Analyst Explains Why Lions Still Have Playoff Hopes

Marvin Hall

Getty Marvin Hall and the Lions celebrate a touchdown.

The Detroit Lions scored a big win against the New York Giants, running their record to 3-3-1 and keeping them in the conversation in terms of the NFL playoffs.

As laughable as that seems right now to many, the Lions can hang in the race if they continue to keep playing winning football and see where the chips land in the coming weeks.

One such person that thinks the Lions can hang in the race is Fox Sports commentator Charles Davis. After calling Detroit’s game against the New York Giants, Davis took time to explain why the Lions could be a team that manages to surprise by staying in the hunt.

“They do have a schedule that is favorable coming up. Going to Oakland, going to Chicago. The Chicago game looked daunting a month ago. It doesn’t look as daunting now, and it’s in the division,” Davis said. “I don’t think they’re quite a playoff team, but they win the next two, come home for Dallas? That could change.”

As Davis points out, the schedule could favor the Lions perhaps putting enough of a run together to get in, but that’s far from a certainty. They will have to be able to win multiple games in a row and stay consistent in order to get this done.

What Must Happen

The Lions, in order to put their best foot forward for a playoff run, have to do a couple of things according to Davis. First, they have to continue to get good play from the quarterback spot and the offense as well as see a defense which has been beat up in the trenches start to come around.

“Matthew Stafford’s in a heck of a groove right now throwing the football. He’s never had a big running game, what he calls the today’s offense status quo, ‘I’m going to throw the football.’ He’s had some nice help, Kenny Golladay really jumped up,” he said. “But overall, this Lions defense, they need Damon Harrison to play full out inside and discourage some teams from running the football, because that’s been part of their Achilles heel.”

If those two elements offensively and defensively stay in form, the Lions will be a tough team to deal with. At this point, their offense looks in solid form, but the defense has left some major things to be desired, even in spite of a big win against New York.

The Path

Detroit can likely forget about the postseason if they drop both of their next two games, so the biggest path is to win those two, then have some things benefit them in the standings. After that, they will likely need to win against the Dallas Cowboys in a vital game at home. Three straight wins would likely keep the Lions in the conversation into November, which could set Detroit up to make a run. A game against the Washington Redskins, and a home Thanksgiving game against the Bears could help swell the Lions record further if they could manage to get those.

In other words, the best path is to keep winning consecutively. It’s a tall order, but looking at the relative record of the teams that play, it’s not impossible whatsoever.

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