NFL Detroit Lions

5 Players Who Mean The Most to a Detroit Lions Playoff Run

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5 Players The Detroit Lions Need For A Playoff Run

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

At 7-7, the Detroit Lions are in trouble of not making the playoffs in 2013. Just four weeks ago, the Lions were sitting at 6-3 and the playoffs were very much in sight. Now the Lions are third in the NFC North with just two games remaining in the 2013 season. Much of the blame has been placed on quarterback Matthew Stafford and his turnover problem the last several weeks. In the last month, Stafford has thrown nine interceptions.

The Lions have had a big issue with closing out games in 2013. The Lions held the lead in the fourth quarter in four of their seven losses. The Lions also show problems in weather. In their previous two weathered games, the Lions lost composure and gave up the lead (Pittsburgh and Philadelphia). This is something to keep an eye on in case the Lions have to travel to Seattle in a playoff game.

Nonetheless, when the Lions are playing good, they are hot. The talent and potential talk in Detroit has become reality. On both sides of the ball, the line dominates the opposing team. The defensive line has had more praise due to the big name contributors, but the offensive line for the Lions has been good – great, in fact. Stafford has been sacked just 16 times which is one of the fewest in the league. Also, the offensive line has paved the way for over 1,500 yards of rushing and 13 touchdowns on the ground.

What is it going to take for the Lions to make a run in the playoffs? Here are the top five players that are most important to the Detroit Lions in order to do so.

Brandon Sweeney covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL football for Follow him on Twitter @SweeneyRant, Like him on Facebook and add him to Google+.

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5. DeAndre Levy

Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Linebacker DeAndre Levy is one of the most versatile linebackers in the entire National Football Leauge, not to mention underrated. Levy is a sheer playmaker on the defensive side of the ball (six interceptions) and a cold-blooded brute against the run (105 tackles). Athletes like Levy are needed in the playoffs when a team is in need for a play.

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4. Reggie Bush

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions have shown over the course of the season, that the presence of Reggie Bush can be a big impact offensively. No matter where he is, Bush must be accounted for whether it is the passing or running game. Bush has generated 1,400 yards from scrimmage in 2013 and six touchdowns. He leads the Lions in rushing (940 yards) and is second in receptions (47).

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3. Ndamukong Suh

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Ndamukong Suh is a soft-spoken individual off the field, but on the gridiron, he is the uncontested leader of the Detroit Lions' defense. Since coming into the NFL, Suh has been a headache for opposing offensive lines. His strength and talent has led to 45 tackles and five and a half sacks.

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2. Calvin Johnson

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

There is no question that Calvin Johnson is the biggest threat in the NFL when he steps onto the field. Johnson has gone from a good receiver to a great receiver maybe faster than any other NFL star in history. Johnson can be counted on nine out of 10 times.

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1. Matthew Stafford

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

A classic gun-slinger will perform good, bad and ugly. With quarterback Matthew Stafford, all three has definitely been shown over his five-year career. The Lions obviously need the “good” of Matthew Stafford for them to make a serious run in the playoffs. In recent weeks, you have seen the outcome when Stafford plays bad, but when on his A-game, Matthew Stafford can compete with anyone.