Packers-Lions: How we picked it
WESTON HODKIEWICZ (7-1)
PACKERS 34, LIONS 20
Whatever you think of the Packers after their losses in Denver and Carolina, it could be much, much worse. The Detroit Lions (1-7) might be the biggest disappointment in the NFL. The Lions made the playoffs in Jim Caldwell's first season only to return to the NFC's basement in Year 2. Now, they're firing people left and right. Give deposed general manager Martin Mayhew credit for letting Miami overpay for Ndamukong Suh, but the defense has suffered without him in the middle. The loss of DeAndre Levy (hip), whom Aaron Rodgers called "one of the most underrated players in the league," was equally crippling. This certainly is a must-win for the Packers, who have beaten Detroit 24 consecutive times in Wisconsin, and the Lions looked like an FCS school collecting a paycheck in a 45-10 loss to Kansas City in London before the bye.
RYAN WOOD (7-1)
PACKERS 40, LIONS 14
The NFL is based in short-term memory. The Packers started 6-0 this season, but their losses have been ugly the past two weeks. So everyone is questioning what's wrong. Maybe, just maybe, the only real issue was playing consecutive undefeated teams on the road. A lot of teams would stumble over that challenge. We'll find out Sunday, because the Packers are hosting a 1-7 Lions team they should absolutely roll at home. A blowout would certainly change the narrative, and players know. Consider this quote from James Jones earlier this week: "If we go out there and win, offense scores 40, defense holds them to 14, we'll be labeled as the best team in the NFL again." Sounds good. Let's go with that score.
PETE DOUGHERTY (7-1)
Packers 34, Lions 17
Aaron Rodgers hasn't lost three games straight since his first year as a starter, 2008. The reeling Lions are 1-7 and haven't won in Wisconsin in 24 years. Now, you never know in the NFL. Matthew Stafford has arm talent and Calvin Johnson is capable of going off on any team at any time. But this has Packers blowout written all over it.
STU COURTNEY (7-1)
PACKERS 31, LIONS 17
This is the first of four straight NFC North games in a span of 19 days for the Packers, and a chance to reassert their claim on a fifth straight division title. Two consecutive road losses to playoff-caliber teams in Denver and Carolina dropped Green Bay into a first-place tie with Minnesota, but that can be corrected Sunday with a win over the hapless Lions and a Vikings loss at Oakland. Detroit is in disarray after firing its team president and general manager last week, and the Lions seem quick to quit when they fall behind. Look for the Packers to rebound with a resounding victory that will send them into next week's showdown at Minnesota with a full head of steam.
ROBERT ZIZZO (6-2)
PACKERS 27, LIONS 17
Even at its best, Detroit hasn't won in Green Bay since 1991. This year's version of the Lions might be their worst since then. Detroit is saddled with a recent front-office shake-up, a quarterback who lacks confidence, a defense that is missing its best players from last year and a 1-7 record with no hope of making the playoffs. It all adds up to curing what ails the Packers, who are coming off two straight road losses. There's nothing like home cooking to get Aaron Rodgers heated up: His quarterback rating of 114.9 at home ranks fourth in the NFL this season.