These are not the Detroit Lions we have grown accustomed to.
They are high-powered on offense, and they showed as such with their 42-17 victory over the Denver Broncos on Saturday night.
In the second quarter, Jared Goff threw touchdowns to his home run hitters: Sam LaPorta, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Amon-Ra St. Brown – all while the Lions defense forced four Broncos punts and an interception.
Denver’s first drive of the second half ended with a Lil’Jordan Humphrey touchdown, but Detroit answered right back with LaPorta’s second touchdown of the game. Denver settled for a field goal, but then, it was Gibbs finding the end zone for a second time with just over 12 minutes remaining.
For good measure, Goff found LaPorta for the rookie tight end’s hat trick with just over two minutes to go.
Goff’s five touchdowns tied a career-high, which he also accomplished on Sept. 27, 2018 as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.
LaPorta now has nine touchdowns on the season, the most ever for a rookie tight end. Gibbs ran for 100 yards on his 11 carries, while St. Brown racked up seven catches for 112 yards.
Russell Wilson went 18-for-32 for 223 yards with a touchdown in the loss – he also ran in for a score.
Detroit moved to 10-4 on the season, and they are that much closer to clinching their first playoff berth since 2016 – their clinching scenario is complicated, but in their case, it’s practically a matter of when, rather than if. Their easiest path is losses by the Vikings and Seahawks this weekend.
It’s also the first time since 2014 the Lions had double-digit wins in a season, the third time since 1995, and the 11th in the history of the franchise that dates back to 1930.
As for Denver, their playoff hopes took a hit. They began the day at 7-6, but so did the Bengals and Colts, who both won. So entering the night, they didn’t get many favors.
The Lions head to Minnesota to face the Vikings next week, while Denver will play host to the New England Patriots.