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That’s right. Mark it down. Roar Restored.
Quite honestly, that doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot. Considering that when the “Roar” was at its best in the last half a century, that simply meant the Lions were a playoff team, it is fairly safe to say that the roar is as strong as it has been in quite a while.
The challenge at this point is not for the Lions and their fans
We made the playoffs. Awesome. It is a START.
What will keep me up at night for the coming weeks is the idea that perhaps these Lions will simply turn into the Jacksonville Jaguars or the Cincinnati Bengals. Making the playoffs every other year but never breaking out of the threshold of mediocrity. The restoration of the Lions to this point has been the easy part. Going from good team to championship caliber team is the real challenge.
Now, this does not in any way excuse each and every Lions fan from being proud of the performance put together this season. You should be proud of this team despite the loss to the Saints. If you watched closely, there were several positive things we learned that bode well for the future of the Detroit Lions.
1. Calvin Johnson and Matt Stafford are for real.
From the very first drive of the game there were no nerves, no drops, and no miscommunications. These two were locked in and as good as we have seen them all season. For two first timers in the playoffs, against a team that many are picking as the team to beat out of the NFC, they did an exceptional job and showed that for the foreseeable future, the Lions have two big game players on their roster.
2. SUH is not an idiot.
Did I just see that? Did Ndamukong Suh just help Drew Brees of the ground? He Did!
All eyes were going to be on Ndamukong Suh if he even came close to touching Drew Brees. Fortunately, the guy played smart all game long. He did not have quite the impact on the game that many may have wanted, but he also did not attract any negative attention to himself. In what was all-in-all, a horrible season for Suh, he can now close the books on it and focus on changing his reputation back to great player instead of dirty player.
3. If the Lions get some help in the secondary, they can be a legitimate contender.
Say what you want about the final score, (for instance “Saints pound Lions” as stated by the 4-letter) the Lions were in this game until the very late stages. It was clear to anyone who watched the game, that the Lion defense’s inability to get off the field on 3rd down was really what killed them. Now the defensive line did not get the pressure that one might have liked, but they were going up against several pro bowlers on that Saints offensive line. The secondary, however, dropped two potential interceptions and really did not make a significant play the whole night. This is clearly the biggest need for this young Lions team.
If we see a couple upgrades in this area, we will no longer be talking about “restoring the roar.” Instead we may be talking about an NFC championship game or even a Super Bowl. First thing is first, however. Lets make the playoffs again next year. Hey, maybe we’ll even win a game.