It has been five long years since one of the NFL’s cornerstone franchises last posted a winning regular season record.
The Detroit Lions have gone four full seasons below .500 since posting a 9-7 mark in 2017, with the franchise ranking near the top of the NFL’s least envious leaderboard.
Detroit currently ranks in a tie for the seventh-longest stretch of non-winning seasons in the league, behind the New York Jets and Denver Broncos (six apiece), and New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, and Washington Commanders (five apiece).
The Lions are tied with Chicago and Jacksonville on that list, though they could find themselves spared of it soon enough.
Thanks to Detroit’s recent three-game winning streak, the Lions are back to .500 for the year, with games against the 5-9 Panthers, 3-11 Bears, and 6-8 Packers to come.
If the Lions win two of those remaining contests, they’ll finish with a 9-8 mark, which would be welcome news to Detroit fans and Michigan sports betting.
Oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook MI currently have the Lions at +2200 to win the NFC and +5000 to win Super Bowl LVII, ranking sixth and 12th in the league, respectively.
Consecutive Non-Winning Seasons Current
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Consecutive Non-Winning Seasons All-Time
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Lions Have Reason to Celebrate This Season
It has been a long century for Lions fans, with five winning seasons since 2000 and zero playoff wins.
The franchise’s last postseason victory came in 1991 when the Lions beat the Cowboys, 38-6, before falling to Washington the following week, 41-10.
Ever since, Detroit has made a name for itself in the worst ways possible, posting the NFL’s first 16-game winless season in 2008 and winning a total of 17 games between 2018 and 2021.
Things are looking up for coach Dan Campbell and company, however, as the Lions have gone from 1-6 to 7-7, thanks to rattling off wins against the Packers, Bears, Giants, Jaguars, Vikings and Jets.
Detroit’s lone loss during that stretch came at home to the 11-3 Bills, who knocked off Detroit 28-25 on Nov. 24.
Much of the Lions success can be traced to the renaissance season by seventh-year quarterback Jared Goff, who has posted the second highest QBR (62.4) of his career.
The former Cal Bear has upped his passing yardage (3,604 from 3,245) and passing touchdowns (23 from 19) from a year ago, while matching the lowest interception total (seven) through 14 games of his career.
Goff has been exceptional during Detroit’s three-game winning streak, averaging 307.3 yards and two passing touchdowns per game, while throwing zero interceptions.
Second-year wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown has been a tour de force for Detroit, with 89 catches and 974 yards (ranking sixth and 10th in the league, by category).
The former USC Trojan has averaged eight receptions and 86 yards per game over the past three weeks, helping Goff torch opposing defenses.
Perhaps most impressive, Detroit’s defense has gone from the team’s Achilles’ heel to one of its strong suits of late, giving up 19.9 points per game over the past seven games, after surrendering 32.1 points per game during the team’s first seven contests.
All of those facets of Campbell’s plan of attack have contributed to lift the Lions out of the cellar of the NFC North, with prospects of reaching the postseason for the first time since 2016 going from asinine to near reality in the Motor City.