packers improved to 5-1 and 3-0 in the NFC North, while the Lions never got the ball back.

Heady play by Williams.

While it was good for Packers fans, there are a couple of segments of the football-viewing public who were surely not so pleased outside of a clearly distraught Lions fanbase.

Fantasy implications

It’s hard for fantasy managers to make a case against Williams, who out-touched and outshone lead Packers back Aaron Jones en route to 136 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.

But for those managers who were trailing their matchups by six or fewer in the game’s final moments, there were surely a few who had some choice words for the Green Bay back.

Spread implications too

And then there are the traditional football gamblers, whose fortunes swung with Williams’ smart decision.

The Packers were 3 1/2 point favorites against the Lions on Monday. A touchdown and extra point on the final possession would have secured a 27-22 lead that would have beat the spread if the Lions didn’t respond.

Instead, the Packers secured a 23-22 margin that beat the Lions, but not the spread.

Of course, as with all bad beats, there are winners and losers. Fantasy managers facing Williams who had outcomes in the balance and bettors who had the Lions and the points are celebrating a victory tonight as the other side of the coin laments the heads-up play from Williams.

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