49 Super Bowls have been played in the history of the NFL. The Detroit Lions are the only team in the league that has existed for every one of those Super Bowls without playing in one. Hall of Fame running back, Barry Sanders thinks that could change soon for the Lions, and by soon he means next year!
Sanders, a former running back for the Lions, thinks that Super Bowl 50 is a real possibility for the Lions. He thinks that they are closer than many believe.
“I don’t think the team is far off,” Sanders said this week on radio row at the Super Bowl. “Hey, I’m pretty sure that in the boardrooms, as they’re making plans, they have to see the same thing. The team’s not far off.”
Sanders feels that the Lions have the core of players needed to advance to a Super Bowl, and that if they continue to build around core, they could be there next year.
“If they can come back and build on what we did this year? Hey, look, the Lions could be in Santa Clara next year.”
Santa Clara is the new home of the San Francisco 49ers and will be the location of Super Bowl 50, which will take place on February 7th, 2016. The NFL also announced in June that Super Bowl 50 would be graphically represented using Arabic numerals rather than the Roman numerals that the league has been using since Super Bowl V in 1971. The plan is to go back to the Roman numerals for the following Super Bowl. The Lions have never played in a Super Bowl with Roman Numerals; maybe the Arabic numerals will do the trick.
The Lions were one of the most improved teams in the league this year as they went 11-5 and made the playoffs. One of the most important players on that team was Ndamukong Suh who could decide to test the free agent market. That could be devastating to a defense that was very dominating at times, Sanders agrees.
“He’s one of the dominant players at that position,” Sanders said. “Unless you’re talking about going out and bringing back a guy like that, whoever that guy is in the NFL at this time, and that’s highly unlikely, then you can certainly see where that’s going to be a drop off potentially.”
Suh has the option of voiding his contract this Friday and would then become a free agent. Most think that he will demand a contract in excess of $100 million.
Let’s hope that the Lions get something done and re-sign Suh, sooner than later, so that the team can begin focusing on the NFL draft and then 2015 season. I believe that Sanders is right, but there is no way that the Lions are going to make a Super Bowl if they get in the business of letting their best players walk.