Football is a game of inches and, following the philosophy of this old adage, the season can all come down to one game. Such is the case especially for the Lions as they find themselves catching up rather than being ahead most seasons. Here are the five biggest games the Detroit Lions play in 2017.
#5 Detroit Lions at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are just about as underwhelming a team as the Lions, specifically when it comes to winning first-round playoff games. Head coach Marvin Lewis has done a great job crafting a team full of elite players that just aren’t able to get over the hill. While the Lions are even skill wise with the Bengals, this game falls on December 24 in week 16 of the season. The Lions will likely be fighting for a wild card spot right behind the Packers at this point and the Bengals tend to be incredibly consistent towards the end of the season. The cold weather will decide the winner of this game, and we all know what that means if Detroit is involved.
#4 Detroit Lions at New York Giants
The Lions have come to form somewhat of a rivalry with the Giants in the recent past, playing the boys in blue four times since 2012. The Lions have gone 1-3 in these games and must set the tone early in the season against this NFC East opponent. The game is in week two, so the weather shouldn’t be too bad, but taking a Lion out of its dome is almost never a good idea. The Lions pass rush will have to be on display early against Eli Manning if they want a shot at leaving the Big Apple with a win.
#3 Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Here it is, the first installment of the Lions vs. Packers in the 2017 season. This week nine matchup will, once again, be a predicting factor in the Lions’ playoff hopes. When they manage to beat the Packers, the season usually goes a lot better. The biting cold of the Lambeau tundra will be hard to handle this late in the season, especially in an 8:30 p.m. primetime slot. Matthew Stafford has to keep his composure on this Monday night in order to lead his team to a win. Gaining the momentum within the NFC North is their best shot at the playoffs, and it truly starts with this game.
#2 Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions
Big Ben and the Steelers roll into the Motor City in week eight for an edition of Sunday Night Football that is sure to produce quite a few touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger and Stafford will duel it out in front of a home crowd that will be lively and rowdy. The defenses will take a backseat to the gunslinging habits of each quarterback, promising us a high-scoring affair. Stafford and his receiver corps should all be on the same page at this point in the season and will hopefully be a well-oiled machine. The Lions need to play well at home and this game is the perfect opportunity to show their fans and the rest of the league what they are made of.
# 1 Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
A week 17 winner-take-all NFC North rivalry game to close out the season for the Lions? Shocking. The Lions’ postseason ranking, or appearance, will all come down to a match up against the Packers once again in 2017. Hopefully, Detroit won’t need to win this game to make it in, but you never know. Aaron Rodgers and company will bring their craftiness and high-flying offense to Ford Field for the last game of the season which is sure to be a thriller. Maybe Stafford can finally mature enough as a player to assert his dominance over Rodgers and the Pack.
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