4. Michael Badgley will make at least one 50-plus yard field goal
An under the radar aspect of the Lions’ turnaround from a 1-6 to currently 8-8 is how Badgley has stabilized the kicker spot after a season-plus of changing placekickers seemingly as often as (metaphorically, of course) some people change underwear.
Badgley has not been perfect, with a legit announcer’s jinx from Jim Nantz on a short miss against the Buffal Bills on Thanksgiving Day and missed field goals in back-to-back weeks (Week 14 and 15). But the Week 15 miss was from 54 yards outdoors against the Jets, so he gets a bit of a mulligan there.
Conditions on Sunday night won’t be what they could easily be in Green Bay at Lambeau Field in January, with a kickoff temperature around 25 degrees, a “feels like” temp forecasted in the 15-20 degree range and sustained winds of 5-10 MPH (gusts to 17 MPH are being forecasted).
Field conditions will be a concern, but cleats can be worn to mitigate that as much as possible. So if the wind is the right direction (or not an issue at all), the broader situation warrants giving it a try (end of half? end of game? etc.) and Badgley is comfortable trying a long field goal, he should get a shot at a 50-plus yarder or two. Making one to win the game would be especially sweet.