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    Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers: 5 Bold Predictions for a playoff berth

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    The one for all the marbles. The Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers. Week 18, Prime Time Sunday Night Football, with the playoffs on the line. As they say:

    It Begins Here We Go GIF by hero0fwar - Find & Share on GIPHY
    via Giphy

    Why it matters: The Detroit Lions are the hottest team in football right now, winning seven of their last nine games. The Packers are also quite hot having won four games in a row. Both teams are 8-8 and both are hoping to secure a playoff spot.

    5 Bold Predictions for the Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers Week 18 matchup

    With all the hype this game brings, we would be remiss to not make some bold predictions for how this one is going to turn out. So let's get started.

    This game WILL be a win-and-you're-in game for the playoffs

    As it stands right now the Lions need help from the Los Angeles Rams to get into the playoffs. They play the Seattle Seahawks at 4:25 and that game result will determine the stakes for the prime-time game. Well, to start off with gusto, here's the prediction: though six-point underdogs, the fightin' Baker Mayfields will throw a bone to their Motown pals and beat the Seahawks setting up a win-and-in scenario for the Packers and Lions.

    Jamaal Williams WILL be the difference

    The third week I've done the bold predictions, and the third time's a charm with Jamaal right? He came close to making me right last week, but couldn't finish the long touchdown run. This week, against his former team, Jamaal will eclipse 1,000 yards on the season and match break Barry Sanders‘ single-season touchdown record. He'll be the first 1,000-yard rusher for the Lions since 2013 and only needs six yards to get there.

    Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers
    via statmuse.com

    The Detroit Lions' front seven will shut down the Packers

    Okay, these are bold, I'm well aware. But something has to give right? Two weeks removed from their most embarrassing performance against the run, the Lions' front seven, led by Alex Anzalone, are going to look for redemption. They started that path to redemption last week against the Bears, only allowing 55 rushing yards to the Bears running backs, and 41 to Justin Fields outside of his two long runs (31, 60). A bit of a defensive alignment shift seems to have helped and will pay dividends Sunday night.

    Aidan Hutchinson will solidify his position atop Defensive Rookie of the year consideration

    It's a bit ridiculous that Aidan Hutchinson isn't getting more press for his rookie season. It's criminal actually. Among all rookies he:

    • Leads in sacks with 9
    • Leads in total pressures with 50
    • Leads in QB hurries with 36
    • Is top-10 in pass rush win rate with 14%
    • Is tied for fourth in interceptions with 3; more the Sauce Gardner (2)

    It's a pretty strong case for the rook, and will only get better this week. If he's not at the top of the list for Defensive Rookie of the Year, he will be on Monday morning.

    Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers,Detroit Lions,Packers
    via Pro Football Focus

    The game will be won (and lost) on a special team play

    Games like this really highlight the importance of the small things. Teams that win these types of games are clicking on all cylinders in all three phases of the game. The field surface is going to be cold and frozen, and yards and scoring will be hard to come by. The Lions currently grade out as the best special teams unit in the NFL, according to PFF. Green Bay sits 24th on that list. Expect the game to turn on a special teams play. Look for Kalif Raymond to make an impact in the return game and deliver the Linos to the playoffs!


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