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TIM AND MIKE: Week 18 observations

Jared Goff: He did not have his best game, but he never seemed rattled or unsure of himself, no matter what happened around him. In a game where the Lions needed a steady hand at the controls of the offense, he provided it. – Mike O'Hara

Franchise QB: Speaking of Goff, 28, is there any real question moving forward he's the franchise quarterback of this football team? He answered a lot of detractors this season finishing with more than 4,400 passing yards, 29 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. The Lions could still stand to bring in a young, developmental quarterback as a backup but that doesn't need to happen until Day 2 or Day 3 of the NFL Draft. Goff should be the guy at quarterback for the Detroit Lions moving forward. – Tim Twentyman

Jamaal Williams: He did more than pad his stats in getting his first 1,000-yard rushing season and breaking Barry Sanders' record for rushing TDs in season. Williams' two TDs gave him 17 for the season, one more than Barry had in the previous record. Williams' yards and TDs Sunday were keys to the Lions winning. He produced under pressure – like Barry often did as the best runner in history. – Mike O'Hara

Big expectations: It's a long offseason, and this Lions roster will look different next summer, but would anyone be surprised if the Lions entered next season favored to win the NFC North? Detroit finished the year 9-8 and 5-1 against the division. Minnesota won the North, and they earned it, but they were also the first 13-win team in NFL history to finish the regular season with a negative point differential. – Tim Twentyman

End of a season: There have been times when it was a relief that a Lions season ended. This is not one of those seasons. The Lions aren't only good. They're entertaining. – Mike O'Hara

Free agents: The Lions have a nice young core to build on this offseason. GM Brad Holmes will have to make some decisions on potentially re-signing some veteran free agents, however. Some of the names at the top of the list are: WR DJ Chark, RB Jamaal Williams, DL John Cominsky, LB Alex Anzalone, DL Isaiah Buggs, G/C Evan Brown, S DeShon Elliott and LB Josh Woods to name a few. – Tim Twentyman

What a finish: Detroit became just the third team in NFL history to start a season 1-6 and finish with a winning record, joining the 1970 Bengals and 2021 Dolphins. – Tim Twentyman

Bright future: Rookies Aidan Hutchinson (9.5) and James Houston (8.0) are the first pair of Lions to record over 8.0 sacks in a season since Cliff Avril and Ndamukong Suh did it in 2012. – Tim Twentyman

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