clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Notes: What national outlets are saying about the surging Detroit Lions

This red-hot team is earning national nods.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Winning four of their last five games, the Detroit Lions are turning some heads around the NFL.

Could they be the hottest team in the league, our very own John Whiticar wonders? While Detroit-based beat reporters have the best insight into that possibility, national writers and analysts are offering their own takes on where this team is headed.

The Lions are typically left out of more mainstream coverage — I would know, I look every week — but not this week. Here’s what some are saying about this spicy squad.

In an article on the best Week 13 performances, each member of the Monday Morning Quarterback team picked a deserving player. John Pluym chose quarterback Jared Goff.

“The Lions have won four of their past five games after a 1–6 start. And, honestly, they should have beaten the Bills on Thanksgiving Day. ... If Goff continues his strong play, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Lions playing playoff football in January,” he writes.

NFL offensive lineman turned analyst Brian Baldinger offered some high praise in his latest edition of Baldy’s Breakdowns.

“Lions didn’t punt. Lions gained 437 yards. Lions scored on every possession! This ain’t the same ole Lions,” he wrote.

CBS Sports’ John Breech awarded the Lions a perfect grade in his weekly evaluation.

“When the Lions offense is clicking, it’s one of the most exciting units in the NFL and it was clicking on Sunday. ...The Lions are suddenly one of the hottest teams in the NFL and if they keep winning, they might soon enter the NFC wild card conversation.”

Writing for, columnist Adam Schein offered nine takes that won’t change — including that the Lions will be tough down the stretch.

“The 10-2 Vikings and 7-5 Jets are up next, and both should be on alert. Then Detroit finishes off the season against Carolina (current record: 4-8), Chicago (3-10) and Green Bay (5-8). Could Detroit finish this season with seven or eight wins? Absolutely,” he writes.

Finally, Pro Football Focus selected wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown as a member of their team of the week.

Not too shabby.

And onto the rest of your notes.

  • Nothing better than a victory Monday. Goff sits down with FOX 2’s Dan Miller to break it all down.

  • Speaking of Goff, he’s up for FedEx Air Player of the Week.

  • “In a game where Lions’ receivers took center stage as they won for the fourth time in five weeks, it was a third still-not-heralded-enough pass catcher who was the day’s biggest star.” The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett explains why St. Brown is an understated key to the Lions’ success. ($)

  • Recovering from injuries and nearly back to full health, D’Andre Swift is back to his old ways — putting up the same big numbers he did in the season opener. The Detroit News’ Justin Rogers has that story.

  • A new series called “Women of the League” focuses on women dating or married to NFL players and their experiences. It features Christen Harper, who is engaged to Jared Goff.

Pride of Detroit Direct

Sign up now for a 7-day free trial of Pride of Detroit Direct, with exclusive updates from Jeremy Reisman on the ground at Allen Park, instant reactions after each game, and in-depth Lions analysis from film expert Jon Ledyard.