Lions favored to win NFC North, according to ESPN poll


Zach Libby

The last time the Detroit Lions won a division title was in 1993 when they played in the NFC Central. Former Pro Bowl RB Barry Sanders was 25 at the time, and current QB Matthew Stafford was only four years old.

Coming off of a bye week and a comeback victory over the Dallas Cowboys in week 8, the Lions are in a three way tie with the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears for first in the NFC North with all three teams holding on to a 5-3 record. Both the Bears and Packers are experiencing injuries to their starting quarterbacks, part of the reason why the favorite to win the North is the Lions, according to a recent ESPN Poll.

Of the 8,369 votes, 59% say that the Lions will win the division, followed by the Packers with 20% and the Bears with 19%. The Minnesota Vikings hold on 1% of the votes.

Of the 50 states, 47 say that the Lions will clinch. Wisconsin has the Packers winning and Illinois has the Bears winning. Vermont has a two-way tie between the Lions and the Packers.

Detroit and Chicago will face off this Sunday at Solider Field. If the Lions leave with a win, they will have tie-breaker advantages over the Bears and an easier road to the playoffs. Detroit has the easiest schedule among NFL teams with the final eight teams having a combined winning percentage of .338.


Newly singed free agent defensive end Austin Lane is expected to contribute to the Lions defensive line right away, as he was signed last Sunday. Rookie defensive end Ziggy Ansah is currently in a walking boot after injuring his ankle two weeks ago against the Cowboys.

Lane has spent the last three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, playing in 28 games and recording 66 tackles with 3 sacks.

“All they told me, ‘In this defense, just get off the ball. Don’t think and just go,’ Lane told reporters. “That fits my personality really well.”