LATEST NEWS
O'HARA: Breaking down the remaining games
October 22, 2017 01:00 PM | Mike O'Hara
Tahir Whitehead isn't looking any further down the road than Ford Field, where the Detroit Lions will restart the season after a bye against the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday. The Lions are 3-3, a game behind the Vikings and Packers, who are tied for first in the NFC North at 4-2.

The Lions took some hits before the bye, in the form of injuries and two straight losses, but Whitehead is optimistic that the Lions can survive the 10-game grind and make the playoffs for the third time in four years under head coach Jim Caldwell.

"You never know what's going to happen for the next 10 games," the veteran linebacker said. "We just have to worry about what we're doing -- worry about us.

"First and foremost, if we take care of business, I feel like we're the best team in the division. That's where it starts.

"I definitely like the toughness of this team. As long as we take care of our responsibilities and do what we're supposed to do, we control our own destiny."

Half the Lions' games are against NFC North teams - home and away against the Packers and Bears, and a Thanksgiving Day rematch against the Vikings, whom the Lions beat in Week 4.

Here is a thumbnail look at how the Lions match up in the remaining 10 games in order, and their win probability in each game:

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2): Ben Roethlisberger has questioned whether he still has it, but there is no doubt that RB Le'Veon Bell and WR Antonio Brown are two of the most explosive players in the league and capable of breaking open any game at any time. The Steelers' last two games have been up and down - a 30-9 home loss to the Jaguars two weeks ago followed by last week's 19-13 upset of the previously unbeaten Chiefs on the road.

Win probability: 50-50 with the help of home-field advantage - even with two straight losses at Ford Field.

2. At Green Bay Packers (4-2): The road win two years ago broke the 23-year Lambeau mystique. With Brett Hundley in for Aaron Rodgers, the Lions will never have a better chance to put themselves in position to sweep the Packers for the first time since 1991. This is the first leg of doing that.

Win probability: Slight advantage Lions - if they don't turn the ball over.

3. Cleveland Browns (0-6): Rookie DeShone Kizer is back as the starting quarterback today against Tennessee after being benched for a week in favor of Kevin Hogan. QB is not the Browns' only issue as their 2-30 record in the last 32 games indicates. One advantage for the Browns: They are guaranteed not to be coming off a loss. They have a bye the previous week.

Win probability: There's no such thing as a lock. Make it 99.99 percent in favor of the Lions.

4. At Chicago Bears (2-4): Rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky has given the Bears more energy than production in his two starts - a three-point home loss to the Vikings before last week's three-point road win over the Ravens. The Bears beat the Ravens on Jordan Howard's 167 rushing yards, not Trubisky's 113 passing yards.

Win probability: Slight advantage for the Lions in a game they should win. Matthew Stafford is 7-1 against the Bears the last four years and 5-1 under Caldwell.

5. Minnesota Vikings (4-2) Thanksgiving Day: The matchup boils down to an elite defense (the Vikings) against a struggling offense (the Lions) that must rise at least to the level of average. The Lions have found a way to beat the Vikings three straight - including 14-7 earlier this year -- and five of the last seven. The big question is whether Case Keenum, Sam Bradford or Teddy Bridgewater will be the Vikings' starting QB.

Win probability: Narrow - a field goal, safety or maybe an extra point in favor of the Lions. It will be a huge help for the Lions is Taylor Decker is back by the holiday, if not sooner.

6. At Baltimore Ravens (3-3): They've done very little right and a lot wrong in losing three out of four and being outscored 97-40 since a 2-0 start. Joe Flacco has four TD passes, eight interceptions and a 66.1 passer rating that makes him 31st among quarterbacks who have attempted 100 or more passes.

Win probability: Advantage Ravens because of home field. Offenses are ranked almost even - 29 Ravens, 28 Lions. So are defenses - 16 Ravens, 18 Lions.

7. At Tampa Bay Bucs (2-3): It's been a disappointing start for a team with offensive talent, but a lot can happen in the next seven weeks. One advantage for the Lions: The Bucs have not been a strong home team. They're 2-1 this year and 4-4 last year.

Win probability: Advantage Bucs. The winner likely will be determined by which team fixes a major weakness first - the Lions ranking 29th in sacks allowed per play, and the Bucs 32nd - dead last - in sacks on defense.

Did I already mention having Decker back would be a huge help?

8. Chicago Bears (2-4): It's a Saturday afternoon (4:30 kickoff) game on NFL Network. National TV and in the hunt for a playoff berth should be motivating forces for the Lions. Having nine starts under his belt - one of them against the Lions - should benefit Trubisky, assuming he's still the starter.

Win probability: Solid for the Lions - assuming they're in the race based on other projections.

9. At Cincinnati Bengals (2-3): These aren't the same Bengals who made the playoffs five straight years times from 2011-15 with double-digit wins the last four. But they're still tough to handle on defense - second overall in yards allowed and sacks per play. If the Lions have their offense sorted out by then, they can handle it. But at this moment, it's a tough matchup.

Win probability: Advantage Bengals, but if they're out of the race with reports of a coaching change, it could be a different story.

10. Green Bay Packers (4-2): If it's a showdown on New Year's Eve for first in the NFC North for the third time in four years, will Aaron Rodgers come back to start? It's the stuff that makes legends - which Rodgers has done before - and heartache. And the Lions have felt that before.

Win probability: If it's for the NFC North title or anything involving the playoffs for the Lions - division title, wild card, seeding -- I like the Lions.

OTHER NEWS
TWENTYMAN: 5 players who impressed
9 hours ago
WEEK IN REVIEW: Lions look to get healthy over bye
1 day ago
TWENTYMAN: 5 games to watch this week
1 day ago
Back to News
Back to Top
Home    News    Blogs    Scores & Schedule
NFL.com    Fantasy Football   
© 2013 Detroit Lions Feedback