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5 questions with Pride of Detroit: Kitties still cling on to playoff hopes.

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We talked with PoD's Mike Payton about the Lions season, their surging offense and their crumbling defense

NFL: Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders
Apparently, this frisky feline is having himself a career year.

The battle for last place in the NFC North is quickly approaching, and we took the opportunity to chat with the Detroit writer with the coolest last name. It sounds like our feline friends will be coming to Chicago with a shred of hope still hanging from their tightly gripped claws. We'll see how they feel after rolling in the mud with the truly hopeless.

WCG: It’s rough being under .500 in the NFC North. Is there any hope left over in Detroit for this season?

Right now the Lions do have some hope. They have a favorable remaining schedule that features the Bears, Redskins, Broncos and Buccaneers. If they can find a way to win those games and sneak in some wins over the Packers and Vikings, they might have a shot at sneaking into that 6th playoff spot. They can barely afford to make a mistake. (Did someone say bearly? Foreshadowing?)

WCG: There were times early in this season that it seemed like Matt Patricia’s defensive scheme was starting to work in Detroit. There seems to have been a hiccup or two since. Is his defense something you expect to improve with time and better roster fits. Do you expect Patricia will get that time?

I think the Lions are struggling with multiple things on defense right now. Injuries, predictability and lack of talent in key places. I dare say the Lions have the worst linebacker corps in the NFL right now. On top of that, Mike Daniels, Darius Slay, Da’Shawn Hand and more are having trouble staying on the field.

I absolutely believe Matt Patricia isn’t going anywhere for a while. The Lions have a vision for what they want to be and they’re almost to that vision. This is something that it going to require continuity. However, I believe defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni’s days in Detroit may be numbered.

WCG: So both our teams have lost to Jon Gruden’s Raiders this season. Is there any coming back from that?

That’s rough isn’t it? It’s not easy losing to the Corona guy that says weird things like turkey hole and berates young quarterbacks on a bus. You know the thing I hate about that quarterback camp thing is that I’m not sure Jon knows how to use the remote.

WCG: What are the Lions doing well right now? Have there been any pleasant surprises this season in terms of breakout players?

The Lions offense is one fo the best in the NFL right now. They’re fifth in total offense and third in passing offense. Matthew Stafford’s bounce back year has gone from just being a simple bounce back to the thought that this guy should be in the MVP conversation and probably would be if the Lions were winning right now.

The pleasant surprise for me has been on the other side of the ball. Cornerback Justin Coleman has turned himself in possibly the best nickel corner in the NFL in 2019. It;s too bad the world around him is crumbling.

WCG: If you had to give the Bears struggling quarterback some advice on how to attack the Lions defense, what would you tell him?

I would tell him to aim for the guys in white and blue. In all seriousness, the Lions defense is pretty bad right now. I would tell Mitchel to get on Montgomery’s back and hold on for dear life. There isn’t a running back alive that isn’t going to town on this defense right now. As a passer, I’d go over the middle and challenge the linebackers. I’d calmly dink and dunk on this team all day and keep Matthew Stafford and company off the field.

You heard him, Biscuit. “aim for the guys in white and blue.” This is a smart idea I hadn’t considered. When you’re struggling with accuracy, aim for the other team, it’s the only way to guarantee you don’t throw it to them.