The Detroit Lions square off against the Green Bay Packers in less than 12 hours, and although the fate of their season could be decided by then, there’s going to be room for Detroit—at a minimum—to play spoiler as Green Bay is in complete control of their playoff hopes.
Considering the improbable situation the Lions find themselves in here at the end of this season, like turning a 1-6 season into meaningful football in January, the expectations for Detroit have completely flipped in the matter of months. Over the course of those months, the Lions have proved capable of rising to the occasion in a variety of ways for a team in the midst of a rebuild. Winning back-to-back divisional games, beating playoff-bound teams, answering the bell in emphatic fashion after humbling losses to the likes of Buffalo and Carolina. Detroit has grown a lot this season, but there’s something you just need to see from this team as the regular season comes to a close.
This leads us to today’s Question of the Day…
What do you need to see from the Detroit Lions on “Sunday Night Football”?
It’s an easy answer for me: I need to see Jared Goff ready for this moment. This is, without a doubt, the biggest test for Goff through his first two seasons in Detroit. The playoffs may not be in the cards for Detroit, but the Lions could have their first winning season—and their first season sweep of the Packers—since 2017 with a victory tonight.
This isn’t about box score hunting, either. Goff doesn’t need to throw the ball all over Lambeau for 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns to prove he’s up for this moment. He simply just can’t be the first quarterback to blink in this showdown. Goff can’t turn the ball over and put undue pressure on this defense while making things easier for Aaron Rodgers and Co. Goff has an opportunity to put the “he doesn’t play well outdoors” narrative to rest with a clean game tonight against the Packers. If he shows up and shoulders the pressure, Goff could win over many doubters.
On the other hand, if things go sideways for Goff in this game, a lot of the goodwill he drummed up this season could fall on deaf ears, and it could make for an offseason where nearly every conversation about the Lions will circle back to Goff and what kind of ceiling he puts on this football team moving forward.