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NFL week 17 preview: Detroit Lions v. Minnesota Vikings

We may see Jim Schwartz coach for the final time this weekend.
We may see Jim Schwartz coach for the final time this weekend.
Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Oh, what's the point? This game doesn't mean a ton for the Lions. They are playing on the road against the Minnesota Vikings. Their playoff hopes are dead. Sure, an 8-8 record would be a non-losing record, and that's cool, but the difference between 7-9 and 8-8 is marginal. Jim Schwartz is probably going to get fired, and it is fairly justifiable. There is other games on. Games that mean more. Subject yourself to the Lions game with the Vikings at your own discretion.

The issue is that the Lions, having nothing to play for, and having some players dealing with injuries, may just leave some guys on the sidelines. Players like Calvin Johnson. Frankly, these guys shouldn't play. Detroit should just sit everybody they can reasonably sit. I don't even know if Matthew Stafford should play. Again, what's the point? I don't know why Minnesota doesn't do the same thing, and maybe they will. Adrian Peterson probably shouldn't play, you know? It's all very much a bummer.

However, let's say some key players do play. The Vikings do not have a good defense. They are bad against the pass. Stafford should be able to throw all over them. He'll probably throw a couple picks, but he may also throw a couple touchdowns. Brandon Pettigrew and Dorin Dickerson definitely won't play. Maybe it will be a big day for Joseph Fauria. Perhaps Reggie Bush won't fumble.

On the other side of the ball, the Lions still have a strong run defense who can perhaps keep Peterson in check, should be play. The Vikings also use Matt Cassel under center, and he's not good. They do have a couple good receivers, though. They may break out a big play or two.

It is hard to predict this game, since I don't know what the teams will do in a truly meaningless outing. However, since the Lions are the better team, and since Schwartz may hope he can save his job, I'll pick the Lions to win. Then, both Schwartz and Minnesota's head coach Leslie Frazier will likely get their pink slips on Monday. A whole new era begins for both teams. Good times! Final Prediction: Lions 31, Vikings 27