The Detroit Lions will have their chance to claim their first NFC North Division title since 1993 when they take on the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on Sunday at 8:30 p.m.
With a win, the Lions would clinch a first round home playoff game, but with a loss, the Lions would need the New York Giants to defeat the Washington Redskins, giving the Lions a wildcard berth in the playoffs.
Detroit has been through so much since winning the NFC North title in 1993. They’ve had an 0-16 season, lost the likes of Calvin Johnson and Barry Sanders and even lost a few playoff games in that time span, but winning the NFC North title would let fans forget some of that awful history for a brief moment.
Lions fans have waited a long time for this moment, and this game is important for so many reasons, but none more important that claiming the NFC North title.
Winning the division not only earns the Lions their first division title since 1993, but it sets them up nicely in the playoffs. A win would allow them to get a first round home playoff game against one of the wildcard teams. Detroit hasn’t won a playoff game since 1991, and having a home game to start the playoffs could go a long way in helping lead the team to a victory.
This game isn’t just important for Lions players, as it is mightily important for Detroit head coach Jim Caldwell. Caldwell’s well job status is uncertain, as the team is currently on a two game losing streak, and a loss on Sunday could lead to the Lions missing the playoffs. Caldwell has a 27-20 record in three seasons as Lions head coach heading into Sunday night’s game, and with his job security on the line, Caldwell should have his team ready to play.
Winning is important for any team, but it is also important for players. If the Lions were to win this game and clinch the NFC North crown, it could attract higher rated free agents. Great players want to win titles and the Lions haven’t done that recently, but beating the Packers could lead them to bigger and better things going forward.
Detroit isn’t a great destination as it stands, but a win over the Packers and a little playoff run could change that. Detroit could become a destination for top players instead of a place where players develop themselves to move onto bigger and better things.
The Lions will have their chance Sunday night, and taking advantage of it could impact the future of the franchise in a big way.