Check with Packers
The Lions are legitimate, no question. They have a dynamic quarterback-receiver combination in Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. Their defensive line may be the best in football. They come to play well-prepared and fired up.
Their biggest problem is they play in the same neighborhood as the Super Bowl champions, and as of now, the Packers still are carrying a bigger stick.
The Lions are not flawless. Questions remain about their running game and secondary. But if they can keep Stafford healthy, they are going to be a playoff team.
Couldn't you envision an NFC championship game in Green Bay between the two division rivals? It could happen.
Wild card bound
The NFC is so weak, even Army would be at 5-2 odds to make the playoffs.
All the Lions need to do is go .500 the rest of the way to finish 10-6 and earn a wild card behind the Packers. And remember, the Lions have played only one home game.
We'll earmark the other wild card to the NFC South; forget about the West and East, where the Redskins will fold and the Cowboys and Eagles throw away more games than the quality control inspector at Hasbro.
The Lions aren't Super Bowl contenders because they can't get by the Packers, but if the playoff bracket breaks the right way, a trip to the NFC title game would have the Motor City revved up in
Could be 13-win team
As long as Matthew Stafford stays upright, the Lions could be the second-best team in the NFL.