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The Waterboy's Diary - By Bart Wilson

Pride of Detroit

The Detroit Lions have been the talk of the town for the 2023 NFL season. They started things off by beating the reigning Super Bowl champs on the road. Since then, the Lions have lost only one game in overtime to the Seahawks. Now that we are heading into week 5 of the season, what are the chances the Lions can win the NFC North?

 

The last time the Lions won a division title was in 1993 when they were in the NFC Central, which consisted of the Bears, Buccaneers, Packers, and Vikings. That year the Lions went 10-6 and lost in the Wild Card game against the Packers 28-24. Their quarterback was Rodney Pete, their top wide receiver was Brett Perriman, but the main offensive attraction was Barry Sanders. Inside linebacker Chris Spielman controlled the Lions defense.

 

Now, the Lions have an opportunity to get back to the top and win their division. Quarterback Jared Goff has been hitting on all cylinders even though he has thrown one pick in three consecutive games. Goff has completed almost 70% of his passes, and that is 4% more than last season. It also helps that he has Amon Ra St. Brown, Sam LaPorta, Josh Reynolds, and Kalif Raymond to throw to. All of them are averaging over 10 yards per reception. For the running game, David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs have both been electric in the back field.

 

The defense has also held their own after ranking 4th in the NFL in yards allowed per game with 280. Some breakout players for the defense are Brian Branch and Jerry Jacobs. Jacobs leads the team in solo tackles, 23, and has 2 interceptions in the season. Rookie Branch has 21 solo tackles and 1 interception that came during the Chiefs game. Also, Aidan Hutchison is not having a sophomore slump this year having recorded 3.5 sacks and 2 tackles for loss. This Lions defense has shown dominance throughout 4 games, and it can only grow stronger. It would help if C.J. Gardner Johnson was back, but you can’t speed up injury recovery.

 

The Lions are in a good position to take this division and find themselves in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. There next four games are all winnable with Carolina, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, and Las Vegas. The only game that could be a test is the Ravens game, but they have been dealing with injuries from OBJ to their third string running back. If you’re a Lions fan, then you should be elated right now because this could be the year the Lions could make history once again for a franchise that has struggled for many years. So, get the blue ski masks out and order those Little Caesar’s Pizzas and root for the Pride of Detroit.

 

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