Week 16: Dec. 24 at Carolina Panthers
If this prediction comes true, the Lions would be coming in at 5-9 to face the Panthers, who have had a weird season. Carolina has started three different quarterbacks this season, they traded their star running back and fired their head coach. Despite this, the Panthers have been playing well as of late and have been finding ways to be competitive thanks to a defense that is giving up just over nine points per game over their last three contests entering Week 13.
Despite this game being in Carolina, the Lions have the upper hand. There is a distinct gap between the talent on the offensive side of the ball for these two teams and the Panthers have a terrible run defense that will allow Jamal Williams and D’Andre Swift to have a field day. On top of this, the Lions will most likely be coming off of two losses to playoff contenders so they will be looking for a way to get back on track.
Final Score Prediction: Lions 24, Panthers 13
Subplot to watch: Both quarterbacks, Sam Darnold and Jared Goff, are trying to prove they deserve to stick around for another year with their team.
Week 17: Jan. 1 vs. Chicago Bears
This will also be the second and final matchup between these division opponents for the year with the Lions winning the previous matchup 31-30. Both of these teams have seemed to find some cornerstone players for their teams this year. For the Bears, Justin Fields appears to be the franchise quarterback they have been after for so long. For the Lions, Aidan Hutchinson and Amon-Ra St. Brown appear to be building blocks for the Lions on each side of the ball.
The outcome of this game is going to largely depend on the health of Fields. He is currently dealing with a shoulder injury that may sideline him another game this week. There is no guarantee he will be healthy for this game, and there’s a chance he gets shut down if his recovery does not progress. Regardless, the Lions have better playmakers and more talent on the roster than the Bears do. With this game being at Ford Field, the edge goes to the Lions here in a tight one.
Final Score Prediction: Lions 27, Bears 23
Subplot to watch: Can Equanimeous St. Brown (Chicago) outduel his brother Amon-Ra St. Brown (Detroit) in this game?