Week 17: at Dallas Cowboys (Saturday, Dec. 30)
The Lions had the Cowboys on the ropes on the road last year, as they carried a lead into halftime before being outscored 21-0 in the second half. But five turnovers, four in the second half, were too much to overcome.
Another trip to Arlington comes here, and the Cowboys are still one of the more sheerly talented teams in the NFC and really the entire league. The Lions go home with a loss in their fourth prime time game of the season, however narrowly.
Prediction: Cowboys 27, Lions 21 (10-6)
Week 18: vs. Minnesota Vikings (TBD)
The Lions finish the season at home, playing the Vikings for the second time in three weeks in a unique schedule quirk. This game could be for the division title/playoff positioning, or it may mean something for one team and not the other. It’s unlikely to mean nothing for both teams.
Are the Lions playing for something in Week 18? Sealing up their first division title since 1993 with a win? A win to boost their playoff seed/dictate a Wild Card matchup? I say they are. A season sweep of the Vikings locks up the NFC North title (if it’s in doubt) and a home playoff game is coming to Detroit.
Prediction: Lions 24, Vikings 20 (11-6)