It’s a good sign that the Detroit Lions want more. More wins, more playoff appearances and, ultimately, more championships. That’s why after consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1994-95, the team decided to move on from Jim Caldwell, who amassed 36 wins and the highest winning percentage of any Lions coach in the Super Bowl era.
But in games that mattered most, the Lions failed to show up. There was that winner-take-all game in Green Bay in 2014 that the Lions lost and one win in any of their final three games at the end of last season would have secured that elusive division title. The Lions lost them all then limped into the playoffs where they were routed by the Seahawks. Still, winning nine games in back-to-back seasons is an accomplishment and it shows that the Lions have talent to compete. Maybe, and hopefully for management, a new voice and philosophy can extract the extra something needed to push this group over the hump.
The Lions have a superstar in Matthew Stafford and he ended the year throwing for 323 yards and three touchdowns in a win over the Packers. But he needs help from a run game that was been non-existent under Caldwell. In Caldwell’s four years the Lions never had a back run for 100-yards in a game and they were last in rushing in 2017 with just over 76 yards per game. The last Detroit player to rush for 100 yards in a game was Reggie Bush, who totaled 117 during the 2013 campaign, 68 games ago.
2017 Record: 9-7
2017 ATS Record: 8-7-1
2017 Over/Under Total Record: 10-6
Current Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Current Odds to Win NFC: N/A
Current Odds to Win NFC North: N/A
Week 17: Lions 35, Packers 11
ATS Result: Lions -7.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 44.5
Matthew Stafford’s big day and plenty of help from the turnover-prone Packers allowed the Lions to close the season with a SU and ATS victory. Stafford threw three scoring passes to cap a 27-0 scoring run after the Pack had taken an early 3-0 lead. He also caught a 2-point conversion after Ameer Abdullah scored on a 7-yard run to finish off the scoring and cash the over for the first time in four games.
Week 16: Bengals 26, Lions 17
ATS Result: Bengals +3.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 43.5
In a game the Lions needed to have, they didn’t show up. They took a 17-16 lead early in the fourth quarter on Tion Green’s touchdown run but they self-destructed on the next drive with two defensive penalties leading to Cincy’s go-ahead field goal. A short punt gave the Bengals good field position and they sealed the outcome on their next drive to get the outright win.
Week 15: Lions 20, Bears 10
ATS Result: Lions -5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 43.5
Detroit’s defense came up with three timely interceptions and Stafford did his part by throwing for a pair of scores and protecting the football as the Lions won their second straight game. Darius Slay’s first pick was turned into a touchdown a few plays later, extending Detroit’s lead to 20-3. The Bears closed the gap before Slay sealed the outcome and the ATS win with an end zone pick in the final seconds.
Week 14: Lions 24, Buccaneers 21
ATS Result: Lions PK
Over/Under Total Result: Under 47.5
Theo Riddick scored a pair of touchdowns and Stafford hit Golden Tate for another as the Lions took a 21-7 lead into the fourth. But the Bucs tied the game on a pair of Jameis Winston scoring passes, setting the stage for another comeback effort by Stafford. He drove the team into field goal range and Matt Prater nailed the game-winner with 20 seconds left to give Detroit the ATS win.
Week 13: Ravens 44, Lions 20
ATS Result: Ravens -2.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 43
After falling behind 20-0 in the first half, the Lions twice got within a touchdown in the second, only to have Stafford exit the game with a hand injury, dashing all hopes of a comeback. Stafford got the Lions within 27-20 on a scoring pass to Nick Bellore, but after a Ravens field goal his pick led to another Baltimore touchdown. Rudock replaced Stafford late in the fourth and tossed a pick-six, securing Detroit’s second straight ATS loss.
Week 12: Vikings 30, Lions 23
ATS Result: Vikings -2.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 46
The Lions blew an opportunity to close the gap in the NFC North, but it wasn’t from a lack of trying. They rallied from a 27-10 deficit and thought they had tied the game with a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown late in the fourth. Unfortunately, an offside penalty negated the play and the Vikings ran out the clock to hand Detroit the ATS loss.
Week 11: Lions 27, Bears 24
ATS Result: PUSH Lions -3
Over/Under Total Result: Over 41
The Lions overcame a 10-point deficit and used a long Matt Prater field goal for the game-winning points. Stafford rallied the team to a lead with consecutive scoring passes and engineered a drive into Chicago territory for the clinching play. They then watched Connor Barth miss his game-tying attempt to secure the push.
Week 10: Lions 38, Browns 24
ATS Result: Lions -10.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 42.5
The Lions found themselves down 10-0 just seven minutes in and were trailing by seven early in the third quarter. But they were facing the Browns and they had enough time to mount a comeback, which they did. Three Stafford scoring passes closed out the scoring and the Lions escaped the winless Browns with a cover win while cashing the over for a second straight game.
