Three years ago, the Detroit Lions’ future began to look a bit brighter. With the first overall pick of the 2009 draft, they selected Matthew Stafford out of Georgia. And although a 2-14 season should never be considered an improvement, after a 0-16 season without Stafford, the argument could be made.
Then, in the 2011 season something changed. Lions fans – for the first time in a long time – were given a reason to celebrate. After a 10-6 season, Detroit made the wild card round of the playoffs. And although they lost to the New Orleans Saints in the wild card round, it was a pretty successful season.
But they cannot fall back to their losing ways. After the small taste of success, most teams do everything in their power to get that taste again. The Lions fell to a 4-12 season. To be fair, no one expected them to win a Super Bowl the next year. But to reach the playoffs in 2011 and not even have a winning season in 2012 is pretty sad.
Pathetic might be harsh to say, but it is the only word that comes to mind when thinking about this team.
Stafford is a great QB. He has shown that he has the ability to lead a pathetic team to the playoffs. And Detroit has shown that they trust him to lead. They signed their new franchise QB to a 5-year deal worth $76 million, with $43 million in guaranteed.
With one of the greatest WR playing the game right now, Calvin Johnson, catching anything remotely close to him, you would think the offense would be a feared one.
But other than the fear of “Megatron,” Detroit poses no threat. Not in the NFL, not in the NFC and not even in their division – the NFC North. With a team like the Green Bay Packers in your division, you’re usually aiming to place second and hope for a wild card. But, they also have the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears in their division. Chicago has always been a solid team, and a contender. But now Minnesota, traditionally a non-threat, has shown that they are also a true contender, losing the wild card round to Green Bay.
The fact they are in a tough division is one of the reasons why their plight to the post-season is so hard. But this is football, there should be no excuses to why you cant.
Stafford is a great QB. He was second in the league in passing yards. And although there is really no superstar on the defense, they were still 13th in the league in total defense. That isn’t something to write home about, but for a team that went 4-12 it is a small light in the dark.
I like Detroit. I think most of America does. Detroit’s city has a rich tradition when it comes to sports. And like them or not, their football team is in your home every Thanksgiving.
Detroit must be a rough city to live in. And in tough times, people rely on their sports teams to give them a little bit of hope. The NFC North is to the Lions as life has been to Detroit. It is tough. But you need to buck up and face it head on.
The Lions could be a contending team. They have the talent to compete in the NFC. They cannot let this 4-12 season diminish their spirits.