Jan 19, 2024 - Sports

Buccaneers hope to crash Detroit's playoff party

Lions QB Jared Goff runs onto the field during introductions before playing the Los Angeles Rams at Ford Field.

Lions QB Jared Goff runs onto the field during introductions before playing the Los Angeles Rams at Ford Field. Photo: Ryan Kang/Getty Images

The Lions' historic playoff run continues Sunday with what should be a winnable game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Why it matters: Detroit's only two wins away from the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

State of play: The Lions will have to put Sunday's nerve-wracking triumph over the Rams behind them and focus on a lesser opponent.

  • The game kicks off at 3pm at Ford Field and will be on NBC.

Between the Lions: With a victory, Detroit will play the Green Bay-San Francisco winner in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 28.

  • The Lions would host the Packers with a win and if Green Bay pulls off the upset. Otherwise, Detroit would travel to the Bay Area to take on the No. 1 seed 49ers.

Threat level: Vegas expects the Lions to win by 6.5 points — but they can't afford to overlook any team with their near-nonexistent playoff history.

Quick take: The Bucs upset the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday to get here. Tampa Bay is led by former No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield. He's no Tom Brady, but the journeyman quarterback has rediscovered his moxie.

  • Wide receiver Mike Evans has 13 touchdowns this season. Covering him will be a tough assignment for Detroit's vulnerable pass defense.

Yes, but: Detroit's offense will be the best unit on the field and should be able to put up lots of points.

The other side: 👋 Axios Tampa Bay editor Jeff Weiner here. This team is different from the one the Lions faced in October, confident and bolstered by a youth movement while still benefiting from its Brady-era playoff experience. The Lions look past Tampa Bay at their peril.

💭 Joe's thought bubble: Tom Brady is not walking through that door. Tampa's toast.

Where to watch the game

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