The Detroit Lions currently sit at the top of the NFC North and need to secure another victory in Week 16. Fortunately, their chances of doing so are strengthened by the fact they play the lowly Chicago Bears this Sunday.
With the Green Bay Packers right on their heels, the Lions must win to keep their lead in the division. We know for certain that the Packers will be playing smarter football than they played last week, when they lost to Buffalo. So they should be expected to easily manage a win against the 2-12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This means the Lions need to remain sharp, which shouldn’t be a problem if they play anything like they did when hosted the Bears three weeks ago where they claimed a major win of 34-17. Currently, quarterback Matthew Stafford holds a 116 passer rating against Chicago this season, while the Bears sport the second-highest opponent passer rating. This certainly bodes well in favor of the Lions.
In the Lions’ last meeting with Chicago, Stafford passed for 390 yards and threw two touchdowns. He had no interceptions and connected with one of the NFL’s finest wide receivers, Calvin Johnson for 146 yards and two scores. Running back Joique Bell also had a field day against the weathered Bears’ secondary, rushing for 91 yards while scoring two touchdowns of his own.
On paper, this all points towards the Lions being victorious in Week 16, especially with the Bears starting career backup Jimmy Clausen this week.
Assuming both the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers manage wins this week, their fate for claiming the NFC North title would be decided in Week 17 when the two teams face each other at Lambeau field.
Photo: USA Today