Detroit Lions' 5 Potential Playoff Opponents In 2015

By Jerry Landry

Detroit Lions' 5 Potential Playoff Opponents In 2015

Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions Playoff hopes 2015
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions have not made repeat playoff appearances since 1995 — back when Barry Sanders was eviscerating defensive schemes, Herman Moore was catching 100-plus balls on the regular, and Scott Mitchell, who could barely execute a stretch handoff, was somehow facilitating the offense. So with Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, Lions fans should be equally optimistic about not only going back, but also facing these five potential foes.

5. Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers Luke Kuechly Linebacker
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

5. Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers Luke Kuechly Linebacker
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Rivera has taken John Fox’s penultimate pile of wreckage and turned the Carolina Panthers into a team that makes the playoffs by any means necessary. A 2-14 team in 2010 has become a team coming off of back-to-back playoff appearances. If the Lions are to go back-to-back as well, then they’ll likely be contending with Carolina.

4. Arizona Cardinals

Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals Playoffs
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

4. Arizona Cardinals

Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals Playoffs
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have not beaten the Arizona Cardinals since 2005. So what better place to exact a decade’s worth of revenge than in the playoffs? The Cardinals are well-coached and will be well-positioned to be playing January football, which would make a long-awaited Lions playoff win doubly satisfying.

3. Philadelphia Eagles

Chip Kelly Philadelphia Eagles head coach Playoffs
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

3. Philadelphia Eagles

Chip Kelly Philadelphia Eagles head coach Playoffs
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

2015 is Chip Kelly’s year three and the year where his analytical prowess should start leaping from film room to field. The Eagles could win the NFC East next season and may therefore draw the Lions in the first round of the playoffs the same way the Dallas Cowboys did in 2014. Pressure will be on both teams to dissuade their fanbase’s inflated sense of self-doubt and could lead to a matchup that's both exciting and excruciating.

2. Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers playoff quarterback
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

2. Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers playoff quarterback
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

As long as Aaron Rodgers has at least one leg to stand on, the Packers are the easy favorites to take the NFC North. Unless the Lions can set the tone during regular season divisional matchups, it’ll be two games at Lambeau against the Pack, the second being in the playoffs, and possibly for a trip to the Super Bowl.

1. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson touchdown celebration
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson touchdown celebration
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle is still young and somehow has a ton of cap room. Don’t expect them to leave the throne anytime soon. There is a lot of turnover in football and a great deal of parity, but like New England in the AFC, Seattle has the correct pieces in the correct places. They will remain the ultimate team to beat in the NFC.

You May Also Like