It’s do-or-die time for the Detroit Lions. While a loss to the Chicago Bears would not end Detroit’s playoff run on its own, it would put their odds for a postseason appearance on life support. A win, on the other hand, would mean the Lions are in the playoff hunt for the final week of the season—and if other Week 17 games fall favorably, they could even be in the driver’s seat.
In short, this is the most important game of the Dan Campbell era by a significant margin.
It’s nice to have stakes in December/January football again, but stakes also bring expectations. Detroit is a six-point favorite to Chicago this week, and a loss at home—especially after last week’s debacle—would be a huge disappointment for the Lions. That’s not to say the Bears should be a pushover. The simple existence of Justin Fields makes Chicago a dangerous team.
But as Lions play-by-play radio announcer Dan Miller said a couple weeks ago, “They’ve set a new standard for what should be expected from the Detroit Lions.”
The Lions should be expected to win this game. They should be expected to head into Lambeau next week with playoff hopes on the line against the Green Bay Packers. And even if the Lions come up short this year, the expectation is to be right back here next year: talking about playoffs in January.
So enjoy the moment of increased expectations, and let’s go Lions.