Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh brings down Sam Hurd of the Chicago Bears on the last play of Monday nights game. Detroit came out on top with the final score 24-13. (AP)

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh brings down Sam Hurd of the Chicago Bears on the last play of Monday nights game. Detroit came out on top with the final score 24-13. (AP)

Not many people would have suspected that after a dismal 2008 in which the Detroit Lions went 0-16 — a first since 1957 when the NFL adjusted to a 16-game regular season — that they could muscle their way to a 5-0 start three years later. But that’s where the team sits now, accompanied only by the defending NFL champion Green Bay Packers.

Dave Birkett, who covers the Lions for the Detroit Free Press, joins Bill Littlefield this week to discuss the new Detroit team arisen from a long slumber.

As Birkett points out, Detroit’s roster is significantly more ferocious this season; defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has excelled for the Lions at stopping opponents’ runs in short-yardage situations while wide receiver Calvin Johnson became the first wide receiver in NFL history to catch nine touchdown passes in the first five games. And quarterback Matthew Stafford has thrown for 1,436 and 13 touchdowns so far this season.  So might the Lions have a shot at their first Super Bowl?

“They are well aware of just how fragile things can be in the NFL,” says Birkett. “And they’re pretty determined to make sure they see this thing through all the way.”