The mantra of Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell this season has been, “The most important game is the next one.” While that is a pretty standard coachspeak line, it rings especially true this week. Not only are the Lions on their annual national stage for the Thanksgiving Day Classic, but they’re in the middle of a three-game winning streak and face off against one of the NFL’s best in the 7-3 Buffalo Bills. A big upset on Thursday would give some serious legitimacy to Detroit’s late run at an NFC Wild Card spot.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, the Lions are facing some big hurdles to climb this week. For one, they’ll be missing two starters on the offensive line, with Jonah Jackson and Evan Brown already declared out. They’re also missing their top corner, as Jeff Okudah remains in concussion protocol—poor timing with Stefon Diggs in town.
Still, the Lions have played everyone short of the New England Patriots tough this year, even taking some playoff contenders like the Vikings, Cowboys, Dolphins and Seahawks to the wire. With a newfound ability to close out games, will they be able to not just get a moral victory, but a real, tangible win against an elite opponent.
Come hang out with us during the first half of the game, and once the game moves to halftime, be on the lookout for the second half open thread. In the meantime, enjoy the first half and have a happy Thanksgiving!