LAST WEEK AGAINST THE SPREAD: 6-9-1
SEASON RECORD: 113-117-7
GREEN BAY AT DETROIT
Kickoff: 10 a.m.
Outlook: With the Lions’ playoff hopes dashed last week, Detroit is playing for pride — and, quite possibly, Jim Caldwell’s job. Caldwell is the most successful coach in Lions’ recent history, but for a team that missed the playoffs 13 out of 14 years before his arrival, that’s not saying much. Constant mediocrity is a tough hole to dig out from, and how the Lions play in this game could swing what will be a tough decision. The Packers, at least, have an excuse for this season’s failures. Aaron Rodgers will return in 2018 and all will be well again. But for this last week of the season, it could get ugly. Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams may both miss this game.
Player to watch: Brett Hundley, QB. The Packers have had an extended look at the former UCLA passer this season, and, well, it hasn’t gone all that smoothly. Hundley set an NFL record for the most passes (162) without a touchdown at home. Lucky for him, this game will be on the road. It may be his last chance to show whether he’s worth a trade, before Rodgers comes back next season.
Line: Lions by 7
Pick: Lions, 27-20
NEW YORK JETS AT NEW ENGLAND
Kickoff: 10 a.m.
Outlook: For the Patriots, this game is all about self-preservation. With just a one-game lead over the Steelers for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Patriots need to win to officially lock it up. Bill Belichick has made clear that he won’t let his team overlook the Jets. But even if they do, things don’t look good for New York. Bryce Petty has been downright bad in two weeks as the starter, and for some reason, the Jets refuse to try giving the reins to former second-rounder Christian Hackenberg. Either way, with Tom Brady and Co. in need of a smooth victory here, the Jets don’t really stand a chance.
Player to watch: Rob Gronkowski, TE. There aren’t many skill position players in the NFL this season that…