Skip to main content

'It's Us or It's Nobody:' Lions Have One Objective against Packers

Lions will know their playoff fate prior to kickoff on Sunday Night Football.

This weekend marks a pivotal point in the rebuild of the Detroit Lions organization.

Sitting at 8-8, Lions head coach Dan Campbell’s team can find its way into the playoffs with a victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football, as well as some help from the Los Angeles Rams.

The Lions understand the gravity of Sunday night’s matchup. The stakes, paired with the primetime atmosphere, are shaping this game to be the highlight of Sunday’s NFL slate.

More: Ben Johnson Listed as Potential Candidate for Panthers Opening

Campbell’s team will have its playoff fate decided by the time of the Seattle Seahawks' matchup with the Los Angeles Rams, which is set for 4:25 p.m. on Sunday. 

Should Seattle win, it would eliminate Detroit from the playoffs. If Los Angeles wins, the Lions would need to beat the Packers to get into the postseason.

The Lions are not getting caught up in the other games on Sunday’s schedule, focusing solely on their matchup with the Packers.

“More than anything, there’s one objective, and that’s about winning this game,” Campbell said. “It’s us or it’s nobody, and I think that’s the most important thing.”

Campbell and company are in this position just one year after finishing 3-13-1. They’ve won six of their last eight games to even their record, after a 1-6 start to the year.

Rather than shy away from the implications and treat Sunday’s game as any other, Detroit’s second-year head coach has leaned into the fact that it is essentially a playoff game to end the regular season.

“You say what it is, you say the reality of it and you say the reason why that’s where they want you at,” Campbell explained. “And then, you say, ‘Hey man, we’ve got nothing to lose here.’ We go in, and we’ve got nothing to lose. We cut it loose, and let’s have the time of our life and let’s find a way to win the game. The bottom line is, I could just gauge the room, and you can feel it. We get to be on the big stage, man, and our guys are excited about that. One way or another, we get to play one more game. At the very least, we’re playing one more game. It’s gonna be on a great stage, and everybody’s gonna see it. And, our guys, one way or another, I think they’re gonna embrace it.”

USATSI_19427264_168388382_lowres (1)

The Lions were not scheduled for any primetime games to start the year, with the Thanksgiving matchup serving as the only opportunity to play in front of a worldwide audience.

Yet, the implications of Sunday’s game allowed the NFL to flex it to the primetime slot on NBC. Campbell and his team are ready for the challenge and opportunity that comes with it.

Going from 1-6 to being nationally televised on the season’s final weekend is an accomplishment, one that the head coach finds very valuable for the direction of the team’s rebuild.

“I just know for us, it means something,” Campbell said. “That we climbed back out of the cellar and got ourselves in position to play one more meaningful game before the year ends here. And, that’s a step in the right direction.”