The Detroit Lions have never won an NFC North title. That’s not as shocking as it sounds, though every other team in the division has won it at least twice since the division started in 2002. It’s just one more sign of how bad the Lions have been, and it’s a major hurdle the team most cross if they are going to make a run deep into the playoffs this year.
President Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew have declared this to be the Lions year and are going all in for a super bowl title they believe they can achieve with their current roster. The Lions do possess two of the most feared players in the NFL with wide receiver Calvin Johnson and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh causing many sleepless nights around the league for coaches and opposing players. Matthew Stafford should be coming into his prime and the offense is loaded with talented targets for him like Johnson, Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. It’s possible that Lewand and Mayhew may be on to something, but first things first, and the Lions have to win their division to have any really hope at achieving that goal.
The NFC North has much to offer the Lions in terms of competition. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in football right now, Jay Cutler has one of the strongest arms in the NFL and the Vikings have the advantage of just being able to hand the ball to Adrian Peterson and get out of his way. It will be hard for any of the four teams to get out to a commanding lead the way the Lions did last year, and even then we all witnessed how that ended.
So, do the Lions have enough to get over that hump, win the division and host a playoff game? They last won the division when it was called the NFC Central in 1993. Interesting note, they are also the only team still in the division to have never won back to back division titles dating back to 1970. Let’s focus on one thing at a time though.