Five things learned Sunday after the Lions beat the Vikings 16-14:
1. One win and the Lions are in the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Winning at the Bears at Chicago on Sunday is the most ideal path. Plus if the Lions beat the Bears, then upset the Packers at Green Bay on Dec. 28, they’ll win the NFC North. These next two games are outside in December. Coach Jim Caldwell has said all along he aims to have an indoor team with an outdoor mentality.
2. The Packers are beatable. Not only did the Lions top them 19-7 in Week 3, but Buffalo intercepted Aaron Rodgers twice on the way to a win on Sunday.
3. The Lions’ defense continues to impress. Didn’t look like it early in Sunday’s game, but in the second quarter interceptions by Glover Quin and Darius Slay turned the game around. We all expected the defensive line to be dominant and it has, but the secondary has come up huge at key times all season.
4. Even after losing LaAdrian Waddle in the third quarter, the Lions’ offensive line stepped up big. Not only did they keep Matthew Stafford upright — he was not sacked even once — but the Joique Bell and run game came through late when it mattered. Cornelius Lucas stepped in for Waddle whose knee injury appeared serious. It was the first time Stafford hasn't been sacked since the win over the Falcons on Oct. 26 in London.
5. Jason Jones take a bow for a sack and blocked field goal. The defensive line is so loaded with talent that Jones admitted after the game that sometimes it’s hard to get a tackle or a sack. He was not complaining. Jones was a good free agent signing before the 2013 season, but got injured early. This year he’s been solid.