Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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Lions, Jets pushing to make playoffs

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REMAINING GAMES: at Panthers; vs. Bears; at Packers.

Well, well, well. What have we here? A Lions team that’s (gasp) actually fun to watch? Detroit has washed off the stench of a 1-6 start that had some questioning Dan Campbell’s future. During their current 6-1 streak, the Lions have boasted an entertaining offense behind coordinator Ben Johnson. The defense has improved, if only slightly, thanks largely to its performance against the run and surging improvement from rookies. With help from a good offensive line, a go-to star in receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and diverse play-calling, Jared Goff is playing the most efficient football of his career — even better than in his 2018 Pro Bowl season, if not as explosive. The team that general manager Brad Holmes put together, and which Campbell lit a fire under, has overperformed in Year 2. Can the Lions keep the pedal to the metal?

After Sunday’s big road win in New York, the schedule sets up nicely for Detroit to make a postseason run, presenting three teams all under .500. Get a little assistance along the way, and the Lions would become just the second team in NFL history to start 1-6 and make the postseason (joining the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals). Of course, all this bubbling optimism is sure to make lifelong Lions fans queasy, anticipating the rug getting pulled out in Week 18 in Green Bay — probably by backup Packers quarterback Jordan Love, because that’s how these things usually go.

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