NFL: It’s way too early, but let’s talk about the Lions and the NFL playoffs anyway!

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
Detroit Lions Sport News


  • Entering Week 6, the 4-1 Lions are atop the NFC North Division and in prime position for a playoff spot.
  • The Lions continue to rise up the sportsbook tables to win the NFC North and Super Bowl, and rookie TE Sam LaPorta has become a Rookie of the Year candidate.
  • Yes, we know it’s early, but let Lion fans enjoy this moment right now, it’s been a while. The Lions haven’t won a playoff game since 1991.

Look at it on your screen on your mobile device, tablet, or even an old-school newspaper and savor it.

The Detroit Lions are on top of the NFC North after a convincing 42-24 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. It was the Lions third straight win by double digits, and they are 4-1 for the first time since 2011.

Established Michigan online sportsbooks like PointsBet have pushed the Lions to -350 to win the NFC North, quarterback Jared Goff is +3000 to win NFL MVP and the Lions are one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl.

Let’s point out the Detroit Lions have never won the Super Bowl. Like, ever. Let’s talk about the Lions path to this point and road ahead.

The Lions Biggest Surprise

Entering the season, fans wondered if rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs could be a contender for the NFL Rookie of the Year award. Well, we were looking at the wrong rookie.

The Lions second-round pick, tight end Sam LaPorta, leads all rookie tight ends with 25 catches for 289 yards and three scores. The NFL is a match-up league, fast players on defense trying to match fast players on offense.

Tight end is still one of those match-ups that great offenses can exploit, just look at Chiefs tight end/Swiftie Travis Kelce.

LaPorta has size and speed to be a problem for defenses and has already created a connection with Goff.

The Road Ahead

If the NFL season ended now, the Lions would be the three seed in the NFC. They’d be behind the unbeaten Eagles and Niners.

Remember, only the top seed gets a bye in the playoffs now, as seven teams from each conference make it. So what should a Lion fan root for? This may sound odd, but root for the Dallas Cowboys.

The Lions don’t play against either the Eagles or Niners in the regular season, but they do meet the Cowboys in Week 17 in Dallas. If you’re a Lion fan, what you want is for the Cowboys to get hot, overtake the Eagles and that turns the Week 17 game in to a monster game for playoff seeding. Think of the Lions and Cowboys both being 11-4 that week with the two seed in the NFC on the line. (The tiebreaker is head-to-head).

Right now, the Niners look unstoppable, so that means you want to face them at the last possible chance.

The NFC Playoff Picture

Is garbage. The NFC looks like three quality teams and a bunch of average teams. The Lions may get locked into the three seed in the NFC anyway, because the winner of the NFC South will likely be the fourth seed. The wild card spots are anyone’s guess.

The Saints/Bucs/Falcons are going to fight for the NFC South title. Currently FanDuel has the Saints as the favorite at +155. Whoever doesn’t win the NFC East between the Eagles and Cowboys is one wild card. The Seahawks look like one other. The third wild card is a toss-up, but no one should scare the Lions. It could come down to the Bucs/Packers/Commanders.

This is another reason why getting the 2 seed in the playoffs could loom big for the Lions. You get a beatable team in the Wild Card round, then a home game in the divisional round. Yes, we know it’s a long way away, but Detroit fans can have fun thinking about it.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.