Detroit News predictions: Lions at Broncos

Detroit News

James Hawkins: The Lions are riding into Mile High on a high, but the good feelings might not last long. The Broncos’ defense is stingy and allowing the third-fewest points per game. Even though Jared Goff has been playing well since recovering from his oblique injury, the Lions’ offense might not have enough manpower up front to hang. The same goes for the defensive unit after a flu breakout hit the locker room. Broncos, 23-16

John Niyo: After pillaging the Vikings’ playoff hopes last week, Detroit now heads to Denver, where the Broncos’ postseason path is narrow, but real. There’s no telling how getting that first win affects these Lions. Do they play loose and free, or relaxed and unfocused? More important, how spent are they after last week’s comeback win and a week fending off illness in the locker room? If the Lions are healthy enough up front, they should be able to run the ball. And red-zone stops will be key on the other side of the ball. But the Broncos need this one more. Broncos, 23-17 

Justin Rogers: All week, the Lions have battled the flu spreading through the roster. It’s limited the team’s ability to practice. It remains to be seen if the strategy to significantly reduce contact between players will only keep a few sidelined. The problem is the lack of preparation could wreak havoc on conditioning with this game played in the mile-high altitude of Denver. That might be too much for the team to sustain the good vibes coming off of last week’s victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Broncos 24, Lions 16

Bob Wojnowski: The Lions are on a high after their first victory and the Broncos are on a low, playoff hopes teetering at 6-6. But they can get high in a hurry in the Denver altitude with their top-level defense. QB Teddy Bridgewater has been erratic, but they can run with rookie Javonte Williams. The Lions are at least consistently competitive and Jared Goff has been much better since recovering from his oblique injury. He also might have found reliable targets in Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds. But the Wojo-trademarked up-down theory fits here — the Lions subconsciously take a sigh and the Broncos are desperate. Broncos, 26-13

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