The Detroit Lions have been cruising along early in 2023, looking like one of the best teams in the NFC.
Former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi has been watching the Lions, like a lot of people, and likes what he sees. In a piece for VSIN.com, Lombardi revealed the Lions as one of his five teams that can win the Super Bowl. Why? Detroit's offense and defense have stepped up in equal measure.
"They have a defensive front that can take over games—something they didn’t have last season. They are fun to watch. They have a winning formula similar to the 49ers on offense, which is set up by their run game, which leads into their play-action pass game. Last week, without their two best offensive players, they dominated the Panthers, and the 9.5 closing number was never in doubt."
Since an overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2, the Lions have blown out three NFC opponents by double-digits. Overall, as Lombardi points out, they are 12-3 since last November.
The Lions will not face the San Francisco 49ers or Philadelphia Eagles, widely regarded as the top two teams in the NFC, in the regular season. So that hypothetical measuring stick will not come until the playoffs.
Michael Lombardi: Detroit Lions have 'legitimate' Super Bowl shot
Lombardi also sees the Detroit defense as improved, and appreciates what a surging Aidan Hutchinson brings as a leader of the charge.
"Their defense can complement their offense with their ability to rush the passer and extend leads. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson can create havoc for the opposing tackles with his skill combined with his relentless effort. The Lions team dominating isn’t a fluke. They are for real and are one of the few teams that have a legitimate chance to play in a Super Bowl for the first time in their franchise history."
There's a long way to go this season, but Lombardi's take offers an interesting vote of confidence in what the Lions can do this year.