By Farhan Coleman
The 2016 NFL season has offered a lot of unexpected surprises. The Dallas Cowboys are 12-2 and probably the best team in the league, the Oakland Raiders (11-3) are a favorite to go to the superbowl, and best of all the Detroit Lions are 9-5 and are currently first place in their division.
A big part of the Lions’ success can be attributed to the MVP-caliber performance of quarterback Matthew Stafford, who currently has a 95.8 QBR, 3720 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, and only 8 interceptions. Had someone asked people before the season which quarterback would have these stats toward the end of the year, I’m willing to bet that almost no one would have said Stafford. Many people have credited Stafford’s success to assistant coach Jim Bob Cooter who took over as offensive coordinator after the Lions fired Joe Lombardi. The Lions success hasn’t come easy this year as eight of their nine wins required a late, last minute score from Stafford and the offense.
There are two weeks remaining in the NFL regular season and the Lions have a really tough schedule down the stretch. Their final two games consist of an away game against the Dallas Cowboys (11-2), and one home game against the Green Bay Packers (8-6). The game against Dallas will be a tough one for Detroit as the Cowboys currently boast an12-2 record and have one of the best rookies the NFL has ever seen in Ezekiel Elliot. If the Lions win this week against the Cowboys and the Packers lose, then the Lions will clinch their first division title in 23 years. However, if Detroit doesn’t take care of business this Sunday in Dallas, then it will all come down to the last game of the year against Green Bay to see who will win the division.
This season has shown us that these are not the same old Lions and that this team can go as far as Stafford’s 4th quarter comebacks can take them.