Game-By-Game Picks For The Lions: It All Comes Down To Green Bay (Again)

Detroit should take a step forward, but will it be enough to play in January?

Will Burchfield
September 06, 2019 - 3:48 pm

© Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

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In what stands as a vital year for Matthew Stafford, Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn, the Lions kick off the 2019 campaign Sunday against the Cardinals. For all three, the pressure is on. 

Another step back after last year's 7-9 finish, and heads could roll. A meaningful step forward, and the franchise can stay the course. 

The defense, which came together in the second half of last season, should be stout. Good luck running the ball against this front seven. Questions exist in the secondary, but for the first time in a while, Detroit's D has playmakers everywhere. 

The offense should be...interesting. Darrell Bevell wants to run the ball in a league defined by the pass, and it's hard to tell if the Lions have the personnel up front to make that work. But after years and years of relying on Stafford's arm, at least they're shaking things up. 

Can Patricia get the Lions back to the playoffs in his second year at the helm? Let's go game by game and find out.

Week 1: at Cardinals 

The Lions were supposed to beat the rookie quarterback in the season-opener last year. They make up for it this year against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, whose O-line will be no match for Detroit’s defensive front.

Lions 24, Cardinals 13. Record: 1-0. 

Week 2: vs. Chargers

Missing Melvin Gordon and safety Derwin James, the Chargers aren’t the same team that went 12-4 last season. The Lions take advantage of the opportunity in their home-opener and get off to a great start.

Lions 21, Chargers 17. Record: 2-0. 

Week 3: at Eagles

A healthy Carson Wentz and a stacked Eagles offense will be too much for Detroit. Tight end Zach Ertz is the difference in this one.

Eagles 24, Lions 17. Record: 2-1. 

Week 4: vs. Chiefs

Detroit’s defense is good, but that Kansas City offense is better. It’s back to .500 for the Lions, which isn’t so bad considering their second-half schedule.

Chiefs 29, Lions 21. Record: 2-2. 

Week 5: BYE

Week 6: at Packers

A trip to Green Bay on Monday Night Football is about as tough as it gets coming off a bye. The Lions will be well-prepared for this one, but it won’t be enough against a Packers team with something to prove this season. 

Packers 24, Lions 20. Record: 2-3.

Week 7: vs. Vikings 

Detroit stops the bleeding with a strong defensive effort against Kirk Cousins and the Vikings. A grind-it-out affair between two teams committed to the run.

Lions 16, Vikings 13. Record: 3-3.

Week 8: vs. Giants

In what stands as the easiest game on their schedule, the Lions take care of business. The defensive line sends a message by shutting down Saquon Barkley.

Lions 27, Giants 10. Record: 4-3. 

Week 9: at Raiders

This is one the Lions will want back in December. A trip to the West Coast is too much this time, as the diminished Raiders pull off the upset with couple big plays down the stretch. 

Raiders 24, Lions 23. Record: 4-4. 

Week 10: at Bears

The Bears might be due for some regression this season, but their defense is still one of the best in the NFL. Reeling from last week’s loss, the Lions take their second licking in Chicago in a row.

Bears 26, Lions 13. Record: 4-5. 

Week 11: vs. Cowboys. 

Ahead of a crucial rematch with the Bears on Thanksgiving, the Lions notch a big win over Dallas. Kerryon Johnson outdoes Ezekiel Elliot to put another stamp on his breakout season.

Lions 28, Cowboys 24. Record: 5-5. 

Week 12: at Redskins. 

Another gimme against the NFC East. Dwayne Haskins will be Washington’s QB by this point, but it won’t make a difference on a team with no real receiving weapons.

Lions 27, Redskins 9. Record: 6-5. 

Week 13: vs. Bears 

The Lions exact revenge against Chicago with their best all-around game of the season, capped off by a game-winning FG by Matt Prater. They're right back in the race in a crowded NFC North.

Lions 23, Bears 20. Record: 7-5. 

Week 14: at Vikings

Road games in Minnesota haven't been kind to Stafford over his career, and this one won’t be any different. At this point, all four teams in the division are separated by two games.

Vikings 19, Lions 10. Record: 7-6. 

Week 15: vs. Buccaneers

Another low-hanging W for the Lions, though this one gets dicey thanks to a dangerous Buccs’ passing attack. Stafford outguns Jameis Winston in the end.

Lions 35, Buccaneers 31. Record: 8-6. 

Week 16: at Broncos 

A December road game in Denver won't be fun, but Patricia will have his team prepared for the elements. Detroit puts itself in position to make the playoffs and perhaps win the division. 

Lions 23, Broncos 14. Record: 9-6. 

Week 17: vs. Packers. 

Where have we seen this before? In a must-win game in Week 17 against the Packers, the Lions come up short. Aaron Rodgers (again) is the reason why. 

Packers 21, Lions 20. Final record: 9-7.