clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tuesday open thread: Do the Detroit Lions have a legitimate shot at the playoffs?

Yeah, it sounds ridiculous, but... maybe?

NFL: Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have climbed their way back to .500 with wins in three of their last four games. While a couple of those wins can be chalked up to poor opponents, it’s never easy to win in this league, and one of Detroit’s wins came against a 5-2 Cardinals team that just took down one of the best teams in the league.

Not only that, but the Lions appear to have made some serious changes to fix their biggest problems earlier in the season. After allowing 170.3 rushing yards per game in the first four games of the season, the Lions have only allowed 55.0 per game out of the bye week. They’ve managed to put pressure on the quarterback. And with Kenny Golladay back in the lineup, the Lions are starting to air it out more, too.

Of course, not everything is hunky dory in Detroit. The Lions are still struggling to defend the pass, and there’s far too much inconsistency on offense.

And looking around the league, Detroit still has a ton of work to do. The NFC is stacked with good teams, including an NFC West division that has all four teams sporting a better record than the Lions right now. The Saints and Bears, too, are non-division leaders who currently have better records than Detroit.

So today’s Question of the Day is:

Do you think the Lions have a legitimate shot at the playoffs?

My answer: As the team currently stands, probably not. However, if their young secondary can start improving, and their run defense improvements turn out to be real, then yeah, maybe.

For the longest time, we’ve said if this defense can get to just average, the Lions could contend in this league. We’ve seen exactly that over the past two weeks, and it appears Detroit may be sticking with some of the changes they’ve made. They’re playing zone more often, they’re using a heavy formation to help stuff the run, and they’re giving offenses unpredictable looks when it comes to sending pressure.

Offensively speaking, they still appear to be figuring things out. The run game is inconsistent, but all the necessary parts are there. The offensive line is more good than bad, and Detroit has a plethora of weapons both in the backfield and out at receiver.

It’s going to take a lot for Detroit to catch several of the teams ahead of them, but it’s impossible to deny that this team looks a lot different than the one that started the season. If they can continue to grow and get better—and stay healthy—I’ll give them a shot at the Wild Card. But I still need to see a little more consistency before I go planning my January around postseason football.

Your turn.

Poll

Do the Lions have a legitimate shot at the playoffs?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Yes
    (1226 votes)
  • 39%
    No
    (793 votes)
2019 votes total Vote Now