Last-minute thoughts and prediction for Lions vs. Jaguars

Last-minute thoughts and prediction for the Detroit Lions vs. Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 13

For a game pitting two teams with 4-7 records against one another, there’s a surprising amount of intrigue and importance in Sunday’s matchup between the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Lions adding rookie wideout Jameson Williams into the mix only builds the excitement.

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As kickoff rapidly approaches, here are a few last-minute thoughts on the game and a final prediction.

I think

–The debut of Jameson Williams provides a major spark for the offense. That spark might not ignite the stat sheet for Williams himself, however. I expect “Jamo” to play 18-20 snaps and get a handful of targets. This is much more about building chemistry with QB Jared Goff and learning how much Williams’ world-class speed impacts the opposing coverage. Don’t be underwhelmed when Williams “only” catches three passes for 41 yards.

–This is quietly a big week for LT Taylor Decker. He’s primarily facing Josh Allen, one of the better and toolsier pass rushers the veteran will see all season. Decker hasn’t quite been as great in 2022 as he was the last couple of seasons. He needs to be big today, because RT Penei Sewell has his hands full on the other side with No. 1 overall pick, Travon Walker.

–The recent run of opponents the Lions have faced nicely prepares them for the Jacksonville offense. Trevor Lawrence is not a huge running threat like Justin Fields, Daniel Jones or Josh Allen, but he can tuck and run. Lawrence can also operate effectively outside the pocket and beyond the original structure, and he’s getting better at it by the week. The containment rush principles should serve the Lions well on Sunday.

–The Jaguars have earned their NFL-worst PFF tackling grade this season (the Lions are 12th) and it’s the kind of game where Jamaal Williams and Amon-Ra St. Brown can do a ton of damage with the ball in their hands. This is a game where Jared Goff’s leaning on YAC (yards after catch) should be very beneficial.

I know

–The turnover battle will be critical. Both teams have surged in the win column lately because Detroit and Jacksonville have each been much better there lately; Detroit is plus-5 while the Jaguars are plus-3 in their last four games. The better team here gains a massive advantage.

–Doug Pederson is a very good, savvy in-game head coach for the Jaguars. He’ll test Dan Campbell’s clock management and decision-making, two areas where Campbell has shown improvement lately but also room for considerably more of it.

I predict

This is the healthiest Lions team anyone could reasonably expect at this point in the season. The good health and the emotional lift from the return of DE Romeo Okwara and the debut of Jameson Williams should be huge for the sidelines and the locker room. Other than the Jaguars using the slot WR heavily, the Lions match up nicely in the Xs and Os against the visitors from Duval.

Lions 33, Jaguars 28

4 Lions who must have good games vs. the Jaguars for the Lions to win in Week 13

Four Detroit Lions who need to win their matchups and have good games for the team to beat back the Jaguars.

A pair of 4-7 teams get together in Ford Field in Week 13 when the Detroit Lions host the Jacksonville Jaguars. Detroit aims to get back in to the win column after a heartbreaking home loss to the Bills on Thanksgiving. The Jaguars hope to keep riding the lightning that led them to a shocking upset over the Ravens in Week 12.

4 Lions who must have great games vs. the Bills

If the Lions are to pick up their fourth win in five games, they’ll need some strong performances from a few key players. Here are some Lions who need to win their matchups and have good games for the team to beat back the Jaguars.

Last-minute thoughts and prediction for the Lions vs. Bills

Last-minute thoughts and prediction for the Lions vs. Bills

Happy Thanksgiving!

For the first and only time all season, the Detroit Lions draw a national television audience for the traditional turkey day kickoff. Hosting the Buffalo Bills, the NFL’s top team in point differential, is no easy task for Dan Campbell’s Lions.

Here are a few of the things running through my head a couple of hours before the game.

I think

–The injuries to the interior offensive line are a very bad development for the Lions. Hank Fraley is a great developer of young OL talent, but he’s got his work cut out for him on a short week with no actual practices.

–Amon-Ra St. Brown should be in for a big game. Having DJ Chark to stretch the field and occupy the (very good) Bills safeties should open up room for St. Brown to catch nine passes for 96 yards.

