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Lions overcome the odds to start season 6-2

The Detroit Lions overcame a lot of adversity to go 6-2 during the first half of the 2014 season.

Jordan Mansfield

As the Detroit Lions head into their bye week, they stand atop the NFC North with a 6-2 record. The Lions have now won three straight games, two of which featured amazing comebacks late in the fourth quarter. The odds of beating both the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons the way the Lions did were pretty slim, but that just speaks to the entire first half of the season for this team. The Lions have been overcoming the odds for eight weeks now. Consider the following:

  • Calvin Johnson hasn't been healthy since Week 3, and he hasn't played at all since Week 5. Johnson was mainly a decoy for two games before missing the next three, yet the Lions have gone 4-1 since he got hurt, and they're 3-0 without him.

  • In addition to Johnson, the following players on offense have missed at least one game due to injuries so far this season: Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, Theo Riddick, Brandon Pettigrew, Joseph Fauria, Eric Ebron and LaAdrian Waddle. What's more, Montell Owens and Corey Hilliard are on injured reserve after suffering season-ending injuries.

  • On defense, the Lions have lost Stephen Tulloch, Travis Lewis, Bill Bentley and Nevin Lawson to season-ending injuries. Also, Kyle Van Noy hasn't played at all so far this season, and Cassius Vaughn, James Ihedigbo and Don Carey all missed multiple games during the first half of 2014.

  • The Lions have had three different kickers already this season, and they missed at least one field goal in each of the first six weeks of 2014.

  • The Lions have a new coaching staff and are still adjusting to their new schemes on both offense and defense.

  • Matthew Stafford has played poorly much more often than he's played well.

  • The offensive line has been an absolute tire fire, and the Lions have had no running game all season.

All things considered, it's pretty remarkable that the Lions are currently 6-2. Obviously the defense deserves a lot of credit for the Lions having six wins, but the offense has made a lot of plays with games on the line, and even the special teams rose to the occasion on Sunday in London.

Luck has definitely been on the Lions' side in the last two games, and consistently coming back to win in such dramatic fashion is not exactly something that can be sustained long term. However, the Lions are 6-2 despite all of the things listed above working against them. If they can get healthy and start to play better on offense on a more consistent basis in the second half of the season, the sky is really the limit for this team.

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