The Lions approached Week 16 with a straightforward objective: triumph over the Vikings to secure the NFC North title, granting them a divisional championship with two weeks remaining in the season.
Meeting this goal, they clinched the division crown, a significant accomplishment for the Lions franchise. Winning the NFC North holds substantial importance as it guarantees Detroit the opportunity to host a playoff game. This home-field advantage is particularly valuable considering Jared Goff’s tendency to perform well in familiar surroundings. Such an advantage could potentially propel Detroit towards its first-ever Super Bowl contention.
Even if the Lions don’t make significant waves in the postseason, their NFC North victory stands as a monumental achievement. Why? Because it marks a historical milestone—the team had never previously claimed this divisional title.
Regarding the Lions’ history as division champions:
The NFC North was officially established in 2002 following the NFL’s inclusion of the Houston Texans as an expansion team. This expansion prompted a divisional realignment, splitting the then-NFC Central into two divisions.
Before the 2023 NFL season, the Lions had never clinched the NFC North title. In the division’s existence since 2002, the Packers have secured the most divisional victories, while the Lions were the sole team among the four to have not previously claimed this title in its current configuration.
|NFC North titles (entering 2023)
How many division titles have the Lions won?
|Divisional round, lost to 49ers 24-23
|NFC championship, lost to Redskins 41-10
|Wild-card round, lost to Packers 28-24