The Detroit Lions have a big game coming in Week 18, and that’s true whether or not they are still in the playoff picture by the time it kicks off.
With the Seattle Seahawks playing the Los Angeles Rams at 4:25 p.m. EST on Fox and the Lions tangling with the Green Bay Packers at 8:20 p.m. EST on NBC, the Lions might well be eliminated by the time their game gets going.
But that doesn’t matter to head coach Dan Campbell.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, January 4, Campbell discussed the challenge ahead with this matchup, being it is now in prime time. As he said, it’s not a challenge the team shrinks from but rather rises to and will talk openly about.
“You say what it is. You say the reality of it. You say the reason why that’s where they want you at. Then you say ‘hey, we got nothing to lose here.’ You go in, you cut it loose and say ‘hey, let’s have the time of our life. Let’s find a way to win this game,'” Campbell told the media. “The bottom line is, I can just gage the room. I can feel it. We get to be on the big stage, man. Our guys are excited about that. One way or another we get to play one more game. It’s going to be on a great stage and everybody’s gonna see it. Our guys are going to embrace it no matter what happens.”
In terms of the goal for the team, it remains the same no matter what is on the line. For Campbell, it’s winning and nothing else.
“More than anything, this is about one objective and that’s winning this game. It’s us or it’s nobody. That’s the most important thing,” Campbell said confidently.
With that, it’s clear the Lions are locked-in and ready to go. No matter what’s on the line by the time the game kicks off, Detroit will be finding their own motivation for the matchup.
Jared Goff: 2022 Lions Forged Through Adversity
In terms of being ready for such a challenge, the Lions are in great shape to go to battle. That’s according to quarterback Jared Goff, who likes where his team is at.
After a season full of challenges, Goff thinks his Lions are battle-tested and have faced enough adversity in order to come through the other side.
“We’ve been forged through adversity as I’ve said a few times, and there’s not much that can shake us anymore. We’ve been through the ups and downs of a season and feel pretty good about where we’re at right now,” Goff said of the season finale.
Regardless of what happens, the Lions will be able to gain some good experience from the matchup, which is something that can help a young roster.
“When you’re young, absolutely. Just playing in these situations where it really matters late in the year and hopefully we get some playoff games where it’s truly, truly big, but these games matter and they’re big and they mean more,” Goff said. “It’s on the road, it’s at Lambeau (Field) and all that goes into it and we’ll be ready. We’ll be ready to have some fun and hopefully get after it.”
It’s clear the Lions are embracing the opportunity they will be given this week, and have the mental goods to lay everything on the line against Green Bay no matter the stakes.
Amon-Ra St. Brown: Week 18 Game Like Playoffs
If Campbell was worried about his message perhaps not seeping through to the roster, he need not be concerned about that factor when listening to others speak about the opportunity.
Wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown was speaking on The 33rd Team and was asked where his mind is at ahead of the matchup. As he said, he’s all about the opportunity the Lions will be provided given it’s a new one for this season.
“It comes to the last game. I’m excited for Sunday Night Football. Honestly, we didn’t have one prime time game all year if you don’t count Thanksgiving, so we’re excited to get a Sunday night game. Basically a playoff game for us,” St. Brown said on the show. “(It) does suck the Seahawks play before. For us, we definitely feel like whether they win or lose, we want to we want to finish 9-8. That’s huge to say you had a winning record from what we did last year. Beat the Packers and knock the Packers out of the playoffs.”
As St. Brown clarified, he’d rather make the playoffs, of course. With that said, the chance to beat the Packers in a season finale grudge match is very attractive to both he and the team.
“Obviously, we want the Seahawks to lose. But if they win, we’re still going to go out there and try to win because shoot, take the Packers out, have a winning record, finish the year strong? That would be amazing,” he said.
No matter what happens with the playoff chase, Detroit’s focus remains on the Packers and a winning record.