On Sunday Night Football, the Packer will take on the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The NFC North title is still up for grabs and whichever team wins becomes the champ. The Lions (9-6) and Packers (9-6) are two of the three teams (Washington being the third) vying for two playoff spots. The winner of this game is in the playoffs with the loser potentially missing the playoffs entirely. This NFC North showdown for the division title kicks off at 8:30 PM. ET.
The Lions and the Packers have both traveled strange roads to get to this point. Through the first four weeks of the season, the Lions were a 1-3 and looked inept. Then, Detroit went on a tear. They won eight of their next nine games, and looked in control of their destiny.
The Lions were cruising until back to back losses in week 15 and 16, which have them on the ropes. The loss in week 15 hurt, but the loss to the Cowboys on Monday Night Football in week 16 was a titanic meltdown. Now, the Lions must face their arch rivals in a must win game. Sure, the Lions can still make the playoffs if they lose, but they’ll need help.
The Packers road to this game is just as strange. By week 10, the Packers looked dead as a doornail. Their record was a putrid 4-6 and they were coming off four straight embarrassing losses. Then, after a particularly atrocious loss to the Redskins, Aaron Rodgers declared that Green Bay would run the table. Sure enough, the Packers have rattled off five straight victories and are now on the doorsteps of the NFC playoffs. They’re perhaps the most unlikely dark horse team to emerge this season, but when a team has an MVP caliber quarterback should anything really surprise fans?
On the season, Rodgers has 36 touchdowns to only seven interceptions. Last week against the Vikings, Rodgers shredded the Minnesota defense, passing for 347 yards and four touchdowns on the day. The Packers’ passing attack ranks 8th in terms of yards per game according to NFL Stats. For comparison, Detroit ranks 14th in passing yards per game and 17thin passing touchdowns this season.
Green Bay may have the advantage offensively, but their defense leaves a lot to desire. The Packers rank 22nd in points allowed per game, and 29th in passing yards allowed per game according to NFL Stats. Those defensive number are troublesome for a team looking to make a deep playoff run. In a shootout, the Packers may hold their own, but in a close game that’s more defense oriented, the Packers will struggle.
Detroit’s pass defense is only marginally better than Green Bay. The Lions rank 16th in terms of yards per game. Last week against Dallas, the Lions’ defense was unable to stop the Cowboys receivers from getting into the end zone. Dallas found the end zone four times through the air and twice on the ground. If the Lions have any hope of pulling off the upset, then they’ll need to get after Rodgers and force him to get rid of the ball early.
Lions Vs Packers Betting Lines
BetOnline.ag has the Packers favored to win the game by 3 points. The over/under on total points scored is 49.5. You can read our full BetOnline review here.
After an entire season of play, it all comes down to this; one game to decide who’s the NFC North Champion. The Lions have played far above their talent level this season. It’s hard to imagine that Detroit will stop a surging Aaron Rodgers in the mist of an MVP caliber season. While the Packers are anything but a dominant team, their passing attack is hard to defend when everything clicking. With Rodgers throwing to a healthy Jordy Nelson at receiver, the Lions are in for a long day. Expect a high scoring game with the Packers winning the NFC North.
Play: Packers -3 @ BetOnline.ag
2016 Sunday Night Football Pick • Lions • NFL Sunday Night Football Betting Pick • Packers