SideLion Report: Week 17 Picks

Dec 3, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Packers win 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 3, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Packers win 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Week 17: The NFC North Showdown is Finally Here!

Sep 25, 2016 Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate (15) following the game at Lambeau Field. Green Bay. won 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Since Detroit was 6-4 and the Packers were 4-6, all anyone has been saying is that the NFC North was going to come down this Week 17 game at Ford Field. Well, here we are and that’s exactly what happened. The Packers won 5-straight and the Lions went 3-2.

There’s definite pressure on Detroit, but what team wouldn’t want to play a home game for the division in the final week of the season? I can think of a couple. And that would include Detroit most years. Without further ado, here is what our writing staff had to say about Lions-Packers and one other game from around the NFL for our Week 17 picks.

Al Stahl (9-9)

Detroit Lions-38, Green Bay Packers-13.

Screw it. I’m going all in. Lions gonna route the Pack and Aaron Rodgers is going to miss the playoffs and give the shortest, curtest interview since Cam Newton’s post-Super Bowl pout session. For those counting at home, that means I’m giving you a*BONUS PICK*: Washington beats New York to get in as the 6 seed.

Stafford shows out, hitting Boldin, Tate and Marvin Jones for touchdowns while Zenner finds the end zone at least once more this season. The announcers will still call the game as if Aaron Rodgers has a chance to mount a comeback with 2 minutes left, down four scores. No one will care because we’ll all be so damn happy the Lions finally stuck it to the Packers, and at home to boot.

I’ll also be placing a nice sized wager on the Packers to win the money line. Gotta hedge your bets baby!

Atlanta Falcons-45, New Orleans Saints-22.

The Saints have nothing to play for but division pride. They are currently 2-3 in their NFC South matchups, having split with Carolina and Tampa Bay. If this game were in New Orleans, I’d consider going with Brees here. Instead, Atlanta has a chance to clinch a bye and secure the 2 seed with a win at home.

That’s what I think happens. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones stride into the playoffs in perfect sync while Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combine for another 200 yards from scrimmage, a mark they topped last week against Carolina.

The Falcons enter the postseason as sudden favorites to make the NFC Championship game.

-Follow Al @LethalSax

Matt Urben (8-10)

Detroit Lions-31, Green Bay Packers-27.

The Packers are mighty good upon further inspection. They rank 8th in offensive points per game and 23rd in defensive yards allowed. If you look at their 5-game winning streak they’ve been a completely different team. So the Lions shouldn’t even play the game right?

Unfortunately for all you “Same Old Lions” people waiting to pounce, I don’t think this team lays down as everyone seems to be predicting. Aaron Rodgers is going to throw a couple of TD passes, but I think Detroit matches every time and comes up with a big defensive stop in the fourth. I can’t help but feel as if  the Redskins will lose, though, and both teams get in the Playoffs.

Indianapolis Colts-28, Jacksonville Jaguars-20.

After a disappointing year in which they have both already been eliminated from the Playoffs, these teams have nothing to play for except pride. Andrew Luck didn’t quite break into the elite conversation as we all assumed he would. Jags QB Blake Bortles also needs to show the future coaching staff that he is a guy who you can build around.

I wouldn’t give up on Bortles yet, but I think Andrew Luck thoroughly outplays him in this one. Luck will throw four TD passes and the Colts will have big questions to answer after an 8-8 season. It will be another down year for the AFC South, regardless of how this one game turns out.

– Follow Matt @MattUrben88

Ty Finch (4-12)

Detroit Lions-28, Green Bay Packers-27.

In the past, during these mini-previews and predictions, I have tried to provide statistical analysis that would help determine the outcome of a given game. While the stats have been correct, my assessments of them have usually not.I’m throwing it all out the window for this one. The Detroit Lions have a chance to win their first NFC North division title ever.

The Packers have been to the playoffs every year since the dawn of time. They have been a thorn in the side of this Lions franchises since the 1800’s (factually correct). It can all end for a brief moment on Sunday Night Football, the memories of Matt Flynn carving out a career for himself because of one game on New Years. The devastation of not winning a game in Lambeau Field for 25 years. The memories of Aaron Rodgers throwing a game-winning Hai…a game-winning what?

