Here are our predictions for the Green Bay Packers' game against the Detroit Lions
GREEN BAY – Our Packers coverage team predicts the outcome of Green Bay's game Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
The Detroit Lions are very much a reflection of their tough, gritty and passionate coach, Dan Campbell. They also have the NFL’s No. 4 scoring offense. But playing on what’s likely to be a slick Lambeau Field in January against a team that plays in a dome at home should work to the advantage of the Packers, who are on a roll and appear to be finding their identity on both sides of the ball at season’s end. The guess here is Aaron Rodgers and company put up enough points against the NFL’s No 30 scoring defense to prevail in this win-and-in-the-playoffs game. Packers 31, Lions 24
It's hard to imagine after all they went through to get to this point, the Packers aren't able to get over the final obstacle and into the playoffs. The Detroit Lions are tough and have an offense that clicks on all cylinders. But Joe Barry and his Packers defense have already held them to their second-worst output of the season, and this is on a Sunday night in January in Lambeau with a defense that has only improved since then. Jaire Alexander was the last person to pick off Jared Goff (he hasn't thrown an interception since Week 9) and the aggressiveness this defense has shown with the pass rush and secondary means Alexander could very easily bookend that streak for Goff. The Packers offense has seen Christian Watson emerge since the last game, and a run game that has benefited greatly from his downfield threat. This is going to be closer than the Vikings game but should still come out in the Packers' favor. Packers 21, Lions 17
Are the Packers really going to come this far and blow it in the final game of the season? They definitely could. The Lions offense isn't as built for indoor play as the Minnesota Vikings and their ability to play a physical grind-it-out game with their outstanding offensive line shouldn't be overlooked. The Lions need almost a miracle − the 5-11 Rams must beat the 8-8 Seahawks in Seattle − to make this a winner-take-all game, but they will be stoked regardless of the playoff possibilities. The Packers have won the past two meetings at Lambeau Field by 18 and 21 points, so homefield advantage matters. As well as Lions quarterback Jared Goff has played against the Packers during his career, defensive coordinator Joe Barry better have some wrinkles aimed at stopping him because he knows Barry's defense so well. Keeping him off the field with a good running performance would help a lot. Packers 31, Lions 21
Things stopped making sense in this Green Bay Packers season long ago. How a team that at one point lost five straight, its fifth coming in Detroit two months ago, and seven of eight overall in October and November can be on the cusp of making the playoffs defies logic. It is a remarkable turnaround, a testament to coach Matt LaFleur's ability to keep his team together, that the Packers didn't fold after that horrible loss in Detroit. The Lions used that win over the Packers to springboard their season. They've won seven of their past nine games, giving themselves a potential playoff shot if the Seahawks lose to the Rams on Sunday, but the Lions are not cooking like the Packers. Two weeks ago, they lost 37-23 against a bad Panthers team in Carolina. Simply put, too much has gone right for the Packers − starting with their improved play − to think this semi-miraculous run ends here with a home loss against the Lions. Packers 27, Lions 23