NFL.com predicts the Detroit Lions will win the NFC North
Following a 9-7 season with playoff berth, NFL.com predicts the Detroit Lions will win their division in 2017 in the highly competitive NFC North.
Last season, the Detroit Lions seemed to be on the verge of becoming NFC North divisional champions. Instead, the Lions’ lost their final three games of the regular season and were edged out for the divisional title by the Green Bay Packers.
So it’s not hard to presume that with a little more luck, the Lions could finish what they started last season and best the Packers, Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears for that top spot in 2017. And an analyst over at NFL.com agrees, as he made Detroit winning the NFC North his bold prediction for the team.
"“…there are reasons to think Detroit could pull off beating out Green Bay for the top spot,” wrote NFL.com analyst Elliot Harrison on the league’s official website. “This team was on its way toward winning the NFC North last year until Matthew Stafford injured his middle finger….No major injuries and no Hail Marys might mean an end to the days of merely sneaking into the postseason.”"
Harrison went on to mention the fact the Lions’ upgraded their offensive line by adding free agent guard T.J. Lang and right tackle Ricky Wagner in the offseason. And that a healthy Ameer Abdullah would go a long way in bolstering the running game in the Motor City. But he also noted that the Lions have yet to win the division since it was formed as the current version of the NFC North in 2002.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of questions that will need to be answered before the Lions’ can hang a banner for being divisional champs. Questions like: Who will play for injured left tackle Taylor Decker and can they be effective? How much will defensive rookies like Jarrad Davis and Teez Tabor help on that side of the ball in 2017? And can quarterback Matthew Stafford continue to improve his game and finally be considered elite by the league in general?
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What Elliot Harrison’s prediction should do is give fans of the Detroit Lions hope that the team can build on their impressive play from last season and get the team’s first postseason victory in over 25 years. It will take a little luck and for the team to stay healthy in order to do so, but the divisional title appears to be within the Lions’ grasp this season.