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Streaking Lions beat Jets, remain in playoff mix

The Detroit Lions are the trendy playoff pick right now, and with a 20-17 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, they continued to show why.

Against one of the best defensive teams in the NFL, quarterback Jared Goff and the Lions got around the Jets and found enough offense. And despite the Lions’ defense being ranked dead last in the NFL (coming into Sunday at least), they stood strong when it mattered and stopped the Jets

The Lions needed every single one of those 60 minutes to beat the Jets, but they did it. They started by running more than eight minutes off the clock on a 14-play drive that somehow ended with no points. On fourth-and-goal from the Jets’ 1-yard line, the Lions couldn’t break the plane and turned it over on downs.

Not the best beginning, but it almost immediately got better when the Jets went four-and-out and punted from their own end zone. The ball was caught by wide receiver Kalif Raymond, who easily ran it in for a punt return touchdown.

It was tied 10-10 by the end of the first half, and there wouldn’t be another touchdown until the fourth quarter. It all came down to the final eight minutes of the final quarter.

Down 13-10, the Jets engineered a three-minute TD drive to put them up four. That took the field goal off the table for the Lions — they could win with only a touchdown.

Goff and head coach Dan Campbell had the guts to make it happen. Faced with fourth-and-inches at midfield, the Lions went for it. Not just the first down — the entire touchdown.

That left the Jets with under two minutes to either tie or win, and Wilson tried to make it happen. With a few good throws he got the ball to roughly midfield and within field-goal range. If things went a little differently, this post would have been about Wilson’s heroic final minute and whether it helps prolong his likely shrinking Jets career.

Instead, kicker Greg Zuerlein‘s foot sent the ball left, missing the uprights and giving the Lions a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

That victory over the Jets means the Lions have won six of their past seven games. After starting 1-6, they are now 7-7 and solidly in the playoff hunt. They face the Carolina Panthers in Week 16, and if they can perform at least as well as they did against the Jets, the Lions can get even closer to a long-sought playoff berth.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 18: Brock Wright #89 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a touchdown during the fourth quarter a at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Brock Wright celebrates a touchdown that proved to be the winning score for Detroit. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)



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