Most football fans would likely expect a blowout in this Thursday night game with the Green Bay Packers taking it to the Detroit Lions. But in two of the past three games, the Lions have actually been the victors. Don’t expect it to be three out of four.
Yes, the Packers have had their struggles of late, losing to the Chicago Bears and these Detroit Lions just a few weeks ago. But despite the question marks, the Packers do not have a history of falling apart in the latter part of the season. The Lions do. With the Pack now in second place in the NFC North Division, they have something to prove. And prove it they will. Expect the NFL’s 10th-ranked rushing team to run all over Detroit this time around as Eddie Lacy and James Starks add to their totals. If Detroit expects to stay in this game, Matthew Stafford must have another aggressive game in the air, as he did on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles with five touchdown passes. It won’t happen. Packers win on Thursday night.
The Seattle Seahawks have beaten the Minnesota Vikings in their last two meetings by a combined score of 71-40. Despite the team’s 6-5 record, the Seahawks are always a dangerous team. The exciting win on Sunday over the Pittsburgh Steelers shows just how tough they really are. Quarterback Russell Wilson led the team with 345 yards in the air and five touchdowns, looking like the Legion of Boom it once was. Can they pull off a similar game in Minneapolis?
The Vikings’ game plan is no secret. The league’s No. 1 rushing team will continue to rely on Adrian Peterson, who now has 1,164 yards on the season and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Teddy Bridgewater’s eight touchdowns and seven interceptions don’t give the team or its fans much confidence to do anything other than run the ball. If Peterson gets a strong start early, the Vikings will pull off a home win. Turnovers will clearly be a factor, but if Wilson’s passing game gets hot early, look out. It won’t, and the Vikings will win a close one at home.
These two teams last played in September of 2014 with the Chicago Bears winning, 28-20. The San Francisco 49ers won the previous two contests, dating back to 2009. That history won’t matter on Sunday. Recent momentum will, and the Bears certainly have it after the stunning win in Green Bay on Thanksgiving.
Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler is 211 of 334 on the year with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. Those numbers aren’t outstanding, but that’s what Bears fans have come to expect from Cutler. As long as it results in a win, that’s all that matters. Unfortunately, wins have only happened five times this year. But with that taste of sweet victory on Thanksgiving, the Bears will be back for more.
The 49ers, meanwhile, have been a head-scratcher. The team battled with the Arizona Cardinals in an NFC West match-up but fell by a score of 20-13. It’s hard to find much good news in a team with eight losses that is alone at the bottom of the AFC West with a back-up quarterback in place. Did I mention that kicker Phil Dawson has made 18 in a row? It won’t be enough. Bears continue the momentum with a win at home. CV