Detroit News predictions: Lions vs. Packers
James Hawkins, Justin Rogers, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News offer their predictions for Sunday’s Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers game at Ford Field (8:30 p.m., NBC, WJR 760).
James Hawkins: All that stands between the Lions, their first NFC North title and a guaranteed playoff spot is the red-hot Packers. While Detroit has home-field advantage and hasn’t lost at Ford Field since September, Green Bay has the benefit of extra rest, a healthier Aaron Rodgers and an offense that has been on an absolute tear. Packers 28-20
Justin Rogers: If you believe momentum is a real thing in sports, Green Bay has all of it coming into the finale. They've won five straight since quarterback Aaron Rodgers vowed the team would run the table, while Detroit choked away a two-game lead in the division with double-digit losses to New York and Dallas. It helps that this game is at Ford Field, but I just can't convince myself the Lions have enough in the tank to stem the tide. Packers 27-23
John Niyo: Aaron Rodgers is playing like a league MVP, and he has tortured the Lions throughout his career. So another cruel twist of the knife wouldn't be a surprise here. But with a rowdy home crowd and so much on the line, the Lions still have some intangibles on their side. And if they can grab an early lead -- something they've done a good job of at home all season -- the home-field advantage really can play a factor. Lions 27-21
Bob Wojnowski: It’s not the ideal situation, trying to smite Aaron Rodgers and the ghosts of Packers Past, but the Lions can ride the Ford Field atmosphere to an early edge. After that, it gets a whole lot tougher, and unless Darius Slay is back, the secondary is at a severe disadvantage. Matthew Stafford’s injured finger is an issue, but the bigger problem is the absence of a running game. After a 9-4 start, the depleted Lions will stagger to an anguished finish. Packers 31-21