Is Sunday’s Steelers Game a ‘Must Win’ for the Lions?

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With The Vikings A Lock To Be 6-2, Would Falling To 3-4 Mean The End For Detroit?


With the injury to Aaron Rodgers, the NFC North has been turned into a wasteland of mediocrity. The Packers have good coaching, but seeing Brett Hundley’s poor performance even after they gained over 150 yards running was telling of where the Packers are at as a team. The Bears, galvanized by #10God, are on a two game winning streak and in the hunt at 7-3. The Vikings have a stellar defense, but their QB remains 2nd best in the NFC North Case Keenum.

Just for fun, here’s my NFC North QB Power Rankings:

  1. Matthew Stafford
  2. Case Keenum
  3. Mitchell Trubisky
  4. Brett Hundley

Piping hot analysis.

Maybe it’s because I’m biased (ok, it’s because I’m biased), I think this division is a two-horse race between the Lions and Vikings. In regard to this weekend’s games, the Vikings play the Browns in London. I know things can get silly across the pond, but there’s no way whoever plays QB for the Browns does anything less than throw three picks against this defense. They will win and go 6-2, putting the Lions three wins behind if they lose what is an extremely losable game against the Steelers.

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The Lions saving grace is that they have already beaten the Vikings. For that reason I can’t label the Steelers game a ‘must-win’ but it’s pretty damn close. Whether they win or lose Sunday, the game at Lambeau on Monday Night is a must-win. The Lions still have five division games remaining, and winning all five gives them the best chance at making the playoffs.

As for the Vikings remaining schedule, it’s far from easy. After the Browns and a bye week, the Skols have only three of their remaining eight games at home, which includes a stretch of three straight away games: @Lions, @Falcons, and @Panthers. Personally, I see them finishing 9-7 with chances to be 10-6 or 8-8.

After the Steelers game, the Lions schedule becomes very favorable. They get to play the Bears twice, the Browns, Buccaneers, Ravens, and Bengals, and ideally, you’d hope for that to be 6-0. However, this is the Lions I’m writing about, and the odds on them inexplicably dropping a game at home to Mitch Biscuit and the Cubs are very high.

So, this Sunday’s game against the Steelers is important, but maybe not as much as you think. It’s an AFC team, and the Lions likely will be able to still control their own destiny if they lose barring some unprecedented run by the Vikings. The game to freak out about is next week. If the Lions lose to a Rodger-less Pack at Lambeau, let the Grim Reaper hunt.

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