Detroit Lions fans: Is it time to drink the Kool-Aid?

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 06: Matthew Stafford
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 06: Matthew Stafford /

The Detroit Lions are brewing up a big batch of Kool-Aid in the NFC North. How thirsty are you?

Hovering at .500, the Detroit Lions look like a team that is out of the playoff picture. After starting 3-1, then crashing to earth at 3-4, the Lions crept back to .500 with a nice, solid victory over the Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers. Now comes a string of winnable games against lessor opponents. The Lions win streak has to continue this weekend against the hapless Cleveland Browns.

After the Browns game, the rest of the schedule looks extremely friendly for our boys from the Motor City: at Chicago, home against the Vikings on Thanksgiving Day, at the Ravens, at the Buccaneers, home against the Bears, at the Bengals, and then closing out with the Packers in week 17.

There is not one game on that schedule that the can’t win. The toughest game is easily the Vikings, but that’s at home, in what is guaranteed to be a raucous Ford Field. That will make things tough on Case Keenum (or Teddy Bridgewater, or Sam Bradford…).

Plus the Lions already figured out a way to beat the Vikings on the road. The next toughest—and the biggest crap shoot—is the Packers game. We all know why—if HE comes back before the end of the season, that game automatically becomes the toughest.

Here’s the kicker: if they win out—or even get close—they won’t be a wildcard team, sneaking into the playoffs. The Lions, with a strong close to the 2017 season, would be NFC North champs. Yes, the Vikings have a two game lead and control their destiny in the North. The Vikes, though, have the much tougher schedule the rest of the way than the Lions.

Aside from going into Detroit, the Vikings have the suddenly relevant and good-looking Rams at home, plus they play the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons on the road in back-to-back weeks. All three– the Rams, Panthers, and Falcons– are playing for not only playoff position, but for division titles themselves. The will come ready to play against Minnesota in each of those games.

Next: Winless Browns look to spoil Motor City momentum

Those games make me think that the Vikings lose at least one more game than the Lions. And that gives me hope that the Lions might actually have a shot to be NFC North champions.

I’m eyeing this glass of Kool-Aid. Should I drink it?