Two years ago, the first year of the new Detroit Lions’ regime. A young roster lacking talent sputtered through its first season. Through 11 games, the Lions had failed to pick up a single win, holding a record of 0-10-1.
In Week 13 that season, the Lions hosted the Minnesota Vikings. In dramatic fashion, the Lions pulled off a miraculous win on a walk-off touchdown. The first win of the Dan Campbell era. Two years later, it’s a win over that same Vikings team that propelled the Dan Campbell era to a height the Lions had not reached in 30 years. A division championship.
Without further ado, here's our Lions report card for Week 16.
Detroit Lions Week 16 Report Card
Offense: 4/5 Stars
There is something special about watching this offense with the offensive line intact. Against a blitz-heaving Vikings' defense, the offensive line went to work. There were countless instances of the line perfectly picking up pressure and allowing Jared Goff to survey the field. They also had another great day paving the way for the ground game, as Detroit ran for 143 yards.
The vast array of weaponry also had a good day. Amon-Ra St. Brown racked up a dozen catches to get his season total to 106, matching a career-high. Jahmyr Gibbs continues to produce at a high level.
One contributor that’s been on the rise the last few weeks is Jameson Williams. Over the past two games, he has become entrenched as the WR2 behind St. Brown. In the last two games, he has nine catches on 13 targets for 90 yards. There haven’t been many explosive plays, but he’s getting used more in the short-to-intermediate passing game. What that shows is the coaching staff trusts him more to be a featured part of the offense, and not just as someone who gets a couple of deep shots every week. So don’t fret, the explosive plays will come as Williams continues to see this level of volume.
Offensive player of the game: QB Jared Goff
Not nearly as flashy of a stat line as the Broncos game for Goff, but he was very efficient. Unlike last week, he trusted his protection from the start. He even stepped up to avoid the rush a few times
There were some issues with delay-of-game penalties in this game, in a noisy U.S. Bank Stadium, but aside from that Goff was very good on Sunday. He performed exactly as he needed to for the Lions to win.