The Detroit Lions are in a very good position at 6-2 as they come out of their bye week. The schedule shapes up nicely for a strong stretch run. Coming out of the week off they are quite literally as healthy as they've been all season.
The Lions have five division games left and they could win the NFC North with room to spare. They could legitimately make a run at the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. The 8-1 and defending conference champion Philadelphia Eagles will have be dethroned of course, but their schedule (at least before the final three weeks) is fairly tough.
Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson is lined up to reach some individual goals this season. But he also of course has eyes on what the team could accomplish this year, even as a fast-tracked, ahead of schedule Super Bowl contender.
Aidan Hutchinson opens up about Lions big goal for this season
On a recent appearance with on "PFT PM", host Mike Florio brought up the topic of the Lions making a legit run at the No. 1 seed and homefield advantage in the playoffs. Florio sees it as a real possibility, based on the aforementioned schedule, and to his credit Hutchinson did not go with a bunch of cliches (like the ones Florio mentioned before broaching the topic) to avoid talking about it.
"Of course, that's the goal man. We're not naïve, we do take it one game at a time, but we're in this thing thinking about the big picture," Hutchinson said. "That's how you go through, week to week, you have that big picture in mind. One of those small steps to get to that big picture is winning the NFC. That's our goal, man, and we're gonna do whatever it takes to get it."
Florio brought up the Lions' bad Week 7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and Hutchinson acknowledged the harsh reality check.
"I felt like it was one of those games that got out of hand early, they had a lot of big explosives against us early," Hutchinson said. "That hurts, man. We weren't playing good, complimentary football. There's not a whole lot to say in those situations."
Most of the time, players will say "one game at a time", "we're focused on (insert next team we play)" when bigger picture things are brought up in interviews. But Hutchinson confirmed the Lions have a big goal they're trying to reach, without providing bulletin board material for anyone.