Nate VanNorwick: The Lions travel to the Big Easy this weekend to face the Saints and with their playoff hopes on life support. The Lions hope to get back to their winning (non-glove) ways, but it seems the Lions are too distracted, too immature and too hurt to throw up much of a challenge to the Saints. Saints 37, Lions 24
Chris Czar: Unfortunately, the Lions don’t seem to be quite ready to compete against elite offensive teams. After playing an excellent first 30 minutes against the Packers on Thanksgiving, they somehow found themselves down 7-0 at the half. When they played worse in the second half, the game quickly got out of hand. In order for the Lions to be competitive in this one they’re going to need Kevin Smith to play like he did against the Panthers and early against the Packers. His injury, being in a hostile environment and Stafford’s erratic play doesn’t make this likely. Drew Brees will have a monster game unless the Lions can control the ball and get to Brees quickly. I feel an epic blowout coming in this one. The Lions will still make a run at the playoffs, but with likely no Suh and the injuries in the secondary, that run won’t start here. Saints 42, Lions 13
Marty Medvedik: For the first time this year I’m NOT predicting the Lions to win. It’s not to say that I don’t think that they stand a good chance of winning the game because I do think they will be in it to the end. It’s safe to say that the absence of one Ndamukong Suh will hurt the Lions, but MAYBE the door opens for one Nick Fairly. Fairly has been patiently waiting in the wings all year for this chance and he must make the most of it for the Lions to win. I like the Lions being a significant underdog in this game. At this juncture of their growth it suits them better. The gloves are off for Matthew Stafford and hopefully so are the interceptions. I see this as whoever has the ball last wins it. Saints – 35 Lions – 31
Ross Husson: This is a must-win game for the Lions. To make it even more intense, the game will be on primetime national television. Drew Brees and the Saints are great on the offensive side of the ball. However, I think the defense knows how big of a game this is and step up without Suh. Also, Calvin Johnson has been relatively quiet in recent weeks, but I think he’ll have a big game. Lions pick up a huge win, 24-17.
Zac Snyder: I really think the Lions need to win the turnover battle, probably with a margin of at least plus two, to win this game. The Lions have the offensive potential to hang with the Saints but not if they turn the ball over whereas turning over the Saints not only ends a Saints drive with zero points but likely puts the Lions offense in good field position. If both teams play a “clean” game I don’t think the Lions will be able to win. They’ll need to be mistake free and hope the Saints don’t come out as efficient as they normally look at home. Saints 30, Lions 20