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Could playing ‘for a love of this game’ be enough to get the Lions to the playoffs?

Think back to when you were a little kid. You know, when you would wake up on a nice summer day or even a cold winter day and head outside to shoot hoops, play a game of 3-on-3 football, or even find a field for a game of home run derby. (Yes, I played home run derby in the snow many times)

Those were the days we would play sports all day long for one reason. That reason is that we truly loved playing the game.

Two Saturdays ago, the Detroit Lions announced they were finally moving on from Matt Patricia and that Darrell Bevell would be taking the reigns for the remainder of the season as interim head coach.

Upon being given the keys to the car, Bevell immediately made some changes in regards to how things are run on a daily basis at the Lions facility in Allen Park. Some of those changes included allowing music to be played throughout practice and running meetings and practices differently than Patricia did.

But the most important thing Bevell did was remind his players that there is no rearview mirror and that they are only looking forward while remembering how blessed they are to be able to play the game they love.

On Sunday, the Lions got down but they refused to quit, and it eventually paid off as they came from behind to defeat the Chicago Bears 34-30.

Following the game, Bevell spoke to reporters and he explained what he has been telling his team all week long.

From Sports Illustrated:

“I saw how they reacted,” Bevell said. “You could see the look in their eyes. My message to them at halftime was to continue to play for 60 minutes. Continue to play with energy. Continue to play like they’re a 10-year-old little boy, because we all love to play this game. And don’t measure it. Just go out there, play, and when we look up at the end and it says zero, if we’ve done that, then we’ll be able to be happy with the results.

“And it played out exactly that way. They believed the whole way through. They didn’t ride the emotions of the game.”

“I just wanted to have them have a new perspective,” he said. “And not look back, just look forward. But play with great energy, play with great joy, for a love of this game.”

“We’re in the pregame, like, We’re in Chicago playing the Chicago Bears, your 10-year-old self would think it’s a pretty cool deal. And it really is,” Bevell said. “We’re all blessed to be playing this game. We’re blessed in this time of COVID to be able to even be working. And it was, I mean, just perspective. It was really cool to see how they reacted today.”

During their win over the Bears on Sunday, the Detroit Lions played like they were kids having fun playing the game they love.

But will playing “for the love of this game” be enough for them to win out and make the playoffs? It sure as hell will not be easy but there is something to be said about a team the plays with heart for 60 minutes.

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W.G. Brady
W.G. Brady
W.G. Brady is a Detroit-based journalist who has been covering the Detroit sports scene for Detroit Sports Nation for several years. He is in his early 30s and has a wealth of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, W.G. has established himself as a respected and knowledgeable journalist known for his in-depth coverage of the teams and athletes in Detroit. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for sports, W.G. has become a go-to source for fans and readers looking for the latest news and analysis on the Detroit sports scene. He has a good reputation in the sports community and is respected for his unbiased coverage of sports events. W.G. is known for his ability to uncover hidden stories and provide unique perspectives on the teams and athletes he covers. He has a good understanding of the city of Detroit and its sports culture, which he uses to inform his reporting and analysis. He continues to be a respected journalist in the Detroit sports industry.

Detroit Tigers acquire Buddy Kennedy

According to reports, the Detroit Tigers have acquired Buddy Kennedy.

Report: Detroit Lions and Amon-Ra St. Brown are working on a contract extension

Dave Birkett has revealed the latest on Amon-Ra St. Brown's contract status with the Detroit Lions.

Detroit Red Wings unveil jersey patch partner [Video]

The Detroit Red Wings have unveiled their first-ever jersey patch partner. What are your thoughts on this fit?