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NFL.com says don’t sleep on the Detroit Lions

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The Kool Aid is spreading nationally.

Detroit Lions v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

It’s way too early to start projecting how the 2019 NFL season will play out. Doing so before the NFL Draft would be a little irresponsible, to be honest.

But the NFL offseason is long, and irresponsible is just another word for fun, right?

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com had a little fun this week, placing each team in the NFC into tiers.

While the Detroit Lions didn’t land in the first two tiers, which Rosenthal calls “Playoff or bust” and “The crowded middle,” he did give them a backhanded compliment.

Along with the 49ers and the Buccaneers, the Lions land in the third tier, which Rosenthal calls the “Don’t sleep on us” tier.

“The Lions added some quality starters (Trey Flowers, Justin Coleman) to Matt Patricia’s defense, and they still have an above-average starting quarterback in Matthew Stafford,” Rosenthal writes.

In fact, in his free agency review of the NFC North, Rosenthal called the signing of Trey Flowers as the biggest addition, suggesting he’ll be “well worth the investment” despite the hefty price tag for the Lions.

Of course, the general consensus remains that the Lions are long-shots to contend in the NFL next year. They currently have the third-longest odds to win the Super Bowl, and are huge underdogs to win the NFC North.

Rosenthal mentions that the Lions’ tough division—the Vikings, Packers and Bears were all in his second tier—may be the one thing that gets in their way in 2019. However, he still holds out hope for them to finally capture their first division crown since 1993 or at least make another playoff appearance.

“While both the Bucs and Lions are saddled by difficult division schedules, it shouldn’t be a shock if any team in this tier finds a way to January.”