The Detroit Lions need to win their remaining two games, and the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, or Carolina Panthers to lose their next two games. There are other convoluted and incredibly unlikely scenarios in which the team makes a postseason appearance, but this is the one that matters. Here are the stories this week that paint the picture of the Detroit Lions.
Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press doesn’t believe that the Lions defensive stats reflect the actual quality of the defense. He makes a big deal about the five games in which the Lions have allowed 20 or fewer points. Currently, eight teams average fewer than 20 points allowed in the 2017 season. The Lions defense has allowed 24.2 points per game. They have earned a number 25 ranking in that stat. There are players having good individual seasons, but the defense as a unit has allowed fast starts to terrible offenses all seasons.
Justin Rogers of the Detroit News called attention to the fact that Matthew Stafford has avoided 20 sacks with his legs in 2017. He is on pace for a career-high in sacks taken, but the line has done him no favors.
T. J. Lang has been doing these videos on detroitlions.com all year. If you have not been watching “Talking with T. J.” you’ve been doing yourself a disservice. The players have been surprisingly honest at times, and surprisingly amusing in others.
The View From Ohio
Adam Schefter of ESPN announced that Marvin Lewis will not be returning as the Bengals coach. The Bengals looked like they had absolutely quit on the season last week. The Lions are hoping that there will be a similar performance from the Bengals this week.
Josh Alper of Profootballtalk.com reported that the Bengals are returning Vontaze Burfict, Joe Mixon, and Dre Kirkpatrick to the line up this week, at least in terms of practice. Bengals fans are undoubtedly hoping that this talent infusion results in a better performance from the team than last week.
Tweets You Should See
50% of the players ejected from an NFL game this season are from the Seahawks, Raiders, or Bengals
— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) December 21, 2017
Bengals can move up to the 4th overall pick this week if they lose to Detroit and…
Buccaneers > Panthers
Bears > Browns
Texans > Steelers
49ers > Jaguars
— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) December 21, 2017
Has there been any quit in the #Bengals? One player told me this today:
"You see it around the locker room sometimes. You're playing for your job. Sometimes you lose sight of that." @fox19
— Jeremy Rauch (@FOX19Jeremy) December 21, 2017
— Andy Benoit (@Andy_Benoit) December 21, 2017
Bold Predictuon. #Lions get a 100 yard rusher in each of the last two games.
— Fredi The PizzaMan🍕🎙🔗 (@FrediThePizzaMn) December 22, 2017
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 20, 2017