As an analyst on TV, you need to be either entertaining, say something shocking, or have controversial opinions, but sometimes they can go a little far in attempting to make Twitter waves. Robert Griffin III is the latest, basically saying NFL teams don’t want the Detroit Lions in the playoffs.
“I’m not sure any NFL teams want the @Lions to make the playoffs. They are DANGEROUS and WAY BETTER than their record.”
Sure, the Lions have played much better in the second half of the season, winning five of their last six games. But the fact remains that as good as they’ve been, the Lions are still a sub .500 team. Could they make the playoffs? Yes, they could, and based on their remaining schedule, it’s mathematically possible.
To make this pipedream a reality, the Lions will likely need to run the table over these final four weeks of the season to do it. Over the next month, the Lions will play at the Jets and Panthers, home against the Bears, then close out the year in Green Bay with the Packers.
Witnessing how the Lions have played lately, a sweep of those teams isn’t out of the question. Still, the Jets are fighting for their own postseason lives in the AFC. They are just a game above .500. This Week 15 matchup between the Lions and Jets will catapult one team into better position to make a postseason push and could all but officially eliminate the other.
But for Griffin to claim that he doesn’t think teams want to see the Lions in the playoffs is off the mark, nearing the point of asinine, as Stephen A. Smith would say. Detroit is better than they have been in recent years, but nobody should fear them. Should they make the playoffs, it would be as either the sixth or seventh seed, which means they’d play either Minnesota or San Francisco as it currently stands (and even then, I’d take the Vikings in the rubber match). The Lions split with the Vikings after beating them 34-23 on Sunday, and they aren’t traveling to the Bay Area and beating the 49ers. They’ve got no chance in hell there.
Detroit making the playoffs would be a fun story, especially after starting the season 1-6 and then turning things around midseason. But let’s not forget these are the same Lions that got shut out by the New England Patriots, 29-0, in Week 5. Detroit has scored a lot of points this year other than that loss, but there have been other times when the offense has struggled to accumulate points. In Week 9, Detroit had trouble reaching 15 points against Green Bay, although they walked away with the victory because the Packers only scored 9.
The Lions have plenty of weapons on offense, but no defensive coordinator in the NFC is losing sleep over facing Jared Goff in the wildcard round. So, let’s stop this nonsense RG3 is spewing about the Lions and take them for what they are. They’ll be a nice redemption story if they make the playoffs, but nothing more.