There is no rest for the weary. Don’t even think about resting Detroit Lions players even if they clinch their first division title since 1993 this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
There are bigger fish to fry.
Just keep winning, baby.
That should be the mindset of the Lions. Being the kings of the North is no longer the goal after the Philadelphia Eagles dropped a 20-17 decision to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.
Some Lions fans cringed because the Seattle victory prevented the Lions from clinching a playoff spot. Instead, they should have rejoiced because it kept the Lions in the running for the No.2 seed behind San Francisco.
The New York Times put the Lions probability of winning the North at 96 percent. Their chances of making the playoffs stand at 99 percent, according to the Times.
They still have a shot at the No. 1 seed even though that is not likely.
Here is the skinny.
The Niners (11-3) hold the top seed with three games to play. They have two home games against the Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams and one road game with the Washington Commanders.
Dallas (10-4) moved into the second seed after the Philadelphia loss. Although the Eagles (10-4) can win the NFC East by sweeping their last three games, the Dec. 30 Cowboys-Lions game is monumental.
The Lions want to finish ahead of the Cowboys who are a different team away from home than on the road. The Cowboys are mashing people at AT&T Stadium. They are just another team on the road. How much better would you feel if the Lions had a second-round game against Dallas at Ford Field?
Where the Lions and Cowboys play could mean all the difference in the world.
The Lions (10-4) can clinch the North with a road win against Minnesota this Sunday. That, however, is no longer the big goal. That is a bottom line goal. The Lions should have bigger fish to fry. That means sweeping Minnesota home and away. Then doing the impossible, beating Dallas in Arlington, Texas where the Cowboys own a 7-0 record.
“We’re going to do everything we can to win this division,” Coach Dan Campbell said. “And there is not going to be anything easy about it.”
Even if the Lions clinch the division title this weekend, they cannot let the foot off the pedal and rest players the rest of the season.
“Yeah, when we’re done with the season they are gonna get rest,” Campbell said. “I promise you that. They’re gonna get plenty of time off.”
For more from the author Terry Foster, check him out on Twitter here: @terryfosterdet
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Original Photo Credit: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK