The Detroit Lions’ wild ride continues on Christmas eve. For the past two months, they’ve been playing some of the best football we’ve seen out of this franchise in several years, and now what appeared to be a lost season at 1-6 is now on the verge of one of the most magical Detroit Lions seasons to date.
Unfortunately, that 1-6 record dug them into a hole where a playoff run requires near-perfection the rest of the way. Thus far, that’s exactly what the Lions have given: near perfection. A 6-1 run has now put them in a position where if they win the final three games of the season, they’re almost certainly in the playoffs. Even a 2-1 record down the stretch still gives them an opportunity to get in the dance.
That three-game stretch starts on Saturday against a Carolina Panthers team that is also fighting for a playoff spot. At 5-9, they don’t resemble a playoff team, but when the NFC South-leading Tampa Bay Buccaneers are just 6-8, it’s not out of the question for the Panthers to sneak in.
The Lions are slight 2.5-point road favorites this week, but what does our staff think?
Here are our predictions for Lions vs. Panthers in a pivotal Week 16 matchup:
Kellie Rowe (12-2): 31-24 Lions
Jerry Mallory (10-4): 27-20 Lions
Hamza Baccouche (10-4): 27-17 Lions
Ryan Mathews (9-5): 28-17 Lions
Morgan Cannon (9-5): 27-21 Lions
Jeremy Reisman (9-5): 31-24 Lions
John Whiticar (9-5): 29-20 Lions
Erik Schlitt (9-5): 31-21 Lions
Kyle Yost (8-6): 21-20 Lions
Mike Payton (8-6): 28-24 Lions
Alex Reno (7-7): Lions win
Chris Perfett (0-0-14): 20-20 Tie
Now it’s time for you to make your pick. Vote in the poll below who you think is going to win, and share your score prediction in the comment section below.
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