LOOK: 2017 Detroit Lions final game-by-game predictions revealed

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NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Dec 11, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) runs onto the field with teammates prior to their game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we made it. The final preseason games have been played and we are now just days away from the kickoff to yet another NFL season.

After blowing the NFC North in the final week of the 2016 season and backing their way into the playoffs, the Detroit Lions will be looking to take the next step towards actually making it to their first Super Bowl in team history.

Of course, that is much easier said than done, especially when the Motor City Kitties have not even won a division title since 1993.

I truly do believe the Lions are a better team than they were a year ago but that does not necessarily mean they will win more games. That is due to the fact their schedule is more difficult than it was in 2016. If the Lions want to challenge the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North Championship, they will have to come and play each and every week. They will have to beat the teams they are supposed to and pull out a couple of wins that most don’t give them much chance of winning.

In this piece, I will be giving a short blurb about each game and then predict a winner. Obviously, a ton can change with injuries, etc., so breaking down the games in detail would be foolish, but it’s always fun to take a stab at how the Lions will do in a given season.

First, an overview of the 2017 schedule.

 

Week 1 – vs. Arizona Cardinals

“Smart” talk

The Arizona Cardinals may have been 5-8-1 heading into the final two weeks of the 2016 season, but they finished strong by winning both of those games to finish 7-8-1. Despite their record, the Cardinals ended the season with the fourth-highest point differential in the NFC, which indicates they may have better than their record indicates.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

Do you really think the Detroit Lions are going to lose their first game while wearing their amazing new uniforms? HELL NO!!! The fans will be pumped, the Lions players will be pumped, and this one will get all of our hopes up.

DETROIT 24  ARIZONA 20


Week 2 – @New York Giants (Monday Night)

“Smart” talk

In 2016, when the Detroit Lions traveled to MetLife Stadium in Week 15 to take on the Giants, it ended up being the beginning of a 3-game losing streak to end the season. The New York Football Giants went on to finish 11-5 while the Lions blew the NFC North, finishing 9-7 before losing to the Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

There is no question in my mind that the Lions will score more than the six points they were able to put up last season when the Giants beat them 17-6. That being said, the Giants will dominate on Monday Night Football and Eli Manning will then sell off 11 game-worn jerseys from the big win.

NEW YORK 20 DETROIT 13 (Told ya they would score more than 6!)


Week 3 – vs. Atlanta Falcons

“Smart” talk

The Atlanta Falcons were amazing throughout most of the 2016 regular season. They were also amazing in the first half of the Super Bowl as they led the New England Patriots 21-3 at halftime. As you know, that’s when EVERYTHING fell apart for the Falcons as the greatest quarterback ever to play in the NFL (Tom Brady) led the Patriots to a 34-28 overtime win. In general, the Super Bowl runner-up struggles in the following season, we will see if that applies to the Falcons.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

Great. The Lions get to play a high-powered offense in Week 3. Luckily, Bob Quinn was smart enough to draft defense, so Lions defense should be better than the disaster they were in 2016. Unfortunately, he ignored the defensive end position so there is ZERO CHANCE they hold the Falcons under 30 points in this one as Matty ‘Ice’ takes down his good buddy Matty ‘Stat’ford. Note: I LOVE MATTHEW STAFFORD!

ATLANTA 34 DETROIT 23


 Week 4 – @Minnesota Vikings

“Smart” talk

Heading into the 2016 season, I was sure the Vikings would be the best team in the NFC North. But then, Teddy Bridgewater went down with injury and hope was all but lost. The Lions were able to beat Minnesota both times they played last season, which allowed Detroit to squeak into the playoffs as the Vikings finished 8-8.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

With or without Bridgewater, the Vikings are going to be solid in 2017. Who knows, maybe Darius “Big Play” Slay can make another game-saving interception, but that’s highly doubtful. I just can’t envision the Lions going into Minnesota and escaping with a win.

MINNESOTA 27 DETROIT 17


Week 5 – vs. Carolina Panthers

“Smart” talk

How in the hell does a team finish 15-1 and go to a Super Bowl in one season and follow it up by going 6-10 and watching the playoffs from their couch the next season? Well, that is exactly what the Carolina Panthers managed to do in 2016. My early thought is that the Panthers will have a bounce-back season and get back to the playoffs, but time will tell.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

If my genius calculations are correct, the Lions will be 1-3 when they return home to face the Panthers. In other words, this will be a MUST WIN game if the Lions want any chance of making some noise in the NFC North. Darius Slay will come up with a big interception and his partner in crime Ziggy Ansah will beat up on Cam Newton as the Lions pull out a big win.

DETROIT 27 CAROLINA 23


Week 6 – @New Orleans Saints

“Smart” talk

In Week 13 last season, the Lions went into New Orleans and absolutely dominated the Saints 28-13. That being said, Drew Brees is still extremely capable of beating up on a poor defense, especially when he is playing at home and the Lions could become the victim in this ‘revenge’ game for the Saints.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

There is no way in hell the Lions will go to New Orleans and make Drew Brees look like Drew Henson for the second year in a row. Brees will likely throw for 550 yards and six touchdowns in the one as the Saints dominate the game.

NEW ORLEANS 41 DETROIT 27


Week 7 – BYE WEEK

“Smart” talk

The Lions will be sitting at 2-4 as they head into their bye week. With a Sunday Night Football matchup against the Steelers looming, the question will be whether or not the Lions can turn things around before it’s too late.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

We will have to go two weeks of listening to the talking heads on 97.1 bitch about how bad the Lions are. God help us.


Week 8 – vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday Night)

“Smart” talk

We knew the Pittsburgh Steelers would be on the schedule and that is never something you want to see. After winning their final seven regular-season games in 2016 to finish 11-5, the Steelers were a popular pick to get to the Super Bowl before they ran into the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. Pittsburgh will be one of the better teams in the league again in 2017.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

At 2-4, coming off a bye week, this game will be one the Lions absolutely MUST HAVE. Luckily for Detroit, there is not a better time to face the Steelers. At Ford Field, following a bye week, just could be the recipe for success in this one. Nobody wants to face a Jim Caldwell led team with extra time to prepare, right? (Jim Caldwell face)

DETROIT 24 PITTSBURGH 23


Week 9 – @Green Bay Packers (Monday Night)

“Smart” talk

As long as the Green Bay Packers have Aaron Rodgers, and he is playing at a high level, they will likely be the favorite to win the NFC North. In 2016, the Packers swept the Lions, including a 31-24 win in Week 17 to win the division. I do believe the Packers will be less talented than they were in 2016, but this one is at Lambeau Field which bodes well for the cheeseheads.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

There is absolutely no way in hell the Detroit Lions will go into Lambeau Field and beat the Packers on Monday Night Football. This one IS a rock-solid prediction, folks. Take it to the bank!

GREEN BAY 35 DETROIT 23


Week 10 – vs. Cleveland Browns

“Smart” talk

The Cleveland Browns are awful.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

The Cleveland Browns are awful.

DETROIT 37 CLEVELAND 20


Week 11 – @Chicago Bears

“Smart” talk

The Chicago Bears were awful in 2016, finishing with a 3-13 record. That being said, one of their only wins came against the Lions in Week 4 and they nearly beat them a second time in Week 14. The Bears will still be the worst team in the NFC North, but they will win more than three games in 2017. #NotBoldPrediction

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

I’m not going to lie, I have one back-and-forth on this one 37 times already, solely because the game is being played in Chicago. The Lions are the better team and I am going with my gut. AHH!!! I just changed my mind again. And again.

DETROIT 23 CHICAGO 20


Week 12 – vs. Minnesota Vikings (Thanksgiving Day)

“Smart” talk

It’s tough to remember the last time the Lions hosted the Vikings on Thanksgiving Day. NOT!!!!! Great job, NFL! That’s right, Detroit and Minnesota will play against each other on Turkey Day for the second season in a row. Way to change things up. Anyways, I am much more confident in the Lions at home against the Vikings than I am when they play in Minnesota.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

Can you say three-game winning streak? Well, that is exactly what will happen as the Detroit Lions will handle the Vikings on Thanksgiving Day.

DETROIT 27 MINNESOTA 20


Week 13 – @Baltimore Ravens

“Smart” talk

Baltimore looked like they could make a run at the playoffs in 2016 before they dropped three of their final four games to finish 8-8. One thing to keep in mind is that the Ravens were 6-2 at home last season, while the Lions were 3-5 away from Ford Field.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

I think the Detroit Lions split on the road against Baltimore (Week 13) and Tampa Bay (Week 14), but I am not sure which one the win and which one they lose. Mark my words, they will not win both games and they will not lose them both 🙂 So, let’s give them a loss in Baltimore.

BALTIMORE 26 DETROIT 23


Week 14 – @Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

“Smart” talk

Tampa Bay finished the 2016 season with a 9-7 record, the same as the Lions. Fortunately, Detroit got the tiebreaker and moved on to the NFL Playoffs. The Buccaneers will be a respectable team once again in 2017, especially if their defense can take a step forward.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

Like I said, the Detroit Lions WILL split against the Ravens and the Buccaneers. This will be the one they win.

DETROIT 24 TAMPA BAY 23


Week 15 – vs. Chicago Bears

“Smart” talk

As I established earlier, the Bears will not be good in 2017, but they will be slightly better than they were in 2016 when they won only three games.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

With a win, the Detroit Lions would move to 8-6 on the season with two games remaining. If Detroit wants to have any chance at winning the NFC North or making the playoffs, they will have to sweep the Bears in 2017. I am pretty confident on this one.

DETROIT 33 CHICAGO 14


Week 16 – @Cincinnati Bengals

“Smart” talk

Cincinnati finished the 2016 season with a 6-9-1 record. Of those six wins, four came at home. Honestly, I don’t believe the Bengals will be a playoff team in 2017, but they could still be in the hunt with two games remaining.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

IF the Detroit Lions can go on the road and take care of business against the Bengals, their Week 17 matchup against the Packers could once again be for the NFC North title. Remember last season when the Lions had a chance to wrap things up in the North when the went on the road to take on the Giants and the Cowboys? This time around will be different!

DETROIT 20  CINCINNATI 17


Week 17 – vs. Green Bay Packers

“Smart” talk

What do you know, the Lions get to take on the hated Green Bay Packers in their final game for the second straight season. Once again, this game will be played at Ford Field, which gives the Lions a fighting chance. Last season, Green Bay beat Detroit 31-24 in a game that determined the NFC North champion. Despite losing, the Lions were able to back into the playoffs, that will not be the case this time around. This time, the Lions will have to WIN if they want to get in.

Not-so-rock-solid prediction

Like I said above, there will be no backing into the playoffs for the Detroit Lions in 2017. With a win, the Lions would finish 10-6 which could be enough to win the NFC North, while a loss could eliminate them from playoff contention. Matthew Stafford and the Lions will wipe that annoying little grin off the face of Aaron Rodgers as they cruise to a big win.

DETROIT 30 GREEN BAY 20