We have two questions in our SB Reacts poll this week:
- Are you confident the Lions are headed in the right direction? (asked weekly)
- Who is the toughest opponent left on the Lions’ schedule?
Lions fans’ confidence is at an all-time high under the general manager Brad Holmes/coach Dan Campbell’s regime, and 99% of voters in last week’s survey agreed that they believed the Lions were headed in the right direction as a franchise.
Can the Lions get that number to 100% confidence? That’s a tough ask, but after winning six of their last seven games, and just three games standing between them and a likely playoff berth, it’s possible that number reaches the pinnacle.
But Detroit will likely need to win those last three games, and even though all of their upcoming opponents have a losing record on the season, each presents a unique set of problems. And that brings us to our second question of the week.
Who is the toughest opponent left on the Lions’ schedule? Let’s take a look at which team could give the Lions the most trouble during the final stretch of the regular season.
Week 16, at Panthers, DVOA: 28 (Offense: 29, Defense: 20)
The Panthers have the best defense the Lions will face down the stretch. With elite talent along the defensive line in Brian Burns and Derrick Brown, they have the potential to be disruptive and keep them in this game. Fellow first-round pick, corner Jaycee Horn, is a potential problem in the secondary, but he doesn’t have a ton of help around him.
Week 17, vs. Bears, DVOA: 29 (Offense: 22, Defense: 31)
Bears quarterback Justin Fields is arguably the most dynamic player left on the Lions’ schedule and will be a massive focus of Detroit’s defensive scheme. The last time these two teams faced off, Fields ran for 147 yards and two scores, and he continues to produce despite the extra attention from defenses.
Week 18, at Packers, DVOA: 13 (Offense: 7, Defense 22)
The Packers’ offense is finally clicking, and any time you face Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau Field, it’s an adventure. The big question will be, how much is on the line for each team? In theory, both teams could be fighting for a playoff spot. At the same time, if things fall the right way, this game may not have any impact on the postseason at all.
Alright, time to vote.