It might be starting to become too obvious. Are the Detroit Lions purposefully helping the Green Bay Packers win a Super Bowl?
Well, of course not. But the Lions have done several things to help out the Packers this season. Green Bay is 11-3, has already clinched the NFC North, and is looking to be the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Detroit sits 2-11-1, will probably have a top-five pick in next year’s draft and has a head coach trying to prove something.
Even as a Packers fan, I like Dan Campbell. He’s got a booming personality, he’s passionate, and you can’t find enough video clips of him being a genuine dude.
The only downside is that he could help turn the Lions around and become real competitors to the Packers. But rivalry and competitiveness is good for the NFL. If the Packers always won the NFC North, they would have never switched head coach or general manager. Detroit has some work to do, but they keep helping out the team across the lake right now.
They Beat Arizona
Shockingly, the Lions beat the Arizona Cardinals 30-12. It allowed the Packers to reclaim the No. 1 seed in the NFC with three games to go. The Packers were also the first team to clinch an NFC playoff spot. The Cardinals now have a tough matchup against the Indianapolis Colts on Christmas night, right after the Packers face off against the still-depleted Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field. They will get some impact players back before then, so it should still be an easier matchup than Arizona has.
With the loss to Detroit, the Cardinals have dropped to the No. 4 seed in the NFC and will be competing against teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Los Angeles Rams for a higher spot in the playoffs. Losing to the Lions killed some of that momentum and could even lead to another loss against the Colts if they don’t get themselves right.
It appears the Lions have found a rhythm. They are not a great football team, but they have what seems to be a great head coach, and quarterback Jared Goff is finally finding a groove with his young receivers. Jaire Alexander should be back before the Packers face off against the Lions again in the final game of the regular season, but the Packers will still need to look out for Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds. Their running game has been using the same “next man up” mentality that the Packers defense has, and it seems to be coming together.
The Lions aren’t a team to worry about yet. But if the Packers are still fighting for the No. 1 seed come Jan. 9, the Lions will surely give Green Bay a fight until the end.
They Also Beat the Vikings
After an impressive victory against the Packers and a close game against the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota probably had a glimmer of hope to take the NFC North possibly. Currently, the Vikings are still clinging to the seventh playoff spot. But before heading to Detroit, the Vikings probably thought they had a cakewalk the next three weeks. They were facing the Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Chicago Bears. To be fair, they did win two of those three games.
But the Lions earned their first victory of the season against Minnesota that week. Goff threw a 41-yard pass to St. Brown for a game-winning touchdown as time expired. It was the first of St. Brown’s career and a huge moment for Detroit. But this also allowed the Packers to take a leap forward in the division. It hurt the Vikings’ chances of a division tiebreaker, cost them another close-game victory, and gave Green Bay the edge again.
Obviously, the Packers have helped themselves the most. They are a good football team and have a great shot at winning the whole thing this year. But it’s also nice to have a team like the Lions helping Green Bay without even realizing it. Detroit has two wins, both against potential Packers playoff opponents. And just imagine, the Detroit Lions have a chance to beat the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 2 and officially eliminate them from the playoffs. Chef’s kiss.
I think all Packers fans can stan the Lions for a few weeks and enjoy the ride. And while the Bears and Vikings continue to be a mess, it’s nice to cheer for a guy like Dan Campbell and his underdog team. And if on Jan. 9 Campbell and the Lions somehow beat the Packers and cost them the No. 1 seed, yell at me on social media. It’s my fault for pumping them up. But, please, yell at me within reason.