Even though the Lions lost on Thanksgiving to their NFC North Rivals, the Packers, the Lions fan base and the premier NFL betting sportsbooks in Michigan, still have the Lions as the favorites to win the NFC North.
Although the Lions were outplayed by the Packers, who were both healthier and more talented, it is important to remember that this was just one game. With a season record of 8-3, the Lions still have control over their destiny in the NFC Playoff race, and Lions fans still have reason for optimism that they can win the NFC North if they win the line of scrimmage with these key aspects.
Maintaining Their NFC North Dominance
The Lions are currently in a favorable position to secure a spot in the postseason. They hold a significant three-game lead over the Packers and a four-game lead over the other teams vying for a playoff spot. Barring a remarkable performance from one of these teams, the Lions could afford to have a less impressive record of 3-3 or even 2-4 in their remaining games and still have a good chance of making the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Although the Packers still have a slim chance of winning the division, the true competition for the Lions comes from the Vikings. The Vikings have two games left against the Lions, which could significantly impact the division standings.
If the Vikings lose their game against the Bears on Monday night, the Lions can build a 2.5 game lead over the Purple People Eaters without even taking the field. Such a luxury, could have the Lions splitting their games with Vikings, but staying above .500 for their remaining games, and still win the NFC North.
Jared Goff Corrects His Turnover Ways
Since being traded to the Lions from the Rams for QB Matthew Stafford, Jarod Goff, the former number one overall pick has truly enjoyed a playing renaissance. The 2023 season began promisingly for Jared Goff as he took the field for the Detroit Lions. However, he has recently encountered a rough patch.
In the last two games, Goff’s play has been subpar, leading to a total of six turnovers. Against the Chicago Bears in Week 11, he threw three interceptions, and in Week 12, he lost three fumbles to the Green Bay Packers. It is safe to say that his performance has been far from consistent.
While Goff’s recent struggles might conjure up memories of his lackluster play with the Rams, Goff himself is placing full accountability on his shoulders. While the former Cal Quarterback admits that he is unsure why the turnovers are occurring frequently, he understands the need to take measures to reduce them.
Goff acknowledges that safeguarding the football is his primary responsibility and emphasizes the significance of fulfilling that obligation. And if Goff can hold onto the football, something that he has done well since becoming a Lion, that bodes well for the Lions to win the NFC North.
The Lions Defense Rises Up
In the 2022 late-season surge, the Detroit Lions exhibited remarkable proficiency in applying pressure on their rivals, leading to turnovers. Head coach and former tight end standout, Dan Campbell aspires to reestablish that mindset within the team for the remainder of the season. One reason why rookie Packer Quarterback Jordan Love had his way with the Lions is due to injuries decimating their 21st-ranked defense.
On the positive side, the Lions defense through eleven games, does have 23 sacks. Defensive Lineman, Aiden Hutchinson has 5.5 sacks and his teammate, Alim McNeil, has five. If these two players can cause enough havoc upfront, or cause opposing offensive coordinators to chip the Tight End or double team, the Lions might be able to dial up more exotic blitzes to pressure opposing Quarterbacks into more interceptions or better yet, pick-sixes. Lions Cornerback, Jerry Jacobs leads the team with three interceptions.