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The Detroit Lions are frauds—just ask all these salty NFC North fans

The Detroit Lions have won the NFC North for the first time in team history. But as the online experts have pointed out, Detroit is lucky to be here.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions made history by clinching their first-ever NFC North crown while also setting themselves up as one of the best teams in the league. Their 11-4 record has them tied atop the NFC with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles. Detroit has come a long way since Dan Campbell’s debut 3-13-1 campaign back in 2021.

However, as experts on Twitter X have pointed out, the Detroit Lions are frauds. The Lions and their fanbase are taking victory laps when the reality is that they should be grateful for all the fortune they lucked into and all the misfortune that has befallen everyone else. Fans of the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings—all teams with NFC North championship pedigrees—have noted that the Lions and their winning ways are but flashes in the pan.

I decided to flex my investigative journalism muscles and uncover the truth. Are the Detroit Lions truly frauds as the internet experts proclaim? Let’s take a look.

Week 1: @ Kansas City Chiefs

Outcome: Win*, 1-0
The Lions opened the season in impressive fashion, defeating the defending Super Bowl champions 21-20 and putting out a statement that the Detroit Lions were here. But as the expert NFC North analysts point out, it was a game gifted to Detroit. The Chiefs had multiple drops on the night, including one by Kadarius “Offside” Toney that resulted in a Brian Branch pick-six—a touchdown that would prove to be the difference. The Chiefs were also without Taylor Swift’s boyfriend Travis Kelce and star defensive tackle Chris Jones, putting an asterisk on the Lions’ victory. If Patrick Mahomes had even one capable receiver or if Kelce or Jones are able to play, this would have been an easy win for the Chiefs.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-1

Week 2: vs. Seattle Seahawks

Outcome: Loss, 1-1
One could argue that this game was a literal coin toss, as the Lions would lose to the Seahawks in overtime on the first possession. However, this is clearly the will of the football gods, and to argue anything else would be blasphemy.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-2

Week 3: vs. Atlanta Falcons

Outcome: Win, 2-1
The Lions sacked Desmond Ridder a whopping seven times. This game alone has accounted for 20.6 percent of the Lions’ sack total this season. That seems like a massive outlier and not a true representation of the Lions’ defense. Ridder was inaccurate on the day and the only reasonable explanation was an unusual Detroit pass rush. If the Falcons are able to protect Ridder just a bit better, the Falcons would be able to put up more than six points. Plus, Arthur Smith has been misusing star running back Bijan Robinson. A real coach would have had Robinson rushing for 203 yards on 18 carries.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-3

Week 4: @ Green Bay Packers

Outcome: Win, 3-1
The Lions sacked Jordan Love a whopping five times. This game alone has accounted for 14.7 percent of the Lions’ sack total this season. That seems like a massive outlier and not a true representation of the Lions’ defense. Spoiler alert, but the Lions would lose to the Packers in Week 12, highlighting that this game was a total fluke for them. The Lions lucked out by playing a Packers team that had not yet found its footing.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-4

Week 5: vs. Carolina Panthers

Outcome: Win, 4-1
Since the Chicago Bears possess the Panthers’ first round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, this game inadvertently helped Chicago secure the first overall selection. That’s a loss in spirit. Also, it’s the Panthers—a win doesn’t count.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-5

Week 6: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Outcome: Win, 5-1
The Lions defense came to play against the Buccaneers, but it should have been much worse. Like the Chiefs, the Buccaneers were a miss or two away from blowing this game open. Mike Evans should have had a 90-yard touchdown, while Baker Mayfield just overthrew Trey Palmer for another house call. If those two plays connect, the Buccaneers are suddenly in the driver’s seat.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-6

Week 7: @ Baltimore Ravens

Outcome: Loss, 5-2
The Lions got stomped like the real frauds they are. These are the true Lions, but everyone keeps getting distracted by things like “an explosive offense” and “winning.”
Real outcome: Loss, 0-7

