I know in the grand scheme of rebuilds, the 2022 Detroit Lions have likely overachieved. Still, that only softens a gut punch so much. And that is what the 37-23 loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 16 felt like. A strong, swift gut punch. One you weren’t really prepared for—which can be said about both the fans and the actual team this week.
Everything else bounced the way the Lions needed. All of the teams they are currently chasing in their pursuit of a postseason berth lost. And to add insult to injury, after the Lions finished up their loss to the Panthers, the Green Bay Packers were handed an early present in the form of three consecutive interceptions in the fourth quarter by Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Now, if both the Packers and Lions win in Week 17, their regular season finale in Green Bay may hold more weight than we originally anticipated.
If you are looking for various playoff models and simulators, we have you covered.
- FiveThirtyEight currently has the Lions with a 24% chance of making the playoffs.
- Steven Ruiz of The Ringer offers a league-wide playoff race survival guide.
- The New York Times has them at 23% odds.
- And 20% at PlayOffStatus.com.
None of those are the best odds, but chances are if someone told you that the Lions would be in the playoff race at the end of the 2022 season, I am betting you would have been happy with that. I know I would have.
And now, onto the rest of today’s notes:
- Craving some more film analysis of what went wrong defensively for the Lions against the Carolina Panthers? Justin Rogers of the Detroit News has you covered.
- Sure, the sample sizes are a bit different, but this is still really impressive.
.@Jthouston_4 is on the right track! pic.twitter.com/LemjJcuiSU— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 28, 2022
- Quarterback Jared Goff certainly had a December to remember. Jeff Risdon of The Lions Wire has more on Goff’s strong play.
- Could Lions’ offensive coordinator Ben Johnson be a candidate for the Denver Broncos job? Kyle Meinke of MLive answers that and more in his latest mailbag.
- How fun would it be to have the Lions in the playoffs? Joseph Acosta of SB Nation takes a look at how entertaining each team would be if they find their way into the postseason.
- What in the world is going on with the Lions’ once-potent rushing attack? Ben Raven of MLive has more on how Detroit is emphasizing getting back to its bread and butter.