Week 9: Lions 30, Packers 17
ATS Result: Lions -2.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 42.5
Following a missed Packers’ field goal on the opening possession, the Lions went 71 yards to take a lead they’d never lose on Stafford’s first of two scoring passes to Jones. The Lions took a 30-10 lead on Matt Prater’s field goal late in the fourth to easily cover the 2.5-point spread and a Green Bay touchdown with no time left was just enough to cash the over for the third time in four games.
Week 8: Steelers 20, Lions 15
ATS Result: Steelers -3
Over/Under Total Result: Under 44.5
Five red zone trips with only three field goals to show for it tells us where this game went. Outside of their failure to score a touchdown, the Lions played a solid game. They produced over 480 total yards, kept Le’Veon Bell in check and allowed just one big play in the passing game which proved fatal. The Lions suffered their third consecutive SU and ATS loss while playing below the closing total.
Week 7: BYE
Week 6: Saints 52, Lions 38
ATS Result: Saints -6
Over/Under Total Result: Over 50.5
The Lions scored 28 straight points over the third and fourth quarters, yet they still trailed by seven after the spurt. Stafford committed five turnovers and the Saints scored on three of them, putting the Lions in a hole that even their huge run couldn’t get them out of. Trailing 45-10, Stafford tossed a pair of touchdowns, Jamal Agnew scored on a punt return and A’Shawn Robinson on a short interception to get Detroit within seven. But a final Saints defensive score sent the Lions to their second straight ATS loss.
Week 5: Panthers 27, Lions 24
ATS Result: Panthers +2
Over/Under Total Result: Over 42
There was a fourth-quarter comeback, just not enough to get the Lions a victory or a cover on the 2-point spread. Stafford struggled most of the day with shoddy protection and little help from the run game, but he tossed a pair of touchdowns in the final stanza to cash the over. After getting within three points with left, the Lions couldn’t get the ball back and Cam Newton ran out the clock.
Week 4: Lions 14, Vikings 7
ATS Result: Lions +2.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 43
The Lions didn’t need Stafford to go off or another fourth quarter comeback. They won this one the old-fashioned way: with stellar defense, turnovers and timely offensive production. The result was a score that played below the total, but more importantly for the Lions is they picked up a division road win and made their backers proud by winning outright as a 2.5-point dog.
Week 3: Falcons 30, Lions 26
ATS Result: Falcons -3
Over/Under Total Result: Over 55
Football is a game of inches and the Lions ended up a few short of a big win. Prater’s 57-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter cashed the over, but it left the Lions four points down. No problem for a team that’s thrived in this situation. But the apparent game-winning touchdown pass was overturned and the Lions fell short of covering the 3-point spread for their first ATS loss of the year.
Week 2: Lions 24, Giants 10
ATS Result: Lions +3
Over/Under Total Result: Under 42
For a change the Lions never trailed and easily covered the 3-point spread to improve to 2-0 ATS. The offense was efficient, the defense was aided by five sacks and special teams were scintillating. It was an all-around effort worthy of a contending team.
Week 1: Lions 35, Cardinals 23
ATS Result: Lions +2.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 48.5
The Lions kept attacking and never gave up, which allowed them to overcome an early 10-0 deficit to post the victory. Trailing 17-15 in the fourth quarter, Detroit scored three straight touchdowns to seize control of the game. After winning eight times last season when trailing in the final quarter, the Lions did it again. Behind Stafford they have a confidence that they are never out of it, and they aren’t.
Preseason Record: 2-2
ATS Record: 2-2
Over/Under Total Record: 2-2
The Lions overcame a 1-3 start last season and were in the drivers seat for a NFC North title until the wheels came off at the end. Needing a victory in one of their remaining three games, they failed to achieve it and lost out to the Packers. Still, the Lions qualified as a Wild Card but they were overmatched in a loss to the Seahawks. Though the season ended poorly, it should be considered a success and the Lions are looking to build off that for another playoff run.
Week 1: Lions vs. Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 10, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 2: Lions at Giants, Monday, Sept. 18, 8:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 3: Lions vs. Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 24, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 4: Lions at Vikings, Sunday, Oct. 1, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 5: Lions vs. Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 8, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 6: Lions at Saints, Sunday, Oct. 15, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 7: Bye Week
Week 8: Lions vs. Steelers, Sunday, Oct. 29, 8:30 p.m. ET – NBC
Week 9: Lions at Packers, Monday, Nov. 6, 8:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 10: Lions vs. Browns, Sunday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 11: Lions at Bears, Sunday, Nov. 19, 1:00 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 12: Lions vs. Vikings, Thursday, Nov. 23, 12:30 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 13: Lions at Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 3, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 14: Lions at Buccaneers, Sunday, Dec. 10, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 15: Lions vs. Bears, Saturday, Dec. 16, 4:30 p.m. ET – NFL Network
Week 16: Lions at Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 24, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 17: Lions vs. Packers, Sunday, Dec. 31, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
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