Week 9 gives Detroit Lions hope for victory

The Detroit Lions were on a pass last week, which means they haven’t lost for the first time this season. Yay.

That tired joke aside, Week 9 was truly a week of hope for the Lions, a reaffirmation that anything can – and at some point, likely happen – in the NFL.

The humble Jacksonville Jaguars upset one of the AFC’s best teams, the Buffalo Bills. The New York Giants won for the second time in three weeks, beating another AFC playoff contender, the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Arizona Cardinals won without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. The Tennessee Titans dominated Matthew Stafford’s LA Rams without Derrick Henry. And Monday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers avoided a crazy comeback to beat the Chicago Bears.

The fact that the Steelers beat a bad Bears team wasn’t much of a surprise. Pittsburgh is currently the second hottest team in the NFL with four straight wins, behind only the Titans (five-game winning streak).

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But the fact that they needed Ben Roethlisberger’s heroism late in the game to beat the Bears at Heinz Field reiterates, for me, that this week’s game in Pittsburgh is winnable for the Lions.

It may seem silly to some, with the winless Lions leaving Heinz Field with their first win. But the Steelers are a slightly above average football team with good defense and a ragged-armed quarterback playing in a short week with much bigger games to come.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) calls an audible during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA.

I’m not predicting a win for the well-rested Lions – not yet, at least. But a week of thinking made me think there were opportunities on the Lions’ upcoming schedule. The Steelers have scored over 17 points just four times this season; this is the type of team the Lions can beat.

The Bears at Thanksgiving, the Vikings in early December, the Falcons later in the month, all winnable games.

The Lions won’t win them all, of course. But I still believe they get one or two or maybe even three, and avoid 0-17.

This week’s power rankings

1. Arizona Cardinals (8-1)

2. Green Bay Packers (7-2)

3. Tennessee Titans (7-2)

4. Los Angeles Rams (7-2)

5. Dallas Cowboys (6-2)

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)

7. Bison bills (5-3)

8. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)

9. Los Angeles Chargers (5-3)

10. Kansas City Chiefs (5-4)

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)

12. Las Vegas Raiders (5-3)

13. Cleveland Browns (5-4)

Georgia hooker Nick Chubb scores a touchdown at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2018 in Pasadena, Calif.

14. Cincinnati Bengals (5-4)

15. New England Patriots (5-4)

16. Saints of New Orleans (5-3)

17. Indianapolis Colts (4-5)

18. Denver Broncos (5-4)

19. San Francisco 49ers (3-5)

20. Seattle Seahawks (3-5)

21. Minnesota Vikings (3-5)

22. Carolina Panthers (4-5)

23. Chicago Bear (3-6)

24. Atlanta Falcons (4-4)

25. Philadelphia Eagles (3-6)

26. Giants of New York (3-6)

27. Washington Football Team (2-6)

28. Miami Dolphins (2-7)

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6)

30. New York Jets (2-6)

31. Houston Texans (1-8)

32. Detroit Lions (0-8)

Contact Dave Birkett at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @davebirkett.

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