Detroit Lions fans haven’t had a lot to get excited about since…well, for awhile. To be generous, Lions fans have been left wanting since Barry Sanders retired in 1998. However, Detroit fans may have reason to be excited this year, because the Lions are going to win the NFC North.
Yes, the same Lions team that has lost three games in a row. It’s been a tricky run of games, though. They just lost to the Steelers, who some consider the favorite to win the Super Bowl. They also lost to the Panthers and Saints, two possible playoff teams as well. The remaining schedule is easier, but it goes beyond that for the Lions.
Detroit is 3-4, and they have three out-of-division games that they should win. The Lions get to play the Browns, Buccaneers, and Bengals. They should definitely win at least two of those games.
To not get into best-case-scenario type stuff, let’s call them 5-5. Detroit also has a road game against the Ravens, which could be a loss, which would make them 5-6. However, the reason to be optimistic about the Lions is because they have so many NFC North games left.
The Lions have only played one division game, a win on the road against the Minnesota Vikings. That was their toughest divisional game, and they already got one in the win column there.
Now, the Lions are going to Lambeau Field in their next game to take on the Packers. Normally, that would be a loss. This year, though, the Lions get to face Green Bay without Aaron Rodgers. Instead, Brett Hundley is under center. He did not impress in his first career start, a loss for the Packers. Detroit should win this game.
They also have two games left with the Bears, both of which should be wins, and a home game against Minnesota. That won’t be easy, but since the Lions won on the road against the Vikings, it’s definitely doable.
Detroit ends the season at home against the Packers. Will Rodgers be back? That could make the difference for Detroit and their playoff chances. If Rodgers can’t play though, that should be a win for the Lions.
You can, without hyperbole, assert that the Lions will win all of their division games. If they do that, obviously they will win the division. There is effectively no way for them to fail to win the NFC North if they go 6-0 in division.
If you think that’s too generous, a 5-1 division record should suffice as well, especially if the loss doesn’t come to the Vikings. If Detroit goes 11-5 or 10-6, the division is theirs. They could even do it at 9-7 if they win all their division games more than likely, although they would have to worry about the Vikings in that case. Minnesota is 6-2, but their remaining schedule is much tougher than Detroit’s.
Lions fans may be lamenting a three-game losing streak at the moment, but keep hope alive. Without having to live in a fantasy world, we can easily imagine a future where they win the NFC North this season. Just start rooting against the Vikings and hope Detroit doesn’t drop the ball.