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Matthew Stafford worthy of extension
Ashley Fox – ESPN.com
After starting all 16 games each of the past two seasons, Stafford has shed the reputation of being fragile. He has become one of the Lions’ unquestioned leaders and hardest workers. And he has developed an innate connection with the Lions’ most important asset, Calvin Johnson.
That is hardly nothing.
Has Stafford been launched into the Brady-Brees-Manning-Manning-Rodgers stratosphere yet? No. Has Stafford had the playoff success of Joe Flacco or the consistency of Matt Ryan, each of whom has played one season longer? No. Has he notched wins against the elite teams? No.
At least not yet.
Matthew Stafford: Detroit Lions ‘expect’ to contend for playoffs after positive offseason
Josh Slagter – MLive.com
Stafford — the quarterback with the new $53 million contract extension this week — said working toward getting back to the playoffs has been the No. 1 goal of the offseason.
“We’ve seen the past few years that any team that’s in the playoffs has a chance to win it,” Stafford said on NFL AM on Thursday.
Detroit Lions’ Ronnell Lewis gets deferred sentence in bar fight
Kevin Bull and Dave Birkett – Detroit Free Press
Detroit Lions defensive end Ronnell Lewis was given a six-month deferred sentence Wednesday by Norman (Okla.) Municipal Judge Drew Nichols, after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace and public intoxication stemming from an April bar fight, according to a court official.
A third misdemeanor charge of interference with an official process was dismissed.
Is the NFC North the toughest division in football?
Tim Twentyman – DetroitLions.com
Three of the four teams in the NFC North won at least 10 games in 2012. All four teams – Detroit, Green Bay, Chicago and Minnesota – have made the playoffs since 2010. Heck, the last two MVPs have come from the division.
So, it begs the question: is the NFC North and its 35-29 record in 2012 the toughest division in football?
Packers fans shouldn’t hate Bears and Lions; just enjoy when team dominates them
Jay Sorgi – WGBA-TV Green Bay
It’s said that familiarity breeds contempt.
In the case of the NFL’s longest rivalry (Chicago Bears) and longest continuous rivalry (Detroit Lions), the familiar opponents of the Green Bay Packers seem to have grown a long-standing hatred of the NFL’s most championship-rich franchise.
However, Green Bay Packers Nation can take a not-so-hateful approach to the Bears and Lions, whom they’ve battled respectively since 1921 and 1930.