Lions streaking up, Packers tumbling down


Barry Wilner - AP Pro Football Writer



Barry Wilner

AP Pro Football Writer

Now that the Lions have ended a losing streak at Green Bay that dated back to Barry Sanders’ heyday, it’s time to see if they can work the same magic at Ford Field.

Ever since a horrendous loss to Kansas City in London, the Lions have been terrific. They followed that victory at Lambeau Field with a tight win over Oakland and a Thanksgiving Day blowout of Philadelphia.

Detroit (4-7) ends a three-game homestand with a chance to further damage Green Bay’s playoff prospects.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell, whose seat has gotten quite cooler in recent weeks, believes his players are concentrating on the right elements.

“This game is an emotional game, it’s an emotional roller coaster,” Caldwell says. “The information that’s out there now, just huge mood swings that sometimes infiltrate your building.

“When you have young people that have the ability to kind of block that out, that they don’t get their heads filled up with too much hot air when things are going well and they don’t get too down when things aren’t going well, I think is a really good sign. I think that’s what they displayed more so than anything else. Good, steady work habits; there was no finger pointing and things of that nature, which I think is key as well.”

No. 9 Green Bay (7-4) is a 3-point favorite at No. 21 Detroit. The Packers, losers of four of five, including two division games at home, are the team hearing the negative chatter. We think they’ll quiet it Thursday.

PACKERS, 27-23

KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP: Houston was a solid choice for survivor leagues last week. As we move into Week 13, the best place to look is the Windy City and DA BEARS.

No. 26 Dallas (plus 4 1-2) at No. 14 Washington, Monday night

Can’t find any reason to back the battered Cowboys.

BEST BET: REDSKINS, 27-13

No. 13 New York Jets (minus 2 1-2) at No. 17 (tie) New York Giants

Jets will be exhausted from the long trip to this “road” game.

UPSET SPECIAL: GIANTS, 23-20

No. 1 Carolina (minus 7) at No. 27 New Orleans

Another step toward an unbeaten season for Panthers.

PANTHERS, 33-20

No. 4 Denver (minus 4) at No. 28 (tie) San Diego

Strange line. Oddsmakers must think Denver is due for letdown.

BRONCOS, 20-17

No. 22 Philadelphia (plus 9 1-2) at No. 2 New England

As physically battered as they are, Patriots have enough for floundering Eagles.

PATRIOTS, 27-16

No. 11 Indianapolis (plus 7) at No. 10 Pittsburgh

Steelers make it close again — and come up short again.

COLTS, 24-23

No. 7 Seattle (pick-em) at No. 6 Minnesota

Toughest game to figure on this week’s schedule.

VIKINGS, 20-19

No. 19 Atlanta (plus 1 1-2) at No. 20 Tampa Bay

If Falcons are to turn it around, this is where they must start. Don’t think so …

BUCCANEERS, 26-21

No. 8 Kansas City (minus 3) at No. 17 (tie) Oakland

Historically sensational rivalry that gets some more juice.

CHIEFS, 24-17

No. 3 Arizona (minus 5 1-2) at No. 23 St. Louis

Rams gave Cardinals fits in Arizona. Turnabout is fair play.

CARDINALS, 22-9

No. 30 San Francisco (plus 7) at No. 15 Chicago

John Fox has done impressive work in Chicago.

BEARS, 27-15

No. 12 Houston (plus 3) at No. 16 Buffalo

Bill O’Brien has done impressive work in Houston. But Bills are more desperate.

BILLS, 16-14

No. 5 Cincinnati (minus 9 1-2) at No. 32 Cleveland

Ohio State might be more qualified in-state opponent for Bengals.

BENGALS, 29-16

No. 28 (tie) Jacksonville (plus 2 1-2) at No. 31 Tennessee

Can Titans finally win a home contest? Why not?

TITANS, 20-16

No. 25 Baltimore (plus 4) at No. 24 Miami

Two very disappointing teams, but Miami is healthier.

DOLPHINS, 19-13

2015 RECORD: Against spread: Week 7-9, Season (87-77-5). Straight up: Week 11-5, Season (108-68)

Best Bet: 6-5-1 against spread, 8-4 straight up.

Upset special: 7-5 against spread, 4-8 straight up.

Barry Wilner

AP Pro Football Writer

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