Predictions: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers

Detroit News

▶ Nolan Bianchi: Given how the Lions have fought their way back into this playoff picture, there is no reason to count them out heading into this game on Sunday night (besides maybe 60-plus years of history). The Packers are a good story in their own right, and there are plenty of on-field reasons to pick one team or the other, but one has to wonder whether Dan Campbell’s savviness is being underestimated in this spot. In a normal primetime game between the Lions and Packers at Lambeau Field, sure, take the Packers. But this game means absolutely everything to the Lions, playoffs on the line or not, and you can be certain that Campbell, special teams coordinator Dave Fipp and and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will all have a few tricks up their sleeve to keep the dream alive. Pick: Lions, 24-23

▶ John Niyo: It’s a shame this one isn’t guaranteed to be winner-take-all for a playoff berth. But two of the hottest teams in the NFC will play for something in primetime, regardless, and Dan Campbell’s crew will be game no matter what happens before kickoff. The Lions’ revived rushing attack should set them up for success at Lambeau, especially if D’Andre Swift can provide another spark like he did last week against the Bears. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jared Goff and the offense get off to the kind of fast start they did a year ago at Lambeau. But I don’t trust Detroit’s young, mistake-prone defense to hold up in this spot, or this spotlight. The Packers’ offensive line is healthy now, and Aaron Rodgers, who finally seems to have a connection with his young receiving corps, knows how to exploit man coverage. Pick: Packers, 31-24

More:Scouting report: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers

▶ Justin Rogers: Will the Lions be able to rise to the occasion, against a foe far more familiar with these big moments, or will the young roster wilt under the bright lights at Lambeau Field? There’s no way to really know since this is foreign territory for most of the roster, given the Lions haven’t entered a season finale with these kinds of stakes in more than five years. What we know about this team is they thrive amidst adversity and have responded every time they’ve been knocked down this season. The key will be continuing to protect the football against a defense that’s been racking up the turnovers during a four-game winning streak. If Jared Goff can keep his lengthy streak without an interception intact, the Lions have an opportunity to show they’ve truly turned a corner with their rebuild and are ready to contend for division titles and postseason victories, whether or not they get into the playoffs this season. Pick: Lions 23-20

▶ Bob Wojnowski: Green Bay has risen from the ashes of 4-8 to 8-8, but it hasn’t been all Aaron Rodgers. The running game with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon has cranked up and the defense has played better. It’s up to the Lions to make sure this doesn’t turn into a national-TV Packers playoff party. Dan Campbell has executed a stirring turnaround from 1-6 to 8-8, and a victory in Lambeau, the franchise’s personal House of Horrors, would be huge. The Lions need help from Seattle for a chance at the playoffs, but even if it’s just a chance to squash the Packers’ hopes, that’s sufficient. Jared Goff has been terrific, with 15 TD passes and zero interceptions the past eight games. The young pass-rushers — James Houston, Aidan Hutchinson, etc. — will keep Rodgers on his tippy-toes. Unfortunately for the Lions, Rodgers is still capable of throwing and running on his tippy-toes. Pick: Packers 27-24

Articles You May Like

Open thread: What position should Netflix feature in their next football reality series?
Lions camp preview: EDGE has many questions but also potential answers
Video: Previewing the Lions defensive tackle position ahead of training camp
Open thread: What is your all-time favorite Calvin Johnson moment?
What a trade for 49ers receiver Brandon Aiyuk would cost the Lions and why it’s not crazy to think it could happen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *