Skip to main content

O'HARA'S WEEK 15 PREVIEW: Campbell expecting a 'heavyweight fight' vs. Jets

The Detroit Lions' offense vs. the New York Jets' defense is one of this week's most intriguing matchups as the battle for playoff spots reaches the final four games of the regular season.

Both teams have legitimate playoff hopes, but also face challenges to make the postseason.

The Lions, with a 6-7 won-loss record, likely need to sweep their last four games to get a wild card berth in the NFC field.

The Jets are 7-6 and might make the AFC playoffs by winning three of their last four games.

The Lions rank fourth in the league with an average of 376.4 yards per game and fifth in points with an average of 26.8.

The Jets are third with 301.2 yards allowed per game and sixth with 18.7 points.

"This is a defense that's going to make you earn anything you can get," said Lions head coach Dan Campbell. "It's the strength of their team. You're going to have to challenge them. They're going to challenge us. It's something they do well.

"We're both jockeying for playoff positions. This is critical for both of us.

"This is a heavyweight fight."

Jets preview: The playoff run is beginning for Jets head coach Robert Saleh.

"We've got four games left," Saleh said at his press conference earlier this week. "Every team we're playing is fighting for a playoff spot. Every game is going to have playoff implications.

"This is an awesome experience for our group. It makes things more rewarding if you can get it done."

First up to face the Jets in Saleh's regular season Final Four are the Lions.

The Jets have lost three of their last four games, with road losses to the Vikings and Bills in the last two games to make their won-loss record 7-6.

The Jets sustained two injuries against the Bills that could be significant.

Quarterback Mike White went out early with a rib injury. Saleh and White both have said they expect him to play Sunday.

Less certain is the status of defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. He went out in the second quarter with a calf injury and did not return.

View photos of the starters for the New York Jets.

Lions' keys:

Offense: Improve the running game. The more potent and efficient it is, the more it helps play action, and that is one of quarterback Jared Goff's strong points. In the last three games the Lions have rushed for 96, 100 and 134 yards, and the 134 yards included a 42-yard run on a fake punt. They can do better.

Defense: Shut down the Jets early, regardless of who plays quarterback for them. If the Jets get an early lead, they have the firepower on defense to protect it and make it tough on the Lions.

Overall: Be aggressive but not careless or reckless. Play like the season is on the line, because it is. All three units – offense, defense and special teams – have made contributions in this playoff run. Expect more of the same.

Lions-Jets pick: Lions favored by 1.

The Lions beat the Giants 31-18 at MetLife in Week 11. The Jets are tougher, but the Lions have too much offense.

Lions 27, Jets 17.

Related Content