Every week, I come here and prophesize some unlikely performance and say a prayer it works out. Like the Detroit Lions, for much of the past couple months, it has. That being the case, it’s only fitting that I test my luck in what may be the last game of a wild ride of a season.
Bold prediction of the week: Lions get the help they need as the Rams defeat the Seahawks
You want bold predictions, you get bold predictions. Give me the 6.5-point road underdogs to pull off the upset. It’s unlikely, but it’s not impossible.
The Lions, of course, need a Rams win or tie to keep their playoff hopes alive and set up a Sunday night showdown against the Green Bay Packers with the final postseason spot up for grabs for each team. If the Seahawks win, the Lions are out.
On the one hand, the Rams have a journeyman quarterback leading a limping team through Week 18 of a lost season. They’re on the road in one of the most hostile environments in the league, playing a team that has the playoffs on the line in the Seahawks. Surely, that’s a recipe for disaster for Los Angeles.
On the other hand, this is the same Baker Mayfield that hung 51 points on arguably the best defense in football in the Denver Broncos just two weeks ago. It’s Week 18, and the Rams get to go into enemy territory and spoil their playoff hopes.
If the Lions are eliminated from playoff contention prior to Sunday night’s kickoff, there’s no doubt they’ll still play hard. Surely a Sean McVay coached team won’t take things easy either, given the same circumstances. McVay might just have some pride to play for. According to Adam Schefter, McVay is mulling retirement heading into Week 18.
For as much as there is going against the Rams, there’s as much going for them. And if there ever was a quarterback who epitomized the “any given Sunday” ideology, it’s Baker Mayfield. Perhaps he makes a statement, too, in hopes of retaining a starting job in 2023, be it with LA or another team.
Now, for those of you who came here for Lions content, I’ll entertain you. Bold prediction of the week #2: Jared Goff eclipses 300 passing yards in Lambeau.
The last time these two teams met, Goff posted by far his lowest yardage total of the season, with 137 yards through the air. It was also one of only two Lions wins where they scored less than 31 points. To get that far, they’ll need a steady Jared Goff in the pocket.
It’ll be a challenge, as we’ve seen Goff struggle with the cold before, most recently with the gloves debacle during the chilly trip to Carolina in Week 16. He’ll need to figure that out, as the weather in Lambeau for Sunday night won’t be any more forgiving. Should he roll with the gloves, it’ll surely help his grip as he has historically struggled with fumbles more than interceptions. That’s a bad recipe against a Packers defense whose hot streak has been largely predicated on creating turnovers.
The Packers may be the only team hotter than the Lions right now. To keep up with them, the Lions will need to play clean football, and do what they do best: put points on the board. That means Goff will need a much more eye-popping box score than he had in Week 9, and my benchmark for that is 300+ passing yards.