clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Can the Lions be a viable road underdog against the 49ers?

Jordan Brenner and Peter Keating break down Championship Weekend in the NFL, discuss the Baseball Hall of Fame and more!

On this week’s Underdogs podcast, Peter and Jordan break down Conference Championship Weekend in the NFL, talk Baseball Hall of Fame and more!

This weekend will see two teams punch their ticket to Las Vegas and the Super Bowl as the Lions take on the 49ers (-7.5 currently on DraftKings Sportsbook) and the Chiefs take on the Ravens (-4 currently on DraftKings Sportsbook).

Jordan dubs the Lions the true underdog of the weekend, biting kneecaps and taking names heading to San Francisco. Do they have a chance to win outright? Well ...

“I think there’s a better chance they’re going to go into San Francisco and get smoked,” Peter says.

Well tell us how you really feel, Peter.

Peter notes that San Francisco didn’t look great last week against the Packers because they were playing from behind. But, he’s not sure we have to worry about the 49ers having to play from behind against Detroit and he thinks the Niners will be able to play the game that they want. Here’s what he says is really disturbing if you’re rooting for Detroit: They’ve relied on big plays, well-timed plays, execution in the red zone, all kinds of surprise and small-sampled size goodness.

“When you’re relying on clutchiness at this time of year, which is not sustainable and not predictable, you’re usually in big trouble,” Peter says.

Jordan wants to push Peter on that, however. What does he mean that the Lions have relied on clutchiness more than other teams? What have the Lions done that’s been fluky or lucky? If anything, Jordan says they’ve been an aggressive team that goes for it on fourth down. Peter counters that the Lions’ third- and fourth-down conversion rate has been really high and they’ve been relying a lot on bomb passes. Jordan completely disagrees with the notion of bombing passes being the focal point of the team’s offense, noting that they work the underneath more than anyone else with Amon-Ra St. Brown being a low-average depth of target guy. Jordan says the Lions aren’t throwing 50-yard shots left and right, but Peter comes back with the fact that the Lions had a really high yards per attempt against Dallas and Green Bay, whose secondaries are suspect. Can they sustain that level of passing competence against the Niners? Will the Niners be so far behind at any point that they look as discombobulated as they did against the Packers?

Jordan says the question is do the Lions have it in them to jump out to a lead to begin with. Jordan notes that we know Jared Goff is a much better QB at home and indoors, so will he turn into bad Jared Goff outdoors against a good defense? Jordan says he doesn’t know, although history says not to trust Goff in this spot. The thing that he is fascinated by, however, for as meh as Detroit’s defense is on the whole, they can stop the run. They’ve decided that what’s they’re going to be good at and can live with teams racking up the passing yards as long as they’re stopping the run. So much of what San Francisco does is based off a remarkably efficient running game as well as play-action. So, Jordan says it’s a case of strength vs. strength. So, Jordan wonders if Detroit is able to shut down Christian McCaffrey how much will Brock Purdy shred them? At the same time, Jordan wonders if perhaps the 49ers defense is a little overrated at this point.

Ultimately, Jordan doesn’t think the Lions can match the 49ers score for score — he’s been saying the 49ers are the best team in football all year — and he would struggle to take the Lions with the points, let alone straight up. He’s just trying to create a scenario in which a couple of interesting things happen and they’re a viable dog on the road.

Peter says that scenario is that the 49ers are the weakest they’ve looked defending the run over the last five or six weeks and Detroit sustains drives on the ground. Peter says the Lions are going to have to be able run the ball as effectively as other teams have against the Niners and the Niners are not going to be able to not show up in order to match the Lions score for score. If that happens, then we have a real game on our hands.

Watch or listen to the whole show below and make sure to keep an eye on the Underdogs podcast feeds on Apple and Spotify as well as the Le Batard and Friends YouTube page for future episodes!


NFL Conference Championships, The Poor Buffalo Bills & TCU WBB!

This week on “Underdogs” Jordan Brenner & Peter Keating have an underdog for every season!

The NFL Conference championship matchups are set– Patrick Mahomes is a road underdog in the playoffs for the second time in his career, and do the Detroit Lions have what it takes to advance to their first Super Bowl?

⚾️ 3 names were added to The MLB Hall of Fame, but the guys are more outraged at which players were snubbed.

”Wide Right”– is Bills Mafia the saddest underdog fanbase of all-time? Jordan and Peter rank the most heartbreaking losses in Buffalo Bills franchise history.

TCU women’s basketball needed open tryouts to keep its season going, and the guys couldn’t be more excited about their underdog story.

Watch the full episode below!


Be sure to check out more episodes of Underdogs on the Le Batard and Friends YouTube page and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts! You can also follow Peter on X at @PeterKeatingNJ and Jordan at @JordanBrenner.

The Crown Is Yours: Sign up for DraftKings and experience the ultimate host for games and betting experiences!