The Detroit Lions have an important game coming up on Sunday. They're going to take on the 8-1 Arizona Cardinals with the top seed in the NFC on the line. The game will serve as a good test for the 7-2 Lions, and it will impact the NFC playoff picture.
But is Sunday's game against the Cardinals the most important one left on the Lions' schedule? That's what Marshall Faulk's question revolves around this week -- the most important remaining game on each team's schedule. As a refresher, the rest of the Lions' schedule looks like this:
Week 11 - Nov. 16 - at Arizona Cardinals (4:25 p.m., FOX)
Week 12 - Nov. 23 - at New England Patriots (1 p.m., FOX)
Week 13 - Nov. 27 - vs. Chicago Bears (12:30 p.m., CBS) | On Thanksgiving
Week 14 - Dec. 7 - vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 p.m., FOX)
Week 15 - Dec. 14 - vs. Minnesota Vikings (1 p.m., FOX)
Week 16 - Dec. 21 - at Chicago Bears (1 p.m., FOX)
Week 17 - Dec. 28 - at Green Bay Packers (1 p.m., FOX)
Next week's game against the Patriots is going to be another tough matchup, but it's not nearly as important since it's against an AFC team. Similarly, the Lions' game against the Buccaneers in Week 13 isn't as important as some of the others because it's a non-divisional matchup. The Lions obviously don't want to lose to a bad Bucs team given that it would negatively affect their conference record, which could come into play for tiebreakers down the road, but quite simply, winning divisional games is more important.
With that in mind, at this point in time I think the Lions' Week 17 trip to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers is the most important game left on the schedule. By the time Week 17 actually arrives, this game could have no impact on the playoff picture whatsoever, but the Lions and Packers seem to be on a collision course where that game could very well determine who wins the NFC North. Actually, with the way things look right now, that game could determine both the division champion and which team gets a first-round bye.
What do you think is the Lions' most important remaining game?