There aren’t many people talking up the Lions as a playoff team, but they aren’t technically out of the running at 4-6 heading into Week 12.
As Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press points out, the Lions made it to the playoffs in 1997 after starting the year with the same record through 10 games and there are other such stories scattered around the history of the league. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is also selling the notion that the Lions have time left to mount a run for a second straight playoff berth.
“We’re still in the race. We made it a lot tougher than we did last year. It’s a tough position to be in, but it’s a hole that we dug ourselves in, and it’s something that we need to take care of if we want to get to the next level,” Suh said. “This is a great way to get out of the hole and make some noise. People always say if you want to win a championship, this is the time to get hot.”
That worked for the Giants last season, but the only real shared trait of champions is that they were hot in the playoffs. Suh and the rest of the Lions have a lot of work to do to get to that point in the proceedings.
There are easier ways to start the process than facing the 9-1 Texans, but that’s what the schedule has in store for the Lions on Thursday. A win would make it much easier to believe Detroit could make some of the noise Suh mentioned in the final weeks of the season.