For some Detroit Lions' fans, the sky is falling or it's inevitably going to fall after the Thanksgiving Day loss to the Green Bay Packers. But an 8-3 record, with a 2.5-game lead in the division, is a solid place to be and everyone would have taken that going into the season, right?
That being said, there are some issues to fix. Turnovers on offense, driven by quarterback Jared Goff's reversal to the end of his days with the Rams, over the last two games have been a thing. A lack of takeaways by the defense is a season-long issue, as is a struggling and broadly inconsistent pass rush in terms of sacks.
Also on the offensive side, as wide receiver Josh Reynolds has experienced a drop-off over the last few weeks (driven by a lingering injury?), big plays downfield in the Lions' passing game have been lacking a bit lately.
The calendar has now flipped to December, and it's the stretch run to a likely playoff spot for the Lions. It would be the team's first playoff birth since 2016, with the franchise's first division title since 1993 firmly in play. Three of their remaining games are in the division, including both matchups against the Minnesota Vikings (Week 16 and Week 18).
As the Lions look to close out what's shaping up to still be a very good season on a good note, these three players will be big factors in how that takes shape.