Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff threw for a season-high 353 yards with two touchdowns and a 107.5 passer rating in Detroit's 20-6 Week 6 win over the Buccaneers in Tampa.
But that was three months ago and both of these teams are very different now. That Week 6 loss spurred a four-game losing streak for Tampa Bay that saw them drop to 3-6 to begin the year. Now they've won five of their last six, including a 32-9 shellacking of the Philadelphia Eagles in last week's Wild Card matchup to advance to this point.
"It's so long ago and they're such a different team, so are we," Goff said Wednesday when asked if there's anything he can glean from the first matchup between these two. "I mean there's certain guys on our team then and on their team then that just aren't on the team anymore for whatever reasons.
"But yeah, it's different teams, it's a different time of the year, it's a different location. There's a lot of differences there, but I know they're a good team, I know they're a good defense."
The Bucs' defense ranked sixth in the regular season allowing just 19.1 points per game and were No. 5 against the run. In that first matchup Week 6 Detroit rushed for a season-low 40 yards on 22 attempts (1.8 avg.). They didn't have Jahmyr Gibbs (hamstring) for that contest and David Montgomery left in the second quarter with a rib injury, but Tampa Bay's been limiting teams on the ground all year. Nine times this season they held teams under 100 yards rushing.
Teams found some success throwing the football against them this season. The Bucs ranked 29th in that department, but to Goff's point, they haven't allowed 300 yards passing in a game over the last five weeks.
"They do a lot," Goff said of a Tampa defense that also had the third highest blitz percentage (40.1 percent) this season. "They do a whole hell of a lot. They've got really good players. I think (Antoine) Winfield (Jr.)'s as good as it gets at safety. I think both the linebackers are as good as a linebacker duo gets and I think Vita Vea's as good as it gets upfront. So, they've got a lot of good players all over the place and it's a good defense."
Goff is expecting another good test this week and knows he and the Lions' offense will need another good week of preparation to have a plan of attack for a Bucs' defense playing good football of late.
Ford Field officially topped out at 133.6 decibels for the Lions' 24-23 playoff win Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. It broke the old stadium record of 127.6 and is the fourth loudest stadium on record.
"It was probably the best I've ever been a part of," head coach Dan Campbell said this week of Sunday's atmosphere at Ford Field. "I mean it was – that was – so much of it was the fact that the thing started an hour before the game and it was just four hours of nonstop barrage of the fans just going off and the chants for (Jared) Goff and it was just – what a special, special environment. I mean for anybody that was there, you'll never forget that. You will never – for the rest of your life, that will be something you're talking about. That was special."
RED ZONE BATTLE
A big reason why Detroit walked away with the win last weekend was because they were 3-for-3 converting in the red zone and Los Angeles was 0-for-3.
Detroit's offense will be tested in the red zone this Sunday against the Bucs.
Detroit enters Sunday's game ranked third in the NFL in red-zone efficiency, converting red zone trips into touchdowns 64.1 percent of the time. Tampa Bay's defense is third best in red-zone efficiency at 42.6 percent. Detroit was 0-for-2 in the red zone in the first matchup between these two club Week 6.
- The Lions aren't the only team that's gotten significant contributions from multiple rookies this season. Bucs rookie defensive linemen YaYa Diaby and Calijah Kancey have combined for 22 tackles for loss, 20 quarterback hits, 11.5 sacks and 59 quarterback pressures during the regular season.