Head coach Dan Campbell's comment that the Detroit Lions should be playing their best football in December struck a resounding chord of approval with his players.
The Lions return to the football field with Sunday's road game against the Los Angeles Chargers after a bye week with the full intention of making a successful playoff run.
The Lions are in first place in the NFC North with a 6-2 won-loss record. The Chargers are 4-4, well behind the Chiefs who lead the AFC West with a 7-2 record.
Defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson expressed optimism that the Lions can continue to improve and make a successful playoff run.
"Just the way we respond to adversity and that's the biggest thing," Hutchinson said. "I know I say that a lot, but I feel like that's the biggest thing of what great teams do.
"When stuff hits the fan and you get punched in the mouth, you have to get back up and keep on rolling."
With nine games left in the regular season, Hutchinson is confident that everyone is focused on achieving the same goal.
"It's fun," he said. "We're just taking it game by game, but everyone in this locker room is preparing for January. We all have that in mind.
"It's a little bit different than the usual around here, I think, but it's a good different."
Chargers pass rush: Chargers head coach Brandon Staley answered with one word when asked at his postgame press conference if staying healthy was a key to the success of his team's pass rush.
"Bingo," Staley replied, then paused before elaborating.
"You get a group like that, that's really good, they're going to play good. So it's a big factor. If they're healthy, then they're going to play well."
The Chargers' potent pass rush is something the Lions will have to contend with Sunday.
The Chargers had eight sacks in Monday night's 27-6 win over the Jets. That gave the Chargers 31 sacks for the season, tied with Kansas City and behind only the Ravens with 35.
The Lions are tied for 17th with 21.
View photos of the starters for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Offense, stats prediction: According to the stats, the Lions should be able to throw the ball with success against the Chargers. The Chargers have given up 286 yards per game through the air, which ranks last in the league.
Defense, s*acks bundled:* The Lions have gotten most of their 21 sacks in bunches. They've gotten 18 of their sacks against three teams – seven against the Falcons, five against the Packers and six against the Raiders in the last game before the bye.
In defense of the defense, the won-loss record of 6-2 speaks for itself.
The Lions aren't perfect, but have shown they can beat anybody anywhere. They're getting some injured players back. That's a good start to the rest of the regular season.
The Lions are favored by 2.5.
My pick: Lions 30, Chargers 17.
Who ya got?