The Detroit Lions meet the Green Bay Packers to close out the 2014 regular season with the winner taking the NFC North and a first round bye while the loser hits the road for Wild Card weekend.
Can the Lions get their first road win over the Packers since 1991 and match the franchise high for wins in a regular season at 12? Here is what the SideLion Report staff sees for the game ahead.
With the First Pick
Alex Reno – It’s been 23 years since Detroit has won won in Lambeau, and this might be their best chance yet at ending the losing streak. Since the Lions’ victory over the Packers earlier in the year, it seems like the two teams have moved in opposite directions. The Packers may be the hottest team in the NFL right now, while the Lions have been squeaking out close victories over mediocre competition. Green Bay is just too good at home, and for that reason, I just don’t see us sweeping the Packers this year. The Lions miss out on an NFC North title along with home field advantage, but they still make the playoffs. Final score, Packers 27, Lions 17.
Max DeMara – The Lions handled the Packers earlier this season, but plenty has changed since then for both teams. Detroit just can’t seem to win at Lambeau Field historically, which makes this an uphill battle. The Lions are a game foe until the end, but Green Bay pulls out the division with some late heroics, sending Detroit on the road for the playoffs. Green Bay 24, Detroit 17
Braden Shackelford – The Lions haven’t won in Green Bay in 23 years. Needless to say, there is a generation of Lions fans that would really like to see their favorite team beat the Packers in Lambeau Field for the first time in their lives. With the streak lasting as long as it has it’s hard to pick against the Packers at home, even though this is probably the best Lions’ team during that span.
I told myself I would pick the Packers to every time they play the Lions at home until the Lions buck the trend, but there is just something special about this Lions team that I can’t ignore. I’ll go with my gut and ignore the stats: Lions win 24-23.
Darin Ackerman – This week’s match up between the Lions and the Packers at Lambeau Field for the NFC North crown and a bye in the the playoffs has the chance to be an epic battle. Detroit hasn’t won in Green Bay since December 15, 1991, and unfortunately for the Lions, it doesn’t look to hopeful for them to break the losing streak.
Detroit’s defense continues to impress and the Lions’ offense continues to leave fans wanting. The Packers rank seventh in passing yards per game (269.1) and 11th in rushing yards per game (117.7). While the Lions’ front four should be able to put a cap on Lacy’s production, the secondary will be overmatched against the three-step drop passing game.
On paper Stafford has an all-star arsenal, but somehow he still barely manages to get it done each week. Consistency and avoiding turnovers will be key for the passing game if the Lions want to have a shot at a “W”. With Bell’s Achilles acting up, look for Bush to be the main man on the ground against a Packers defense that can be run on.
In a neutral location, I’d probably flip a coin. However, a win on the road at Lambeau will continue to be out of reach. Prediction: Green Bay 28, Detroit 17
Kent Platte – Toughest prediction of the season. The Lions defense gave Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, and Randall Cobb fits in their last meeting. I have no doubts that the Lions can keep one of the top scoring offenses out of the end zone, despite playing in Lambeau.
On the other hand, the Lions offense hasn’t improved since week 3 and there aren’t really any new wrinkles to pit against the Packers defense. I’d place my bets on a low scoring affair with the Packers coming out on top 13-9. The x-factor here will be the match up between Calvin Johnson and whoever they put on him now that Davon House is out. House gave Calvin a hard time in their last match up, so his absence could very well break the game open in the Lions favor.
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Zac Snyder – Talk of the streak is unavoidable but the truth is that today’s game is about the 2014 Lions vs. the 2014 Packers. These two teams met earlier in the year with the Lions defense frustrating the Packers offense. In fact, the Lions defense accounted for more points (9) than the Packers offense (7) on the day.
The Lions defense has shown their ability to match up with the Packers offense and similar results by the Seahawks and Bills defenses have shown that the Lions’ success was about personnel and game plan rather than just catching the Packers on the right day. The trick will be doing it at Lambeau where the Packers are unbeaten this season. I want it to happen, I think it can happen, but I don’t think it will happen. Packers 23, Lions 17.
You’ve heard our predictions, now give us yours by leaving a comment below.