The Detroit Lions have enjoyed amazing success en route to their 6-2 start. While many predicted the Lions would have a very real chance to make the 2011 NFL playoffs, almost no one foresaw the Lions suffering only two losses in the first half of the season.
Now, with eight games in the books and eight left to play, the Lions are theoretically on pace for a 12-4 season. That would tie their 1991 franchise record for wins in a season, and be only the third time since the Lions had won double-digit games.
It's no surprise receiver Calvin Johnson is a dynamic threat that opposing defenses struggle to contain. Several Lions players have stepped up their game this season, though, drastically outperforming expectations. Without the surprising contributions of these five players, the Lions 6-2 start—and anything more they hope to achieve—would be impossible.