It’s last call for the Detroit Lions. Lose this week and any sort of realistic shot at the playoffs are gone forever.
The task this week shouldn’t be as hard as the past two contests for the Lions. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while not technically eliminated from playoff contention, are essentially playing for nothing. Their season has gone off the rails at 4-8, and there’s nothing they can do to salvage it at this point.
If the Lions aren’t still fighting for a playoff spot, some are fighting for jobs next year. Players like Ezekiel Ansah, Travis Swanson, Tahir Whitehead and DJ Hayden are all competing for 2018 contracts. There’s millions of dollars on the line for them. Oh, and there’s the status of head coach Jim Caldwell, whose seat is warming week by week.
So with all of that being said, who are we picking this week? Check it out.
Alex Reno (9-3): 30-17 Lions
Chris Perfett (9-3): 18-2 Buccaneers
Ryan Mathews (8-4): 38-30 Lions
Jeremy Reisman (8-4): 31-26 Lions
Mike Payton (7-5): 28-20 Buccaneers
Justin Simon (7-5): 17-10 Buccaneers
Kyle Yost (7-5): 24-23 Lions
Jerry Mallory (6-5): 27-20 Lions
Kent Lee Platte (6-6): 20-17 Lions
Andrew Kato (5-5): 23-20 Lions
Most of us are still in the Lions’ corner, despite questions about Matthew Stafford’s health and the status of his offensive line. Three of us, however, are just about done with this team and think even the slimmest of playoff chances die in Tampa this week.
Now it’s your turn to pick. Who do you think wins on Sunday? Vote in the poll below and make sure to comment with your score prediction. If you come the closest, you will be honored in next week’s “On Paper” preview.
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers