Coaching Staff: 4/5 stars
Special shout-out to Dave Fipp. His special teams unit has been spectacular most of the season, and they were again on Sunday. The kick and punt coverage was exceptional, and Kalif Raymond delivered a punt return for a touchdown to open the scoring.
For the rest of the staff, it was mostly the status quo. Ben Johnson delivered some creative play calls at the biggest moments, including the decisive touchdown from Goff to Brock Wright.
Aaron Glenn’s defense held strong for the most part.
It was overall a strong day for the Lions’ coaching staff. The two criticisms are how the secondary could have been better prepared for the barrage of downfield shots and the defensive ends needed to focus on containing the mobile Wilson in the pocket. Those issues improved by magnitudes in the second half though, so Glenn and the defensive staff deserve credit for that
Play of the game: Brock Wright’s 51-yard touchdown reception
Coming out of the two-minute warning, Detroit faced a fourth down at midfield. Conventional wisdom suggested a run play to pick up a single yard. But Much like the biggest play a week ago against the Vikings, Ben Johnson threw out conventional wisdom and trusted his players to make a play. That trust resulted in not just a huge first down, but a game-winning score.
If Detroit’s magical run continues and they manage to make the playoffs, this might go down as the play of the season. A perfect call with perfect execution when the Lions needed it the most.
All of a sudden the Lions’ playoff dream no longer feels like a dream. The Giants and Commanders play each other on Sunday Night Football, presumably one of those teams will lose this time around. As soon as Monday morning, Detroit could be in a playoff spot if things fall their way.
From 1-6 to 7-7 and being (barring a tie between the Giants and Commanders) half a game out of the playoffs. Considering where things stood entering Week 9, it’s absolutely astonishing improvement.