Pretty sure that never happened. So who cares that the Packers are on a damn roll in their last five games. Who cares that Aaron Rodgers has a 70% completion rate, 14 touchdowns, and no interceptions in his last six games, and that the Lions defense hasn’t forced a turnover in three. Who cares that every single analyst in the world is picking Green Bay to win. The Lions have one game to put all of that behind them. JUST. WIN.

As a side note, go Washington, because I don’t really believe anything I just said.

Kansas City Chiefs-30, San Diego Chargers-17.

The Chargers are very unique. They are one of only 10 teams in the history of the National Football League to have lost to a 1-win team. The Detroit Lions also share this prestigious honor from 2009, where they lost to the St. Louis Rams in week 8. The Chargers also have nothing to play for anymore. This game could end up being a blowout.

The Chiefs have suddenly found themselves filled with offensive talent and explosiveness to go with their defensive prowess. They could be a scary team to face in the AFC playoffs. This game is just something to get through for Kansas City.

– Follow Ty @Finchty

Jack Ozark (9-7)

Detroit Lions-27, Green Bay Packers-24.

It’s finally here. We knew before the season this game was going to be big, but most thought that it was going to be for bragging rights, not to punch a playoff ticket. I’m scared. I’m really scared about this one. Aaron Rodgers is doing his thing again and only making me hate the Packers that much more every day because of it. And luckily Detroit is at home, because if this were at Lambeau I think it would be a blowout in their favor.

Still, I somehow have some hope. Just like everybody else that has watched this team every week and believed they would win the game until the clock showed all zeros. They don’t make sense. I don’t want them to make sense. I love this team. They win ugly games, they don’t do anything for most of the game and show up at the end. They are just exciting. And because of that, the fact the Ford Field is going to be shaking and since the Lions want to bury that Hail Mary from last year and the Packers playoff chances, I’m going with the boys in Honolulu Blue.

Pittsburgh Steelers-28, Cleveland Browns-17.

The Browns saved themselves from history last week and are looking to end start 2017 undefeated. Their opponent, the Steelers, are a lock for the three seed in the AFC, so they should be playing only for stats and to keep their stars in the motion. If this game were a middle of the season matchup it would be a blowout, but it could actually be closer in this final week.

The most fun to be had here is watching what could be the final start of RGIII’s career. For a career that looked to be amazing in his first year, the guy has really fallen off. It’s sad, but I hope to see him come out and do some of the magic he did before his career plummeted. Actually, who knows. It’s the Browns, and if RGIII plays that well they might actually pull a Bears and trick themselves into thinking he can be their quarterback of the future. Still, the Steelers are home, and their B team can beat the Browns at home. I’ll always love you RGIII, come be a Lions backup anytime.

– Follow Jack @J_zark

Jacob Slocum (0-1)

Green Bay Packers-27, Detroit Lions-23.

With the high point of the last two weeks for the Lions being Larry Warford getting named as a finalist for the Polynesian Football Hall Of Fame, things are only going to get worse before they get better. Green Bay has been in a real groove over the last week and if you remove the first half of last week, Detroit has scored only 6 points in those 6 quarters. While I do believe they make the Wild Card, the Lions first NFC North title evades them for another year.

Buffalo Bills-6, New York Jets-3.

One of the most meaningless games being played this week, it should be just as exciting as the projection indicates. After sending the Ryan twins packing, acting coach Anthony Lynn named EJ Manuel the starter this week. While that is more cause for concern than celebration for Bills fans, the Jets have served as almost a second bye week for most teams this year. For those who watch the Red Zone Channel, don’t expect to watch any of this game I am affectionately calling this years’ Dumpster Fire Throwdown.

-Follow Jake @thebigslowdogg


Andria Dolan (0-0)

Detroit Lions-31, Green Bay Packers-26.

Packers vs Lions – don’t expect the Lions to go out like lambs as they bring their biggest guns still available against playoff staple Green Bay. Two teams that peak in opposite halves, the late bloomers take this one.

Miami Dolphins-23, New England Patriots-20.

This game will see a lot of sitting, mostly by current AFC top seed New England. Maybe a little too much to keep the game in check, especially considering the Dolphins’ trend of keeping games close enough to push into overtime, or make everyone hold their breath to last 4 seconds. Going for 11 wins is new to them, and they like it.

-Follow Andria @Fandria7

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