It’s not often you’d call a game between the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns a “must-win” game for either team. Typically, it’s a game with at least one bad team (typically two) and considering it’s not an in-conference game, there’s inherently less at stake.
But for the Lions, it’s hard to imagine them righting the ship if they catastrophically lost this game to a winless Browns team. Detroit just seemed to bounce back after a rare win at Lambeau Field, and with a favorable schedule ahead, the NFC North crown is, once again, a realistic goal. But a loss to Cleveland in the comforts of Ford Field would destroy any good will they won over with the fans last week.
That being said, it won’t be a cakewalk for Detroit. The Browns have remained somewhat competitive in their games this year, and they actually have a very talented young defense. Considering the Lions offense has struggled at several times this season, it’s reasonable to think the Browns could hold Matthew Stafford in check on Sunday.
Still, there’s little excuse for the Lions to drop this game, and that’s why experts are unanimously picking them to win this week. This isn’t the type of game the Jim Caldwell-led Lions lose, but teams live and die by the mantra “Any given Sunday.” So who know what will happen?
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