The Detroit Jock City staff gives their takes on what they think will happen when the Detroit Lions take on the Green Bay Packers in week 17.
With the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers set for a winner-take-division showdown to close out the 2016 regular season, we make our game picks and predictions.
Colton Wesley (9-6) – The Lions’ patchwork secondary will likely be missing Darius Slay once again as they face Aaron Rodgers and one of the best wide receiver groups in the NFL. Coupled with an inconsistent pass rush, there is little reason to think Detroit will be able to stop Rodgers and the Packers from lighting them up
Matthew Stafford needs to shake off back-to-back games without a touchdown pass in order for the Lions offense to get back on track and keep pace with the Packers, especially considering the lack of playmakers in the ground game.
The Packers are playing well, led by one of the league’s best quarterbacks, coming into a game that will decide a division title. The Lions are dealing with a bevy of injuries and are on a two-game losing streak.
The Lions have been finding ways to win all season. Besides, they’re at home. They’ve got one more in them. Lions win, 24-23.
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Erik Schlitt (8-7) – Your Detroit Lions are playing meaningful football in January.
That isn’t a phrase we get to utter often, but he we are, playing against the spectacularly hated Green Bay Packers in the final game of the 2016 regular season. The Packers are rolling, winning their last five games, but they are 3-4 on the road this season, while Detroit hasn’t lost a home game since week two. I expect the home crowd to get involved early and if the Lions can capitalize on the atmosphere, this is a winnable game.
My three keys to victory this week are:
1) Win the turnover battle. In the last three games the Packers haven’t turned the ball over, yet have 12 takeaways. The Lions have six turnovers and zero takeaways. This has to change, and quickly, if the Lions hope to have a chance tonight.
2) Hold them to field goals. The Packers have score over 30 points in the last three weeks. The Lions have only scored over 30 points, twice this season. The Lions defense needs to keep this from becoming a shootout, by bending but not breaking.
3) Play 60 minutes. While the Packers offense has been productive, their defense has let opponents back in the game after early leads. If the Packers get a lead tonight, Detroit needs to stay calm, execute, and keep it close, because I believe there’s still some late game magic left in Stafford’s tank.
Pour me a big glass of Honolulu Blue Kool-Aid, because I think this team gets it done. Lions 27, Packers 23
Zac Snyder (8-7) – I have been dreading the thought of the Detroit Lions’ division chances coming down to week 17 for the last several weeks. Here we are and the Lions and Green Bay Packers look like teams heading in the opposite direction. No one is playing better than Aaron Rodgers and the Lions battle injuries in their secondary.
Outside of one good half against the Dallas Cowboys, the Lions offense has lacked rhythm and the production has suffered mightily. There should be opportunities to move the ball and score points on the Packers defense but I’m not as confident in the Lions’ ability to slow down the Packers offense. Packers 26, Lions 24
Matt Pelc (7-8) – Everything appears to be on the Green Bay Packers side in today’s NFC North Championship game. Yet Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have historically struggled playing indoors, including Ford Field. Aside from the infamous phantom facemask, the Detroit Lions had beaten them by a combined score of 59 to 17 in the previous two contests. Without the referee’s gift, and dumb coaching on the Hail Mary play, the Lions would be riding into this game on a three-game home winning streak over Green Bay.
About a month ago, I wrote that the Lions controlled their own destiny for their first division title in 23 years. Despite being kicked around in the second half in Dallas, and playing awful in New Jersey the week before, they still control their own destiny.
In that article, I stated that as long as the Lions won all of their home games the rest of the way (which they have), and won just one of those tough three road games in New Orleans, New York, or Dallas (which they did), they’d be NFC North Champions for the first time ever.
They’re 6-1 at home this year, and I’m not going to back off my prediction. In an homage to the score of the last division title won at home in Week 17, also against the hated Green Bay Packers in 1993: Lions 30, Packers 20.
Matt Snyder (6-9) – It all comes down to this: Lions vs. Packers for all of the NFC North’s proverbial marbles. The Lions have never won the North — their last divisional championship was in 1993 when they were in the central — but that (less than) fun fact dies today. I promised playoffs and by gum we’re getting playoffs. Lions 24, Packers 21