How can the Detroit Lions win their first division title since 1993?
There is only one team in the league that owns a longer drought when it comes to winning a division title. The Cleveland Browns have not managed a first-place finish since 1989 when the original franchise was still in Ohio. Such is the task ahead for the Detroit Lions, who have actually finished dead last in the NFC North each of the past two seasons and both under the guidance of head coach Matt Patricia.
A year ago, the club got off to a 2-0-1 start but would drop 12 of their final 13 contests, some of those in heartbreaking fashion. Patricia’s squad enters 2020 on a nine-game skid.
Of course, it is worth pointing out that veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford missed the final eight games of the year. All told, in two seasons at the helm of this club, the former defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots owns a 9-23-1 record as a sideline leader.
In this “last to first” series that focuses on the eight different basement dwellers in the NFL in 2019, there have already been looks at the NFC West, AFC West, NFC South and AFC South, how can the Lions rise from the bottom of the NFC North to not only reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016 but claim the top spot in a division for the first time since the franchise captured the five-team NFC Central way back in 1993?