NOTE: The views expressed in this EDITORIAL do not necessarily reflect the views of Detroit Sports Nation or a majority of its writers and should not be misconstrued as such. The views contained within are the views of the author and the author alone.
The Detroit Lions organization has been something like the “bad guys” this NFL season.
The firing of coaches. The firing of general managers. Players calling the fans out. Coaches calling the Detroit media out. Having the top radio personality in the city accuse the team of trying to get him fired. To top it all off, they started the first half of the season with a 1-7 record.
Not too much to be proud of, indeed.
However, there is definitely one thing in this world that can cure hearts and mend the minds of their fans and critics.
Now, I know many are against such an idea. Winning out and finishing 9-7 could actually be counter-productive for this ball club. There would be no guarantee of postseason play. A little bit of added pride wouldn’t necessarily make up for a drop down the NFL draft board. Then there’s the not-so-happy prospect of the Lions retaining two guys that most fans don’t want to see come back next season – head coach Jim Caldwell and interim general manager Sheldon White.
It seems the pros may not actually outweigh the cons in this sense. However, if the Lions can continue to play the type of stifling defense coupled with extended execution in the clutch, nothing is impossible. Especially considering their final six opponents slated on the schedule. Check it out below.
|Week 12||Nov. 26th||Philadelphia Eagles||Record: 4-6|
|Week 13||Dec. 3rd||Green Bay Packers||Record: 7-3|
|Week 14||Dec. 13th||@St. Louis Rams||Record: 4-6|
|Week 15||Dec. 21st||@New Orleans Saints||Record: 4-6|
|Week 16||Dec. 27th||San Francisco 49ers||Record: 3-7|
|Week 17||Jan. 3rd||@Chicago Bears||Record: 4-6|
That’s a combined record of 26-34. The five teams with losing records have lost a combined nine games in a row as of today, each with glaring holes that have little hope of being patched in the coming weeks.
The sixth team not mentioned of yet on the schedule is the current NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers. The optimism of coming out on the winning side against Aaron Rodgers & Co. increased ten fold when the Lions marched into Lambeau Field and left victorious for the first time in virtually forever. They held the Pack under 50 rushing yards and sacked Rodgers three times and hurried him countless more.
Can they do it again at Ford Field? You would have to think (hope) so especially after another stellar defensive showing against the offensively-talented Oakland Raiders yesterday.
All in all, what am I trying to get at?
The Lions’ fanbase has been through a lot this season and spirits are low. Finding the will to believe may be quite tough. Tanking in a lost season has become a popular weapon in major professional sports to rebound in the near future. At this point it seems the Lions aren’t laying down this early. I’ve gone on the record countless times proclaiming that Lions fans are among the most loyal in sports.
It’s time that this is proved true. This is a plea to Lions fans near and far…
Don’t cheer on the Lions to tank away the season. Cheer them on to win out and hopefully reach the playoffs. It may be hard to believe but there is still tons of talent on this team and while misused and staggered, they have the tools to make such an unbelievable turnaround happen.
If you buy into tanking and wishing for loss after loss, your loyalty is truly in question. Real fans don’t do that. Real fans find ways to believe when times are toughest. I know this city and this fanbase has that in them. I’ve seen it and I’ve been a part of it and will continue to be a part of it.
Once you choose to cheer against your own team, the haters and the critics have won. Mike Valenti and others can sit back and laugh at what they have hoped for. The total self-destruct of an NFL team and it’s fans. That’s not us.
That’s not Detroit.
The door to a turnaround is open for the Lions. Don’t get lost in the smoke. Win or lose.
Stay true. Trust me, when the good times roll in, you’ll feel better that you did.