Detroit News predictions: Lions vs. Washington

The Detroit News

James Hawkins, Justin Rogers, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski predict the outcome of Sunday's Detroit-Washington game.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford will need to be at his best for the Lions to beat Washington.

James Hawkins: Matthew Stafford has put the Lions on his back and carried them to victory the past two weeks, but he needs help. The defense has been able to come up with a couple crucial stops here and there but has otherwise been shredded. That recipe for success won’t be sustainable with former Spartans QB Kirk Cousins and Washington entering town on a roll. Washington 27-21

Justin Rogers: This game could have a familiar feel to last weekend’s barn burner at Ford Field, where both offenses consistently put together lengthy scoring drives. Both defenses struggle on third down and Kirk Cousins is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the game, a nightmare matchup for a struggling back seven. Matthew Stafford will need to be near perfect, which is a lot to ask two weeks in a row. Washington 31-27

Lions vs. Washington preview: Rein in Cousins

John Niyo: The Lions offense — as good as it looked against the Rams — can’t cover for the defense like that every week. Last week, it looked a lot like one of those units current Washington coordinator Joe Barry coached here. And if they can’t coax a couple turnovers out of Kirk Cousins, Detroit might have similar issues. Washington 28-24

Bob Wojnowski: Washington is a surprising 4-2, partly because of defense and partly because of QB Kirk Cousins. If the Lions want people to believe they’re legitimately turning around their season, this is a game they have to win. Cousins is still prone to the occasional big interception, and as poorly as the Lions defense has performed, it has come up with big plays. With Matthew Stafford on a roll, the Lions pull it out in the fourth quarter again. Detroit 26-21