Sports

Lions hoping for consistency as they chase another postseason berth

FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2013, file photo, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) is chased by Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley (98), defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) during an NFL football game in Detroit. Suh and Fairley are a tandem to be feared this season. Drafted in the first round a season apart, they're anchoring a defense that is a big part of why the Lions are in first place in the NFC North. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson, File)

FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2013, file photo, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) is chased by Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley (98), defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) during an NFL football game in Detroit. Suh and Fairley are a tandem to be feared this season. Drafted in the first round a season apart, they're anchoring a defense that is a big part of why the Lions are in first place in the NFC North. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson, File)  (The Associated Press)

For the second time in three years, the Detroit Lions are making a legitimate push for the playoffs.

Receiver Nate Burleson notices a difference this time around.

Burleson says the team seems calmer now than it was in 2011, when the Lions went 10-6 and made the postseason. They followed that up with a 4-12 showing the following season. Now, Detroit is in first place in the NFC North, and the Lions are hoping they've learned some valuable lessons along the way.

Burleson says the Lions are more aware that it's a long grind of a season, and he hopes that even-keeled attitude will serve them well.