NFL: Detroit Lions vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers For a Shot at the NFC Title

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NFL: Detroit Lions vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers For a Shot at the NFC Title

A trip to the NFC Championship Game is crucial for quarterbacks like Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield. They are good enough to be your starting quarterback in fantasy football and good enough to put up decent numbers, but they are never mentioned with the elite quarterbacks in the league. Winning an NFC Championship and a Super Bowl can change that. But only one of them will take that next step with a win in the divisional round.

Quick Take

  • Winner goes to the NFC Championship Game
  • Jared Goff vs Baker Mayfield
  • #3 vs #4

Game details

The Detroit Lions will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs on January 21 in Detroit. This is the second round of the playoffs. The 12-5 Lions are the early betting favourites by a decent margin on NFL betting sites and the number three seed in the NFC. The Lions have -278 odds to win the game on BetMGM. The 9-8 Buccaneers are underdogs heading into this playoff game. The Buccaneers have +220 odds to pick up the upset. The point spread betting market is at six and a half points. The Lions at -6.5, and the Buccaneers at +6.5. The over/under total for the game is 48.5 points. These teams played on October 15 last year. The final score was 20-6 Lions.

Baker Mayfield Attempts to Lead the Buccaneers to the NFC Championship

The 9-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers shocked many in the NFL betting world and around the league when they eviscerated the defending NFC champions last week. They defeated the Philadelphia Eagles by 23 points, a 32-9 final score, in the first round of the playoffs. With the Eagles out of the way, quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers only need to win one game to reach the NFC championship game. Not many, if any, people outside of Tampa Bay believed Mayfield could bring the franchise back to the championship game when he joined the team early last year. This will be the Buccaneers’ second shot at the Lions this season. The Lions beat the Buccaneers in week six, the score was 20-6. 

Mayfield did not play well in that game against the Lions. He missed a couple of throws that could have potentially gone for touchdowns and threw an interception. He finished the game completing 19/37 passes for 206 yards. If Mayfield has a better game, the Buccaneers should have a shot. Wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have put up numbers this year that are similar to their stats with Tom Brady during his two years with the franchise. The Buccaneers’ defence held the Lions to 20 points in the first game and held the Eagles to nine points in a playoff game. They will have a shot If they can replicate that performance on defence and Mayfield has a strong game while limiting the turnovers.

The Detroit Lions Are One Game Away From the NFC Title Game

Regardless of how the season ends, this season should be a memorable year for Lions fans. The team finished the regular season with a 12-5 record, won the NFC North, entered the playoffs as the number three seed, and defeated Matthew Stafford in a playoff game in Detroit. Now they seem destined for the NFC Championship Game thanks to the underdog Buccaneers eliminating the Eagles. On paper, the Lions look like a solid bet because they have been the more consistent team all season and their offence is significantly better by the numbers. The Lions finished fifth in points per game during the regular season with 27.1. The Buccaneers finished 20th with 20.5 ppg.

You might think twice about putting money down on the Lions when you consider how the first game played out and how the Buccaneers have played lately. In their week six game against the Buccaneers, the Lions were held to 40 rushing yards on 22 attempts. The Buccaneers also sacked Quarterback Jared Goff three times. The Lions might be in trouble if they can not run the ball better and also struggle to protect Goff. Worst case scenario, the Lions could be one and done if those two things happen and the Baker Mayfield that played against the Eagles last week shows up in Detroit.