Week 8: vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Outcome: Win, 6-2
In the aftermath of this game, the Raiders fired general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels. However, if the Raiders had pulled the trigger just a week earlier, this would have been a totally different game. The Raiders would have won their first two games under interim head coach Antonio Pierce; they have looked much improved since Pierce took over, including an upset of the Chiefs this past weekend. The Detroit Lions won their first game after firing Matt Patricia, and it is likely the Raiders would have done the same after firing their ex-Patriot coach.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-8

Week 9: vs. Bye

Outcome: N/A
The Lions were lucky to escape the bye week without a loss, but the NFL has yet to recognize the bye week as an official NFL team.
Real outcome: N/A

Week 10: @ Los Angeles Chargers

Outcome: Win, 7-2
The Lions won an exciting 41-38 shootout with the Chargers, a game that came down to the wire. But in a game where defense was optional, the Lions only won by being the last team to possess the football. In my eyes, that’s purely luck.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-9

Week 11: vs. Chicago Bears

Outcome: Win, 8-2
The Lions needed an improbable last-minute comeback to beat the lowly 3-7 Bears. If the Bears had a slightly competent offense, this game is over. If the Bears have a head coach willing to go for it on fourth-and-5 from the 20-yard line, this game is over.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-10

Week 12: vs. Green Bay Packers

Outcome: Loss, 8-3
In this game, we got the real Green Bay Packers and the real Jared Goff. Jordan Love was unstoppable against the Lions, showing that he is the next god king quarterback in Green Bay. Goff, meanwhile, could not corral the football in his small hands, resulting in three fumbles, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Is Goff a Packers sleeper agent?
Real outcome: Loss, 0-11

Week 13: @ New Orleans Saints

Outcome: Win, 9-3
The Lions scored 21 points in the first half and coasted the rest of the way. While Saints quarterback Derek Carr started the game in rough fashion, he was nearly perfect down the stretch. However, he was ruthlessly injured by Bruce Irvin, resulting in Jameis Winston taking over. Winston could not orchestrate much on offense, and the Saints came up short. Had Carr stayed healthy, it was very likely that New Orleans would have came back.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-12

Week 14: @ Chicago Bears

Outcome: Loss, 9-4
As of this writing, the Bears have defeated the Washington Commanders, Las Vegas Raiders, Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, and Detroit Lions. All of those teams are bad, why should the Lions be viewed as anything else?
Real outcome: Loss, 0-13

Week 15: vs. Denver Broncos

Outcome: Win, 10-4
The Lions played well.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-14

Week 16: @ Minnesota Vikings

Outcome: Win, 11-4
With this win, the Lions not only clinched the playoffs, but their first ever NFC North title. However, as analysts have pointed out, they needed a lot of luck. The Vikings were without star quarterback Kirk Cousins, while T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison left with injuries. Kerby Joseph was directly responsible for both injuries as well: Hockenson got injured on a low tackle, while Addison was injured during one of his interceptions (the one in which he showboated). If the injury bug doesn’t bite Minnesota or Joseph has some humility, then this game has a different outcome.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-15

Week 17: @ Dallas Cowboys

Outcome: TBD
The Dallas Cowboys are an elite team and have, without question, defeated good opponents this season. Sure, they have lost two games in a row and have looked completely dysfunctional on offense, but that is certain to change against the Lions.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-16

Week 18: vs. Minnesota Vikings

Outcome: TBD
A few years ago, this game would not even exist. The 16-0 New England Patriots were never given a shot to play in Week 18, and neither should the Lions.
Real outcome: Loss, 0-17

Conclusion

My investigation is wrapped up, and I have determined that the experts were wrong. The Detroit Lions were not lucky this season. They were historically lucky. The Lions have booked themselves a playoff ticket, but the truth is that they should have booked themselves the first overall pick. These Lions might be the worst football team to make the playoffs in history, as my advanced metrics illustrate they should be in the record books as Detroit’s second winless football team.

Of course, this could all be a joke at the expense of bitter Bears, Packers, and Vikings fans.

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