–We could see a D’Andre Swift revitalization against Buffalo. Swift finished the Giants game on a positive note and he’s got a shot at poking his head a lot farther out of RB coach Duce Staley’s doghouse with a good performance against Buffalo.

–It’s going to be a rough game for the Lions safeties, Kerby Joseph and DeShon Elliott. They’ve both been playing well; Joseph is quickly proving to be an impact talent in the passing game. But the Bills offense with Josh Allen as a running threat and the vertical receiving options in Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis and even TE Dawson Knox are a different type of threat than the Lions have seen. It doesn’t mean they’re bad players; it means it’s a very difficult task.

–The Lions special teams will need to make a big play or two to help tip the scales. Coordinator Dave Fipp’s units have been pretty sharp lately, but Detroit cannot afford a shank punt like last week’s from Jack Fox or an off-target snap from long snapper Scott Daly.

–Aidan Hutchinson will have another strong game where he makes a couple of impactful plays. And the national audience will love it.

–Jared Goff will need to have his best game of the season for the Lions to win. Doing that with two new guards against a very talented Bills defense is asking a lot.

I know

–Campbell’s team will not be intimidated or in awe of the Bills. And that gives them a chance even as 9.5-point underdogs.

–Ford Field will be rocking and that’s going to make an impact on the game, at least early on.

I predict

–The Lions fight hard early on but ultimately succumb to a more talented, experienced, well-coached Bills team. Buffalo just has too many paths to victory and isn’t picky about how they do it. This is the best team the Lions will see for the rest of the season and the Bills will prove it.

Buffalo 30, Detroit 16

Watch: Detroit Lions Podcast breaks down the 3-game win streak and previews the Bills

Watch: Detroit Lions Podcast breaks down the 3-game win streak and previews the Bills

It’s been a while since the Detroit Lions have won three games in a row. The Detroit Lions Podcast celebrates the victories and looks ahead to see if Dan Campbell’s team can make it a rare fourth win in a row.

The Lions’ knives are sharp with the wins. We break down how the team is coming up with the wins, with an emphasis on the young defensive players making huge contributions.

Could the Lions really make the playoffs? We discuss the schedule, the path to the current 4-6 record and how the team has an opportunity to rack up more wins. But will it be enough?

We also take a look at the Thanksgiving matchup with the Buffalo Bills and where the Lions might have any advantages against the team with the NFL’s best point differential.

4 Lions who must have great games vs. the Bills

If the Detroit Lions are to pull off the upset over the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving, these four Lions need to have great games

The Detroit Lions are gunning for their fourth win in a row when they host the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving.

It’s not going to be easy. The 7-3 Bills are one of the top teams in the AFC with an MVP candidate in Josh Allen at quarterback and the NFL’s top point differential (plus-104) after Week 11. Buffalo is favored by 9.5 points as of Tuesday evening.

For the Lions to pull off the upset, it will take some good fortune and great play from some key sources. Here are four Lions who need to have great Thanksgiving games for Detroit to win.

Odds watch: Lions still big underdogs vs. Bills despite 3-game win streak

Odds watch: Lions still big underdogs vs. Bills on Thanksgiving despite a 3-game win streak

For the first time in five years, the Detroit Lions own a three-game win streak. The last of the trio of wins came in New York against a Giants team that entered the Week 11 matchup at 7-2.

Despite those impressive recent accomplishments, the Lions are still decided underdogs for Thursday’s Thanksgiving matinee at Ford Field against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are 7-3 and coming off a win over Cleveland in Ford Field in Week 11, playing a home game in Detroit thanks to copious snowfall in the Buffalo area.

The Bills are pretty strong favorites, opening at 8.5-points on the game line.

From our friends at Sportsbook Wire and Tipico Sportsbook:

  • Moneyline: Bills -425 (bet $425 to win $100) | Lions +325 (bet $100 to win $325)
  • Against the spread: Bills -8.5 (-109) | Lions +8.5 (-111)
  • Over/Under: 53.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)

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Behind Enemy Lines: Previewing Week 11 with Giants Wire

Breaking down the Lions Week 11 matchup against New York with Giants Wire

The New York Giants represent a formidable foe for the Detroit Lions in Week 11. The G-Men have been one of the NFL’s pleasant surprises at 7-2 and playing sharply under rookie head coach Brian Daboll.

