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Will Lions return to 1957 form on Sunday versus Buccaneers?

Somewhere Joe Schmidt must be smiling.

The oldest living Pro Football Hall of Fame player, Schmidt turns 92 on Friday -- just two days before his Detroit Lions look to continue a season for the history books.

With a victory on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Lions would win two postseason games for the first time since 1957. It was in 1957 that Schmidt and the Lions won the franchise's last NFL Championship.

Schmidt won two NFL titles with Detroit, playing the duration of his 13-season career with the Lions and earning 10 Pro Bowl selections and eight first-time All-Pro nods.

This season, the Lions' roster is decorated with five Pro Bowlers -- tight end Sam LaPorta, offensive tackle Penei Sewell, center Frank Ragnow, defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and special teamer Jalen Reeves-Maybin.

Detroit's 2023 pride will make history as soon as it kicks off Sunday at Ford Field, marking the first year in club chronicle in which the Lions have had two home playoff games.

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It's been a season overflowing with history as the Lions arrive on Sunday at the doorstep of success unmatched since Schmidt and his squad ruled the NFL landscape.

Here's a look at just a smattering of some of the Lions' 2023 historical notes, provided by NFL Research:

  • The Lions' wild-card win over the Rams broke a 31-season drought without a postseason victory, the longest in the NFL.
  • The victory also broke a nine-game postseason losing streak, which was the longest in NFL history.
  • Detroit had its first playoff home game since 1993, snapping another NFL-long streak.
  • The win over the Rams was just the Lions' second since 1957. Detroit's two wins in the Super Bowl Era are three fewer than any other franchise.
  • With a win Sunday, Dan Campbell would become only the third head coach in Lions history with multiple playoff wins.
  • Jared Goff, a former No. 1 overall pick, led the Lions to a win over the Rams and former No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford in the 11th playoff matchup since 1950 between starting quarterbacks taken No. 1 in the NFL draft. On Sunday, Goff will be in the 12th such matchup against Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Sunday will mark Detroit's first Divisional Round game since 1991 and just its fourth in the Super Bowl era. With a win, the Lions would snap the NFL's second-longest active drought of failing to advance to the conference championship at 31 seasons.

It's been a season for the ages in Detroit, one that's still going strong.

A loud and potentially historic Sunday lies ahead at Ford Field.

Perhaps Schmidt will be cheering along as the Lions continue their quest for glory unseen since 1957.

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