Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers: SLR Staff Predictions

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Nov 10, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) gives the ball to a fan after the Lions beat the Bears 21-19 at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Detroit Lions keep the good times rolling against the Pittsburgh Steelers? Here is what the SideLion Report staff sees for the game ahead.

Matt Pelc – It’s hard to imagine the Lions potentially having a “letdown” game against a storied team like the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it’s possible. Beating a bitter rival, which clinched a rare season sweep, and grabbing first place last week means nothing if the Lions lose a winnable game in Pittsburgh. I’ll repeat that, a winnable game in Pittsburgh, that’s nothing something the Lions, or most other teams, can say heading into Heinz Field.

While this game is not truly a must win as it is a road game and not against an NFC foe (i.e. playoff implications), the clearest path to the first division title and home playoff game in two decades is to win those winnable games left on the schedule. It starts Sunday — Lions 20, Steelers 10

Zac Snyder – I didn’t expect the Lions to head to Pittsburgh as favorites when the season began but that is now reality. Expectations are high for the Lions and winning in Pittsburgh is a step towards living up to them. The Lions talked about not being satisfied with moving into sole possession of first place with last week’s win and now they need to prove those were more than words. I think they will, 26-20 Lions.

Justin Simon – This is the Steelers last shot for any hope of making it to the postseason. After starting 0-4 they’ve somehow managed to get back in race, albeit they’re on the outside looking in. The Lions, on the other hand, are in total control of their destiny. After completing the season sweep of the Chicago Bears last week, they’ll hit the road again and try to widen their gap atop the NFC North.

I think this game is all about the trenches–a battle I fully expect the Lions to win on both sides of the ball. The Lions proved last week that they can drain clock with the run game when they need to late in games. And even with a high-octane passing game, I think this is the key to the Lions winning on the road. Lions 24, Steelers 21

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