Back before the bye week, I asked readers if they thought the Detroit Lions’ game against the New Orleans Saints was a must-win game. According to fans, 63 percent believed that it was a must-win game for Detroit. I, however, vehemently disagreed:
Absolutely not. I find the term “must-win game” one of the most overused tropes in sports. Is there a significant difference between 4-2 and 3-3? Sure.
But a 3-3 record at the bye is anything but catastrophic for the Lions. Regardless of what happens on Sunday, the Lions will remain 1-0 in the division with the opportunity to win five more NFC North games, including two against the division-leading Packers.
Well, the Lions ended up losing that game and followed it up with another loss to the Steelers last week. That leaves the Lions a paltry 3-4 record after a 3-1 start. They’re now 2.5 games behind the Vikings for the lead in the division and in danger of falling even further behind.
But since that Saints game, Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone and the Vikings are still trying to figure out which quarterbacks are healthy enough to lead them down the stretch.
This week, the Lions could do a lot of damage in closing the gap between themselves and first place. Not only do the Packers provide Detroit an opportunity to jump into second place in the division, but with the Vikings on a bye, the Lions can pull within just two games of Minnesota and do so with a perfect 2-0 record in the NFC North.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Is Monday night’s game between the Lions and Packers a must-win game for Detroit?
My answer: Absolutely. I almost never consider a game before mid-November to be must-win for a team, but a loss would almost certainly bury this team for good. I know the upcoming schedule looks easy and I know the Vikings have some tough games ahead, but falling three games behind Minnesota (and two behind Green Bay) just seems too much for this team to overcome.
If the Lions lose on Monday, they’d have to finish the season 7-1 just to reach 10-6 on the season. Given how inconsistently this team’s performance has been through the first half of the season, I wouldn’t trust them to play well enough not to drop at least two games. Winning at Soldier Field is never easy, the Vikings on Thanksgiving is going to be a battle, and who knows what will happen on the season finale against the Packers?
Detroit is just not a team that’s good enough to go on a 7-1 run right now, regardless of the schedule. So, yeah, they have to win on Monday or it’s curtains for 2017.
Is Lions-Packers a must-win game for Detroit?
This poll is closed