Detroit Lions predictions vs. Washington Football Team: Who wins battle of bad teams?

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett

Carlos Monarrez

Shawn Windsor
| Detroit Free Press

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Free Press sports writers make predictions for the Detroit Lions’ game hosting the Washington Football Team on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Ford Field.

Carlos Monarrez

Washington has a great defense, so expect a low-scoring game. As bad as the Lions have looked the past two weeks, this shouldn’t be too close of a game because of Washington’s underwhelming offense. Alex Smith is expected to make his first start in two years and he doesn’t have enough weapons to get away with dinking and dunking his way to victory. The key to the Lions’ victory will be how well Matthew Stafford and the offense avoids turnovers against a great pass rush and an opportunistic secondary led by Kendall Fuller, who has four interceptions. Pick: Lions 24, Washington 17 

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Dave Birkett

It’s easy to look at middling teams like Washington and next week’s opponent, Carolina, and think the Lions should run away with victories, when the reality is the Lions are middling, too. They’ve struggled to stop the run all season, have underachieved offensively and don’t make impact plays on the defensive side of the ball. If one or more of those things don’t change Sunday, the Lions could be in for another long day at Ford Field, where they have not won since last October. A loss to Washington would all but extinguish the Lions’ fading playoff hopes and perhaps signal the end of coach Matt Patricia’s tenure in Detroit. A win might only delay the inevitable, but given the results of the last two weeks it’s something the organization desperately needs. Pick: Lions 23, Washington 17.

Shawn Windsor 

If the Lions can’t win here, what’s the point? A question you’ve likely already asked. But then this isn’t an existential exercise. It’s an editor-driven exercise. So, for the record, Lions win. I think. Pick: Lions 23, Washington 16

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