The Detroit Lions have become the talk of the town in the NFL. All anyone can really ask themselves is how a winless team in 2008 could bounce back the way they are doing in a few years...Well, it all comes down to a new head coach in Jim Schwartz and a new franchise QB in Matthew Stafford to make that turnaround happen, all the while keeping a franchise wide receiver in Calvin Johnson. Oh, let's not forget about Ndamukong Suh and give the defense some credit.
For two weeks in a row, the Lions have put most, if not all, public doubt to rest about contending this year. First, they come back from 20 down last Sunday against division rival Minnesota. This Sunday, they one-upped themselves and came back from 24 against Dallas, which is the largest comeback for a road team in NFL history.
The Lions are now tied at 4-0 with the Super Bowl champ Green Bay Packers, the first time they are 4-0 since 1980. And, they have won eight straight regular-season games for the first time since a nine-game streak over the 1953-54 seasons.
With all this said, the Lions did have to fight their way back just to be where they are now. Whether or not they can continue to come back when trailing remains to be seen. They will be tested for the rest of the season, having to play their division rivals a grand total of five times: Minnesota one more time, Chicago twice, and the Super Bowl champs twice.
It will be tough to nab the playoff spot Detroit longs for, but still very possible. Remaining opponents can play some pretty stout defense. And, if the Lions don't get a running game going (they are 29th in rushing yards at 74.5 per game), relying heavily on passing throughout, then their chances will begin to dwindle.
On the flipside, the passing offense of the Lions can hold their own. Calvin Johnson caught eight passes for 96 yards against the Cowboys and tied Cris Carter's NFL record of catching two TDs in four straight games. Stafford is on pace for almost 5,000 yards and just over 40 TDs this season, while Johnson is on pace for a record-breaking 32 receiving TDs.
Everything above taken into consideration, do you think the Lions can finally make the playoffs? Here's how it looks like they'll fare record-wise according to their remaining schedule:
10/10 vs. Chicago: W
10/16 vs. San Francisco: W
10/23 vs. Atlanta: L
10/30 @ Denver: W
11/13 @ Chicago: L
11/20 vs. Carolina: W
11/24 vs. GB: L
12/4 @ New Orleans: L
12/11 vs. Minnesota: W
12/18 @ Oakland: W
12/24 vs. SD: L
1/1 @ GB: L
Final record 10-6 (clinches wild card spot)
So, congratulations Detroit. You will see your Kardiac Kittens ready to tear up the playoffs...but, as far as a Super Bowl goes? That might be a stretch for now.