Lions find rhythm with local star Aidan Hutchinson

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You may remember last spring, in the week before the draft, when Aidan Hutchinson, who was going to be a top-three pick, said openly he wanted to be picked by the Lions. The Michigan resident wanted it, his family wanted it. How cool would it be that a University of Michigan star would actually want to play for the woebegone Lions, and then it would actually work out?

And it did, of course. The Jaguars, picking first, passed on Hutchinson for Travon Walker, and the Lions took about eight seconds to pick Hutchinson. So what did he know, or why was he so intent on coming to a franchise that had been lost at sea for three generations?

“I got the chance to come somewhere and be part of coming alive and building a great team,” he said after the 11-point win over the previously 10-2 Vikings Sunday in Detroit. “I just wanted to come into the season and learn something every single game and make strides every game. I’m happy with my development so far.”

In the third quarter Sunday, with the Lions up 15, Hutchinson sacked Kirk Cousins for a seven-yard loss; the Vikings settled for a field goal on that drive. He had two hits of Cousins and three pressures, continuing a strong rookie year—seven sacks, 43 total pressures.

“The chemistry we’ve got right now, it’s kind of unmatched,” Hutchinson said. “We’re so complimentary right now offensively and defensively and we never flinch at the end. It’s no longer the same old Lions. We’ve overcome that. Now we’re on our way to becoming a really good football team.”

Detroit’s been able to score all season, but the turnaround coincided with a defensive improvement. The Lions have allowed 20.3 points a game in their 5-1 run. What’s interesting is that now GM Brad Holmes should be able to use his two first-round picks (Detroit’s, and the one from the Rams from the Matthew Stafford trade) on strengthening the roster rather than zeroing in on a quarterback after Jared Goff has had the kind of resurgent season he needed to have to seal his grip on the job. Maybe they find a sideline-to-sideline linebacker, or a bookend for Hutchinson, or a corner to team with Jeff Okudah. Whatever, with Goff looking better than a short-term fix, this is a team with a significantly brighter near future than we thought back on Labor Day.

With the Giants and Seattle fading, the 6-7 Lions might squeeze into the seventh playoff spot with a 3-1 finish. And 3-1 is possible against this slate: at Jets, at Panthers, Bears, at Packers.

One more thing about Hutchinson. Talk about a local boy. He has lived his football life in the state of Michigan. It’s pretty interesting just how close everything has been for Hutchinson.

Hutchinson went to high school at Divine Child High School in Dearborn. He went to college at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He practices in Allen Park, for Detroit in the NFL. He plays at Ford Field in downtown Detroit.

From Divine Child High to Michigan Stadium, as the crow flies: 27.0 miles to the west.

From Divine Child High to the Lions’ practice facility, as the crow flies: 4.7 miles to the southeast.

From Divine Child High to Ford Field, as the crow flies: 13.2 miles to the east.

“It is bizarre, to be honest with you,” Hutchinson said. “I’m taking the same freeway I took to Divine Child on my way to the Lions’ practice facility. I just get off [Interstate] 96 a little bit later. It’s so weird. I’m just so grateful to be in this position and to have the ability to be close to my family. I’m already a homebody. Being in this environment just allows me to thrive. I’m able to be myself.”

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

2023 NFL Playoffs AFC, NFC Championship Round Schedule: Dates, start times, how to watch/live stream info for today’s games

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The 2023 NFL Playoffs have been filled with nothing short of excitement! The action continues this week with the Championship Round on Sunday, January 29. First, at 3:00 PM ET Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers will head to Lincoln Financial Field to take on Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles. Then at 6:30 PM ET Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals take on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

See below for the full AFC, NFC Championship Round schedule as well as additional information on how to watch each game.

Click here for the full 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule

Conference Championship Round Schedule:

Sunday, January 29

NFC Championship Game:

San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles – 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox

  • Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

AFC Championship Game:

Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs – 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS

  • Where: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

RELATED: Brock Purdy, Jalen Hurts met in a 2019 college football classic


2023 Divisional Round Scores and Recap:

Jaguars (4) vs Chiefs (1)

Giants (6) vs Eagles (1)

Bengals (3) vs Bills (2

Cowboys (5) vs 49ers (2)


What 4 teams are in the NFL playoffs?

The San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, and Kansas City Chiefs.

Which teams have been eliminated from the 2023 NFL Playoffs?

The Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys have all been eliminated from the 2023 NFL playoffs.

RELATED: FMIA Divisional – Tales Of Outsmarting, Outplaying, And Outbuilding The Other Guys

NFL Super Bowl History:

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2023 NFL Playoffs, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

What NFL games are on today? TV, kickoff, live stream for today’s AFC, NFC Championship games

NFL: AUG 21 Preseason - Bills at Bears
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The 2023 NFL Playoff action continues this weekend with two Conference Championship games this afternoon. The action kicks off at 3:00 p.m. ET as Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers will make the trek to Lincoln Financial Field to take on Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles. Then at 6:30 PM ET Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals will go head-to-head with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

See below for additional information on how to watch/live stream today’s games as well as the latest NFL playoff scores, schedules, and bracket.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs AFC, NFC Championship Round Schedule – Dates, start times, how to watch/live stream info for Sunday’s games

What NFL games are on today?

Sunday, January 29

NFC Championship Game:

San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles – 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox

  • Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs – What to know about SF QB Brock Purdy Ahead of NFC Championship game

AFC Championship Game:

Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs – 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS

  • Where: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

NFL Super Bowl History:

RELATED: FMIA Divisional – Tales Of Outsmarting, Outplaying, And Outbuilding The Other Guys


When is Super Bowl LVII?

  • Date: Sunday, February 12
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Network: Fox

2023 NFL Playoff Bracket:


2023 NFL Playoff Scores:

Wild Card Weekend Scores and Recap:

Seahawks (7) vs 49ers (2)

Chargers (5) vs Jaguars (4)

Dolphins (7) vs Bills (2) 

Giants (6) vs Vikings (3) 

Ravens (6) vs Bengals (3) 

Cowboys (5) vs Buccaneers (4) 

2023 Divisional Round Scores and Recap:

Jaguars (4) vs Chiefs (1)

Giants (6) vs Eagles (1)

Bengals (3) vs Bills (2

Cowboys (5) vs 49ers (2)

RELATED: See the 2022 NFL Sunday Night Football schedule here

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2023 NFL Playoffs, and be