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Better plan ahead if you want to watch Detroit Lions on TV this Sunday

Steve Brownlee

If you’re getting excited about sitting back in your armchair to watch the undefeated — but not untied — Detroit Lions on TV this Sunday, you probably will have to make alternate plans.

That is, if you have regular cable TV in the area, and maybe even some satellite or alternative cable systems.

That’s because Detroit’s game at the Philadelphia Eagles won’t be available on regular cable as this is one of those weekends when the Lions and Green Bay Packers are on at the same time and CBS isn’t available to pick up one of them.

Last Sunday, Lions’ fans got lucky as Detroit and Green Bay again both played at 1 p.m., but the Lions were hosting an AFC team — the Los Angeles Chargers — meaning the game was on CBS.

Since the area Fox station owned by NBC affiliate WLUC (channel 6) had to make a decision a few years back on its primary team — and chose the Packers — us Lions fans have missed up to a half-dozen games each season on our “free” TV — if that’s what you’d call non pay-per-view.

It’s why you may have seen lots of Lions fans on certain Sundays at area taverns that were able to access their games. Of course, the beer doesn’t hurt, I presume.

This isn’t a bad year for Lions’ blackouts — only three games won’t be on cable.

But if Detroit remains in the hunt late in the season, it’s going to hurt when a pair of December contests won’t be available — when the Lions play at Minnesota on Dec. 8 and at Tampa Bay on Dec. 15.

Those are both 1 p.m. games for Fox, the same as Packers’ games those days.

There is one curiosity in all this — the Lions’ Nov. 10 game at Chicago is scheduled to be shown on CBS, even though both teams are in the NFC. Maybe it’s because I don’t see any really “hot” AFC games that day, so they get to pick over what Fox left from the NFC.

Who knows?

But I do know about these picks, even though I really cooled off last week after a sizzling start:

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Today, 8:20 p.m.

Tennessee at Jacksonville — Two struggling offenses, though Jacksonville seems to have the more ferocious defense. Jaguars, 17-13.

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Sunday, 1 p.m.

Cincinnati at Buffalo — Is this Buffalo team for real? They may not have to be vs. Cincy. Bills, 20-16.

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Miami at Dallas — When you see “Miami” all you have to do is look for who’s on the other side of the “vs.” sign. Cowboys, 37-17.

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Denver at Green Bay — If the Broncos can’t beat Chicago at a mile high, how can they expect to win at Lake Michigan altitude against a superior team? Packers, 33-20.

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Atlanta at Indianapolis — Road wins are supposed to be more common early in the season, but this is one of the few I can find this week. Falcons, 31-23.

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Baltimore at Kansas City — If you saw the second-quarter passes Patrick Mahomes was dropping in on his receivers last Sunday, you wouldn’t even pick the Patriots to beat KC. Chiefs, 34-24.

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Oakland at Minnesota — Those Mahomes passes were dropped on the Raiders’ coverage, by the way. Vikings, 23-17.

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New York Jets at New England — New England could win this game with one hand tied behind its back, since the Jets have two tied behind them as they rely on third-string quarterback Luke Falk, called up from the practice squad last Sunday morning. Patriots, 41-13.

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Detroit at Philadelphia — Maybe it’s just as well I will only be able to catch this one in passing on NFL Red Zone. Eagles, 29-19.

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Sunday, 4 p.m.

Carolina at Arizona — At least Arizona looks like it has a future. Cardinals, 19-17.

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New York Giants at Tampa Bay — Read above, just replace “Arizona” with “Tampa Bay.” Buccaneers, 27-23.

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Houston at Los Angeles Chargers — Didn’t this L.A. team on Sunday remind you of the Lions, where any break they got was a bad one? Won’t happen twice in a row, will it? Chargers, 22-20.

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New Orleans at Seattle — Involving two of the three teams with the biggest home advantages in the NFL, guess who I’m picking? Seahawks, 29-20.

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Pittsburgh at San Francisco — Part III of “At least (this team) has a future.” This team is the 49ers, 30-17.

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Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland — Who will score more points, the Browns’ offense or the Rams’ defense? Rams, 33-24.

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Monday, 8:20 p.m.

Chicago at Washington — How bad are the Redskins? I heard the other day that Miami’s best odds to win a game this season are in Week 6 vs. Washington. The Dolphins are still an underdog, though. Bears, 24-16.

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Last week — 9-7, 56 percent. Season — 22-9-1, 71 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.