The Detroit Lions have entered a midseason surge, winning each of their last three games.
Despite starting the season 1-6, Detroit will likely have plenty to play for throughout its final seven games. As it stands currently, the Lions are two games back of the final NFC playoff spot.
Whether Detroit winds up in the playoffs at season’s end or not, there’s a chance for head coach Dan Campbell and company to make a statement about the team’s future direction with a strong showing down the stretch.
Here are predictions for each of Detroit’s final seven games.
Week 12 -- Thursday, Nov. 24, vs. Bills (H)
The Bills had sputtered in recent weeks before knocking off the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Quarterback Josh Allen appears close to full health, while wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis are matchup nightmares for Detroit’s secondary.
However, the Lions are riding a massive wave of momentum. Quarterback Jared Goff has been serviceable, and his wide receiving corps is getting healthier.
This will be a game in which Campbell throws everything out there. Look for the Lions to strike on a fake punt and catch Buffalo off guard. The Lions win this game late, as the young team makes enough plays to run its win streak to four. (Score: 31-28 win, 5-6)
Week 13 -- Sunday, Dec. 4, vs. Jaguars (H)
The Jaguars have struggled in spurts with first-year head coach Doug Pederson calling the shots. Second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence has shown flashes of greatness, but remains in the development stage of his young career.
With the Lions coming off a big win, this is the prime stage for a let-down game. The organization has a history of letting young quarterbacks break out against them, so Lawrence could benefit greatly from playing against the struggling secondary.
Fortunately for Detroit, the Jaguars defense isn’t stout, either. The offense maintains its groove, and the Lions snag a fifth win in a row. (Score: 27-16 win, 6-6)
Week 14 -- Sunday, Dec. 11, vs Vikings (H)
Riding a five-game winning streak and playing a third straight game at home, the Lions will be competitive against the Vikings. Behind Kirk Cousins and a loaded set of skill position players, Minnesota has established itself as the class of the NFC North.
The Vikings are coming off a 40-3 drubbing from the Dallas Cowboys, which provided the blueprint to shutting down the Vikings' prolific offense. However, Detroit doesn’t have defensive playmakers like Micah Parsons.
Detroit did enough to win against the Vikings earlier in the year, with late-game blunders erasing a pivotal victory. While the Lions will once again be frisky, Minnesota has too many playmaking wide receivers to dominate the secondary.
The Lions' win streak comes to an end at home, as the Vikings' offense rolls. (Score: 34-20 loss, 6-7)
Week 15 -- Sunday, Dec. 18, at Jets (A)
The Jets are dealing with a quarterback controversy, as head coach Robert Saleh decided to bench Zach Wilson ahead of their Week 12 game against the Bears. Who knows where the Jets will be at the position nearly a month from now, but there’s no questioning the legitimacy of their defense.
With rookie Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner playing good football at cornerback and a plethora of young stars all over the field, Detroit will struggle to get going on offense. The Jets make just enough plays in the cold at home, as Campbell suffers a frustrating loss. (Score: 16-13 loss, 6-8)
Week 16 -- Saturday, Dec. 24, at Panthers (A)
Detroit will head to Carolina with its season on the line. Much like the Jets, the Panthers have had issues with their signal-callers all season long.
Unlike the Jets, the Panthers' defense has not been a dominant force. Motivated from a heartbreaking loss to the Jets that dashed the team's playoff hopes, Detroit offensive coordinator Ben Johnson calls an excellent game to get the team back on track. (Score: 27-17 win, 7-8)
Week 17 -- Sunday, Jan. 1, vs. Bears (H)
In the first meeting between these two teams, Justin Fields torched the Lions' defense with his mobility. Yet, the Lions generated enough big plays on defense to escape Soldier Field with a win.
Once again, the Lions will be playing with everything on the line. In front of an energized environment at Ford Field, the defense will be charged up to work against Fields. Having played him once already, the gameplan will be much more sound.
For the second time this year, the Lions force Fields into a late turnover. Will Harris secures a late interception, and Detroit gets back to .500. The win locks the Lions into a second-place finish in the NFC North. (Score: 31-27 win, 8-8)
Week 18 -- Sunday, Jan. 8, at Packers (A)
The Green Bay Packers are on a downward spiral with a 4-7 record. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has not looked like the same quarterback that won back-to-back MVPs.
Yet, Rodgers has always taken pleasure in winning divisional games. After the Lions took round one of this year’s matchups, he had some choice comments about the performances of both teams.
The veteran will be motivated, and Lambeau Field has always been a tough place to play. These two factors add up to this game being incredibly difficult to win. The Lions will be up to the challenge, though, until a late Goff interception seals the season-ending loss. (Score: 28-23 loss, 8-9)
Final record: 8-9