Green Bay Packers (9-6) at Detroit Lions (9-6), Sunday Jan. 1, 8:30 PM ET
Line: Lions +3
It’s the last week of the NFL regular season. That means no Thursday Night Football and no Monday Night Football. There’s only one primetime game, but it’s a doozy. The Packers are taking on the Lions with a lot on the line. The winner takes the NFC North crown. The loser will probably miss the playoffs. For the Lions, it’d be their first division title in over 20 years. For the Packers, it’d be business as usual, but it’d also complete a major in-season turnaround.
The Packers have now won five games in a row. The Lions, meanwhile, have lost two in a row. These are teams going in opposite directions, it would seem. Overall, the numbers on the season clearly favor Green Bay as well. The Packers are a top five team in DVOA, while the Lions are in the bottom five. Detroit’s also been snakebit by injuries the last couple of weeks. While the delightfully named Zach Zenner had some good runs against the Cowboys last week, the Lions need Theo Riddick in their running game. They also definitely need Darius Slay in their secondary. Without him, Jordy Nelson could have a field day against the Lions’ secondary.
Earlier this year, Detroit lost to Green Bay by a score of 34-27, which flatters the Lions a bit. However, that was in Lambeau Field. The Lions are at home here. Detroit is 6-1 at home, while the Packers are 3-4 on the road. Just because Green Bay has been on fire and the Lions have scuffled a bit doesn’t guarantee what will happen in Week 17. However, when you look at the overall performance of these two teams, you’ve got to like Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s chances.
Prediction: Packers 24, Lions 21