LAST WEEK AGAINST THE SPREAD: 5-9-2
SEASON RECORD: 107-108-6
DETROIT AT CINCINNATI
Kickoff: 10 a.m.
Outlook: With Aaron Rodgers out, the Lions had a bit of life breathed into their playoff hopes. The next two games, including this one, are especially winnable. But they’ll need some help, regardless. If the Panthers or Falcons lose out from here and the Lions win out, they’re in. Might be a tough ask, but we’re saying there’s a chance. Matthew Stafford has come back from worse odds. He’s been hobbled pretty much all season, but with Cincinnati on tap, he won’t have to worry about a suffocating defense. Most of the Bengals’ starters on that side of the ball are hurt. He could be in for a big game here.
Player to watch: Darius Slay, CB. The only way the Bengals, with their walking M.A.S.H. unit defense, can possibly hope to beat the Lions is to get hot offensively. That would mean a big showing from wideout A.J. Green. But Slay, who has been one of the league’s best corners, will have something to say about that. He leads the league in picks (7).
Line: Lions by 3
Pick: Lions, 24-16
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT NEW YORK JETS
Kickoff: 10 a.m.
Outlook: Last week’s loss to the Chiefs was a brutal one for a Chargers team trying to climb out of the 0-4 hole it found itself in to start the season. The Chiefs are in control in the AFC West, but the Chargers still have a shot in the wild card, if the Bills lose once, and the hapless Titans lose twice. Of course, that scenario only comes into play if the Chargers handle the Jets on the road. It would be very much like the Chargers to drop this game, facing Bryce Petty at quarterback. Still, with Philip Rivers dealing, it’s hard not to believe in them as they fight with their backs against the wall. The Jets secondary is ripe for a dismantling.
Player to watch: Antonio Gates, TE. Second-year tight end Hunter Henry is out for the rest of the season with a lacerated kidney, leaving Gates, the future Hall of…