To the surprise of many, the Detroit Lions could have something to play for in Week 18. After starting the season 1-6, Detroit has stormed back, winning seven out of their next nine games. That has evened their record up at 8-8, putting them in a potential win and you are in scenario this weekend against the Green Bay Packers.
For that game to matter for the Lions, they will need the Seattle Seahawks to lose to the Los Angeles Rams earlier in the day. If that occurs, Sunday Night Football will be a true elimination game between the NFC North rivals.
Being in this position shows how much work the new regime of general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell has done. They have reshaped the culture in Detroit and look to be on the right path.
To get to this point, the team has had plenty of standout performers. Jared Goff has been a pillar of consistency on the offensive side of the ball and second-overall pick Aidan Hutchinson has lived up to the billing.
Unheralded players have stepped up on both sides of the ball throughout the season and two players on offense are closing in on nice incentive bonuses. One of them is running back, Jamaal Williams.
Williams has been one of the best players on the Lions this season. He was thrust into a bigger role with De’Andre Swift suffering an injury early on and has responded with career-highs across the board.
The six-year veteran has a chance to rewrite the Lions’ record books as he is only one touchdown away from tying Barry Sanders’ record of 16 rushing touchdowns in a single season. In addition to that, if he rushes for at least six yards to get 1,000 on the season, he will receive a $250,000 bonus.
Williams isn’t the only Lions player on offense looking to hit some incentives in his contract. Wide receiver Kalif Raymond is also within striking distance to earn a nice sum of money.
Raymond has 43 receptions and 550 yards on the season. If he can catch seven passes against the Packers, he will earn another $125,000. Gaining another 50 yards receiving would also net him another $125,000 bonus.
The receptions may be tough to come by as Raymond has seen his participation in the offense drop in recent weeks, as he has run only 10 routes per game over the last five contests. However, he has averaged 49.7 yards per game over his last three, so the second incentive seems to certainly be within reach. If he is close during the game, it would not be shocking to see the coaching staff draw up some touches for him to reach at least one of the incentives in a show of good faith.