Lions move one step closer to playoffs with dominant 42-17 win over Broncos

The Broncos had no answers for the Lions' explosive offense.

The Detroit Lions put one hand on the NFC North division title Saturday night with a 42-17 blowout of the Denver Broncos.

It was an offensive explosion for the Lions with all of their weapons playing big parts in the victory.

Jared Goff passed for 278 yards and five touchdowns, while Amon-Ra St. Brown found the end zone once and picked up 112 receiving yards. Jahmyr Gibbs ran for 100 yards and had receiving and rushing touchdowns, while Sam LaPorta had five catches with three of them resulting in scores.

After beginning the game with three straight punts, the Lions roared and scored on five consecutive drives. LaPorta started it off by moving into a tie for second place among rookies with his seventh touchdown of the season.

According to NFL Research, LaPorta joined John Mackey (1963) and Mike Ditka (1961) as rookie tight ends with at least 700-plus receiving yards and seven-plus receiving touchdowns in a season.

It was then Gibbs' turn as he recorded his first receiving touchdown of the season to make it 14-0.

The Lions weren't done in the first half as St. Brown flipped into the end zone for his seventh touchdown for a 21-0 lead.

St. Brown's big day helped him become the third player in NFL history — along with Odell Beckham Jr. and Michael Thomas — to record 90 receptions and 900 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons.

While the Broncos showed a little bit of fight, cutting the lead to 28-10 at one point, the Lions were too much as Gibbs and LaPorta added touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Playoffs in sight for Lions

It was an important win for the Lions, who have yet to lose consecutive games this season. They are now 10-4, three wins ahead of the Minnesota Vikings, who lost on a last-second field goal to the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday afternoon in overtime.

The Lions took care of business. Now they need some help to punch their ticket to the postseason. If any one of these scenarios happen this weekend, then Detroit will clinch a playoff spot:

  • Seahawks lose to Eagles on Monday night

  • Rams lose to Commanders AND Buccaneers lose to Packers

  • Rams lose to Commanders AND Falcons lose to Panthers

The Lions have not played in the postseason since 2016 and they've not won a playoff game since Jan. 5, 1992 when Erik Kramer went off and Barry Sanders did his thing.

With three games to play, the Lions will face the Vikings twice and the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17.

Broncos sink in AFC playoff bubble

It's been better of late for Sean Payton's team. The Broncos haven't lost consecutive games since Weeks 5 and 6, and their remaining schedule against the New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders leaves room for hope in Denver of sneaking into the postseason.

The only problem for the Broncos is that it's a crowded field outside the AFC's top seven teams. Denver is now 7-7 and there are four teams who are either tied or within a victory of matching them in the standings.

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