The Detroit Lions absolutely owned the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon. It was the final home game of the season, and the boys in Honolulu Blue gave the hometown crowd all they could handle down at Ford Field. The Bears left having completed only 33% of their passes for a measly 75 yards. It was pure domination from the second quarter on as the Lions walked away with the victory 41-10, looking to Week 18 to hopefully secure a playoff berth.
What can we take away from this Detroit Lions beatdown?
There are a few things that we can learn from such a lopsided win. The Lions are currently 4-1 in the NFC North and 6-5 in the NFC Division. They have a +22 point differential on the season and have won seven of their last nine games, with a level record of 8-8 and there are some reasons for this.
Jared Goff is actually pretty good at home, but that might not be enough
Jared Goff is a pretty decent quarterback … when he's playing at Ford Field. While these last nine games he has played very smartly, not turning the ball over except the one fumble against Carolina, this home/road splits for Goff are crazy.
In only two more games at home, than on the road, he has 17 more touchdown tosses, one less interception, and a QB Rating that is 22 points higher than when he's on the road. There has been a lot of discussion around Goff this season and his future with the Lions, some even utilizing the term “elite.” Well, let's pump the breaks. The inconsistency of his home performance versus his road performance is not something to overlook. Patrick Mahomes, arguably the best QB in the league right now, shows the model of consistency.
Listen, I'm not going to sit here and bash Goff, just bring some reality. He's a better quarterback at home than he is on the road. And, for the Lions, that means he's going to need to flip the script, quickly. They play the Green Bay Packers with their playoff hopes on the line, not at home. And, should they make the playoffs, they won't be playing at home. Just some food for thought.
James Houston was a STEAL in the 6th Round
If you don't know the name James Houston by now, you've been sleeping under a rock. All this dude has done is be shelved for the first 11 games of the season on the practice squad, get elevated, and create havoc. In six games, Houston has recorded eight sacks, while seeing his snap percentage rise each week.
Out of Jackson State University, Houston was the 217th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Once he has gotten the opportunity to play, paired with Aidan Hutchinson, he's been a force to be reckoned with. As long as this continues to develop–not even just a sack a game, but the ability to disrupt offensive opportunities will bode well for the Lions for Week 18 and beyond.
Ford Field is a distinct home-field advantage
I witnessed this when I went to the Lions vs. Seahawks game in Week 4. There is something special about Ford Field. It's a great place to watch a football game, for sure; the atmosphere, especially when the team has done what it's been doing, is electric. Dan Campbell said as much in his post-game presser yesterday.
We've already discussed the splits for Goff at home, but look at the splits for the entire offense while at Ford Field and away from it:
While the trend doesn't hold true for the defense, necessarily (they give up the same yardage and points at home as opposed to the road), there's an element of the crowd's involvement, especially in light of sacks produced. When the front seven are getting to the opposing team's QB, it has a significant impact as the Lions are averaging almost double the sacks per game at home as opposed to on the road. Here's to the day in 2023 when the Lions, fresh off an NFC North Division Title host their first playoff game in a LONG time and those hometown folks get to play a part in it.