They are the team that never wins, and the team that no one hates. Yet at the same time the Detroit Lions have produced some of the most exciting players in NFL history, like the unequaled Barry Sanders and the human video game wide receiver, Calvin Johnson.
Perhaps those two, as much as the losing, are why we have a strange affection for a team we rarely root for, but never root against.
That affection is also why we are pleased to write the phrase: the Detroit Lions will make the playoffs.
The Current Wild Card Standings
Detroit is 6-7, having won five of their last six games. That places them 1.5 games behind both the Giants and Commanders, who currently occupy the final two Wild Card spots. The Seahawks are a game ahead of Detroit at 7-6 and currently ranked No. 8
That means there are two teams separating the Lions from the playoffs, and even though there are only four games left, the schedule is lined up perfectly for Detroit.
The Detroit Lions Will Win Out
After 14 weeks the numbers give us a pretty clear idea of who each team is. With Cold, Hard Football Facts as our guide, their comprehensive Quality Stats Power Rankings has the Detroit Lions as the 14th best team in the NFL, and climbing.
When this streak of wins began in Week 9 the Lions were ranked just 29th. So that 14th ranking, as good as it is, isn’t fully reflective of who they are now. Right now they are playing like a top-10 NFL team.
Next on the schedule is the Jets, who are falling out of the playoffs after losing three of four. Then it’s Carolina, Chicago, and Green Bay – all teams 10 or more spots lower than Detroit.
Detroit is a good bet to finish the season at 10-7. Worst case has them at 9-8.
Lots of Losses for the Others
The Seahawks need to lose at least two games, and they have as many as three losses sitting on their schedule. Up next for Seattle is San Francisco and Kansas City, two of the top-six teams in the NFL according to Cold, Hard Football Facts, and everyone else. Seattle is ranked behind both of them, and both games will be Seattle losses.
On New Year’s Day they have the Jets, and the suffocated defense of New York will make life difficult for Geno Smith and the Seattle offense and possibly give them a third loss.
That leaves two losses for either the Giants or Commanders, which is perfect since they play each other. That’s a loss for one of them. The Giants still have two other losses on the schedule, with Minnesota and Philadelphia, and the Commanders still have losses coming to San Francisco and Dallas.
Detroit is playing better football than anyone else on the bubble, and they have the easiest remaining schedule by far. For the first time since 2016 the Lions will be in the postseason.
Read more about the team.
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