Shack and The Hack's NFC North Predictions: Week 14

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Oct 14, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes the ball during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Lions defeated the Eagles 26-23 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The season may be drawing closer and closer to the finish, but there is still a lot of football left to decide the NFC North. The Lions take on perhaps their toughest remaining opponent while the Bears and Packers fend for their playoff lives. A loss to either team could dash any hope either team has left at making the playoffs. Oh and then there’s the Vikings that are flirting with a top five or ten pick.

Let’s get this thing started.

Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Shack: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles- Both teams feature top flight offenses, but this game will be decided by turnovers. The Lions have been horrendous the last three weeks in that department.

If they can win that battle they can win. However, that isn’t the only area I’m focused on this game. I’m really interested in seeing how the Lions defense contain the Eagles speed. DeSean Jackson is one of the fastest players in the NFL and should give Detroit’s secondary a run for their money unless the defensive line can apply constant pressure just as they did last week against the Packers. Speaking of the defensive line, can they contain LeSean McCoy?

The defense hasn’t allowed a 100 yard rusher all year, but they also haven’t played a running back with so much speed and explosiveness. The Lions may be able to contain if for the most part, but I’m fearful that even with the best scheme and pursuit that McCoy will make a few moves and find a way to break a long run. If McCoy gets some of those big plays in the running game the Eagles stellar passing game will just be that much harder to contain. The Lions will need their best game of the season to beat Philadelphia and they haven’t played a complete game yet.

Eagles win 31-27

The Hack: Two division-leading 7-5 teams meeting in December is always a game worth seeing, I’m just not used to the Lions being one of the participants.  Who is this Nick Foles and how is he dominating the league with no interceptions? There are some match-ups that will determine the outcome of the game.  Like: the leagues second leading rusher LeSean McCoy against one of one of the best rush defenses in the Lion’s front seven.  That same front four trying to force Foles into his first mistake of the year.  How fast the Eagles offense really is and can they run the Lions defense out of the gym? And,The Lions against Mother Nature; if they want to win in the playoffs they have to learn how to win these bad weather games.

This game will likely chart the course for the Detroit Lions in their December push for the division crown. This is a big one with an awful lot riding on the line. Lions 38, Eagles 35

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