Three reasons why the Lions can win it all this year
With playoff football on the horizon, it’s Super Bowl or bust for all 12 teams. FOX Sports NFL insider Alex Marvez gives three reasons why each team will win the Super Bowl XLIX.
A nasty defense: The Lions finished with their best record in 23 seasons largely because of this unit. Detroit was especially stout against the run. The opposition failed to gain 100 yards in 14 of 16 contests. Free safety Glover Quin became the first Lions player to lead the NFL in interceptions (seven) since future Pro Football Hall of Fame selection Lem Barney in 1967. Middle linebacker DeAndre Levy finished second in the NFL in tackles (150) and is adept at sniffing out screen passes. And of course, Ndamukong Suh anchors the defensive line.
Suh isn’t suspended: The Lions breathed a huge sigh of relief when an arbitrator overturned the NFL’s one-game ban of Suh for his stomp of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers during last Sunday’s game. Suh was set to miss Sunday’s matchup against Dallas, which would have been an especially huge blow considering how thin the Lions have become at defensive tackle in the absence of Nick Fairley (knee). Suh is an intimidating presence who regularly draws double-teams, which helps free his teammates to make tackles.
Matthew Stafford is overdue: Stafford’s reputation as a big-game quarterback is mud. He is 0-16 as a starter against teams that finished the regular season with a winning record. Stafford latest failing came during last Sunday’s 30-20 loss to Green Bay. He threw for three touchdowns but also completed only 20 of 41 passes for 217 yards. That 5.3-yard completion average was Stafford’s lowest in 17 games dating to 2013. Stafford can rebound by getting his two top-flight wide receivers (Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate) more involved downfield. There would be no better place for Stafford to enjoy the biggest victory of his six-year NFL career than in Dallas, which is where he was a high school prodigy before heading to the University of Georgia.