The Detroit Lions are closer to contention than many people think

Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions (Photo by Betsy Peabody Rowe/Getty Images)
Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions (Photo by Betsy Peabody Rowe/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions have enough pieces to contend in the NFC North, but they will have to prove it on the field.

The Detroit Lions last 60 plus years have been a ‘how not to win’ lesson for students of the game. This franchise has run the gauntlet from mediocre and boring to pathetic and embarrassing, with extremely limited time in the potentially good zone.

As a matter of fact, even in the very few seasons that the Lions resembled a real NFL team and made a run to the playoffs, they pretty much rolled over and died when they got there.

The last time the Lions actually won a playoff game, they became a part of NFL history. That was 1991 when they became the only NFL team to beat the Jimmy Johnson led Dallas Cowboys in the postseason.

Go ahead and look it up. It’s a stat I can hardly believe myself. The reason it’s so hard to believe? Until Jimmy Left Dallas, his teams were stacked with talent, incredibly well-coached and always poised when they needed to be the most.

Yet Wayne Fontes and his Lions toppled Jimmy’s Cowboys. A team that would have won a record three straight Super Bowls if Jerry Jones’ ego hadn’t caused Jimmy to leave Dallas. You can say what you want, but there is absolutely no way I will believe otherwise.

So in the past 63 years, the Lions have played their best when they needed to the most once. Then just one week later after that Herculean effort, the Lions collapsed and had the tar beaten out of them by the Washington Redskins, 41-10. Just one game away from the Super Bowl.

As we glance ahead towards the 2020 season, it’s easy to see why the national media always picks the Lions for last place and never does any homework to see if perhaps these Motor City cats have a chance. Because Detroit continually fulfills the prophecy.

As Lions fans we might be sick of it, but how you argue the results? That being said, is there even the slightest bit of a chance that the latest version of the Lions could possibly contend in the NFC North?