To help get more intel on the Giants and how the Lions might match up on Sunday, I turned to my Giants Wire colleague Dan Benton for a few questions. Benton graciously provided more in-depth info on the Giants defense, Kenny Golladay, who wins and more.

Lions vs. Giants: Tale of the statistical tape for Week 11

Kenny Golladay has been a huge swing and free agent miss for the Giants

Ex-Lions WR Kenny Golladay has been one of the worst free agent signings in NFL history for the Giants

Two years ago, one of the biggest decisions facing the Detroit Lions was what to do with wide receiver Kenny Golladay. A Pro Bowler in 2019, Golladay led the NFL in touchdown receptions that year with 11 and was poised to cash in.

Then-GM Bob Quinn and the Lions regime at the time balked at paying Golladay a huge contract extension. Injuries cut Golladay’s 2020 season to just five games in his expiring contract season in Detroit. New Lions GM Brad Holmes agreed with his predecessor that one great season from Golladay, the NFL’s worst receiver at getting separation on routes, didn’t justify paying him $18 million a season.

It wasn’t an easy decision, certainly not with how dilapidated it left the Detroit receiving corps. However, it proved to be among the best decisions the organization has made from a personnel standpoint.

Golladay signed with the New York Giants for $72 million over four seasons. To say it hasn’t worked out for New York or Golladay is a colossal understatement.

The first year wasn’t a complete failure, just really poor bang for the Giant bucks: 37 catches on 76 targets in 14 games, netting 521 yards. It came at a career-low 14.1 YPC for No. 19, and Golladay failed to score a touchdown.

Turns out, that was the good year…

Golladay has played in five games in 2022, starting three. He has two catches on eight targets, racking up 22 yards on the season. He has twice as many drops (4) as receptions (2) and got benched in Week 10 after the latest one.

Check the headlines from a small sampling Giants-centric media outlets:

Kenny Golladay shouldn’t receive a single target vs. Lions

Kenny Golladay reacts to awful drop that led to benching

Kenny Golladay faces his last chance to prove Giants tenure wasn’t a complete mistake

Mike Francesa slams Giants’ Kenny Golladay: ‘Enough is enough’

Golladay has been limited in practice this week with a hamstring, which leaves his availability in the game against his old team in Week 11 in question. Based on their 7-2 record and his miserable season, the Giants won’t miss him one bit.

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Behind Enemy Lines: Breaking down the Lions trip to Chicago with Bears Wire

Breaking down the Lions Week 10 matchup with Bears Wire editor Alyssa Barbieri

It’s been almost two full years since the Detroit Lions won a game on the road. Dan Campbell’s Lions return to the scene of that last victory with this week’s trip to Chicago to face the Bears in Week 10.

The 3-6 Bears are an interesting team that has made a lot of changes since last we’ve seen them. Rookie head coach Matt Eberflus has worked well with young QB Justin Fields lately, but recent trades and injury issues have stymied any real progress in the win column.

To find out more about Chicago and the Lions’ chances, I asked a few questions to Bears Wire editor Alyssa Barbieri. She graciously provided some insightful answers to help get ready for Sunday’s NFC North matchup.

Lions keys to victory vs. Bears in Week 10

Top Detroit Lions keys to victory vs. the Chicago Bears in Week 10

The Detroit Lions aim to get their first win streak of the 2022 season and the first road win of the Dan Campbell era when they visit the Chicago Bears in Week 10. Despite being underdogs on the road, the 2-6 Lions have the ability to beat the 3-6 Bears.

It will not be easy. Nothing ever is for Detroit, after all. But there are clear paths for how the Lions can beat the Bears and climb out of the NFC North basement thanks to tiebreakers. That’s the sort of progress everyone from fans to owner Sheila Hamp would love to see.

Will it happen? We’ll find out on Sunday. Here are a few keys to a potential Detroit win in Soldier Field.