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It's all on the line against the Chargers

Icon SMI - Regrettably, Philip Rivers will not be bringing any of the Charger Girls with him...

The world seems to have already pencilled in the Detroit Lions as the fifth or sixth seed in the NFC playoffs, but I wouldn't start buying tickets to San Francisco or New Orleans yet.  There is still a very real possibility that the Lions will not make the playoffs at all.

I know...I speak blasphemy, but look at who they play over the next two weeks, needing at least one win or a whole lot of help in order to make the big dance.  The Chargers have won three games in a row and have positioned themselves to have a shot at making the playoffs themselves.  They managed to beat Jacksonville and Buffalo and while those two teams have either imploded in the last few weeks--if not the whole season-- last week the Chargers put a 34-14 beat down on the playoff bound and Super Bowl contending Baltimore Ravens.

Philip Rivers, who was abysmal the first half of the season has not thrown an interception in this three game winning streak and has completed over 70% of his passes.

If the Lions can't beat the Chargers this year...they always have a chance to clinch next week...against the Packers...at Lambeau...where they haven't won since 1991.

1. The Lions haven't beaten the Chargers since 1978...another one of those long losing streaks the Lions can break this season.

2. This year the Lions are 3-0 against the AFC West.

3. I always like to see the Chargers and namely, corner back Quentin Jammer, the guy the Lions were supposed to take instead of Joey "Blue Skies" Harrington.  The great thing about Jammer is...he's still playing.  He many not be a Hall of Famer, but he's been consistent and durable for years.

4. The Chargers are playing to show that they really are that preseason Super Bowl contender that many prognosticators thought them to be.  They're also playing to help head coach Norv Turner help keep his job.  Turner has kind of become the modern day Wayne Fontes...somebody that fans and media are always calling for firing, but mounts a late season resurrection.

5. If this truly is the year to break all of those old streaks then the Lions probably beat the Chargers...and then they miraculously beat the Packers next week and also manage to get sent out to San Francisco for their playoff game, where they haven't won since the 70's also...and manage a trip to the NFC Divisional round...

6.  Yeah, I'm not buying it either.

Chargers Offense vs Lions Defense

Philip Rivers has been on fire.  The Lions secondary is depleted. That's not a good combination.

Furthermore, Jim Schwartz vehemently denied that the "Wide 9" defense that the Lions employ stresses pass rush at the expense of run defense...which the Lions have proven, despite having one of the most talented and destructive defensive lines, to be very poor at...If the defensive design isn't flawed...then something needs to get fixed, because Ryan Matthews will run all over the Lions if they do not clean this up.

Advantage: Chargers

Chargers Defense vs Lions Offense

Quentin Jammer can't contain Calvin Johnson.  Antoine Cason cannot contain Calvin Johnson.  If the Matthew Stafford doesn't contain Calvin Johnson--by completely missing him with passes or forgetting him altogether--the Lions can score on the Chargers. 

But the Lions still need to figure out some kind of running game to keep the Chargers honest.

Advantage: Lions

Prediction:

I am a long time Lions fan, which means that I expect disappointment.  Furthermore, the more the talking heads in the media keep assuming the Lions making the playoffs is almost a foregone conclusion, the more I'm assured that they will not be playing in the playoffs.  Somebody has got to shut those guys up.  They're jinxing us.

Chargers 34, Lions 21

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