With five games remaining in the regular season , the Detroit Lions have their best record through 12 games since 1962. They are perfectly positioned to do something that they have not done since 1993: win their division.
There was quite a bit of hype surrounding the Lions over the offseason after the way they ended the 2022 season, capped off with a win at Lambeau Field which prevented Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers from getting into the playoffs.
That hype immediately turned into a sense that “these aren’t your father’s Detroit Lions” when the team went into Arrowhead Stadium and knocked off reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes and the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on opening night.
Despite a few hiccups lately, the Lions sit at 9-3 with a three-game lead in the NFC North over both the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers heading into Week 14, and they remain heavy favorites to win the division.
The Lions must be wary of the threat posed by a resurgent Packers team
Over the last few weeks, quarterback Jordan Love has looked like an MVP candidate, including in the Pack’s upset win at Ford Field on Turkey Day. Following an upset win over the Chiefs of their own, the Packers find themselves at 6-6, in a playoff spot and with arguably the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL.
With road contests against the New York Giants (4-8), Carolina Panthers (1-11), and Minnesota Vikings (6-6) remaining, along with home games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7) and Chicago Bears (4-8), the Packers, on paper, should be favored in every contest they have left.
The Lions, on the other hand, don’t have it nearly as easy. Playing the Vikings twice in three weeks won’t be easy, and as we saw a few weeks ago the Bears are no pushover. The Lions’ other two games are at home against one of the hottest teams in football in the Denver Broncos (6-6) and on the road against the Dallas Cowboys (9-3).
Fortunately, we can all agree that the Lions are playoff-bound no matter what. The NFC has just four teams above .500 right now.
The Lions’ only division loss right now is to the Packers, as the teams split the season series. But with three NFC North matchups remaining on the Lions’ schedule, the end of the season is even more crucial as Green Bay lingers in the background with the aforementioned soft upcoming schedule.