- Super Bowl Championships: 0
- Last Super Bowl Appearance: N/A
- Claim to Fame: Dating back to the 1930s, Detroit has played in (78) and won (37) the most Thanksgiving Day games
- Claim to Shame: One of two teams to ever post a win-less season (2008), and the only franchise to have been in operation for all 52 seasons of the Super Bowl era without having appeared in one
It’s been a strange existence for the Detroit Lions.
After winning four NFL Championships from 1935-1957, the Lions would go through a lengthy stretch of playoff futility. That is to say, they wouldn’t win another playoff game until 1991.
After that NFC Championship loss to the Washington Redskins, it has been a mix of Wild Card game losses (eight), losing seasons (16, including one 0-16), and generational talents retiring too soon (Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson).
At least now, the Lions seem to have found some consistency.
After a Wild Card loss to the Seahawks in 2016, Detroit posted a second-straight 9-7 season in 2017. It didn’t result in a playoff berth, but it was the first time they were .500 or better in back-to-back seasons since 1999-2000.
Matthew Stafford was his typical spectacular self, posting his seventh-straight 4,000-yard season to go along with 29 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His great decision-making significantly helped their +10 turnover differential, which was third-best in the league.
It was the Lions rushing attack that let the offense down in 2017, totaling a league-low 1,221 yards on the ground. They also had trouble keeping Stafford upright, allowing 47 sacks (seventh-most). Ultimately, they finished 9-7 straight up and against the spread.
The hope in Detroit is that new head coach Matt Patricia can keep the momentum going on defense and instill a Patriots-esque culture for the Lions.
He clearly aims to fix the running game, too, bringing in back-to-back champion LeGarrette Blount in free agency, Kerryon Johnson in the second-round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and bolstered the offensive line with center Frank Ragnow with their first-round pick.
If the Lions can get the standard production from Stafford, improve their running game, and continue to protect the football, they could be bound for a second Wild Card spot in three years.