I spent a good part of last week digging into some numbers to try to find proof for or against the opinion that the Lions are making progress despite what their record may indicate (read this and this if you missed it).
I tried to remain unbiased and let the data make the conclusions rather than interjecting my own opinion. My time for impartiality is over: This Lions team is vastly improved.
The biggest factor in some fans not wanting to hear any talk of improvement is the team’s inability to close out games. Close and competitive wasn’t going to cut it, it was going to take wins.
Well, the Lions got one today.
Drew Stanton played poorly enough that even his most ardent supporters have to agree that he is not an NFL quarterback. Earlier in the week the Lions suffered another rash of players hitting IR. Calvin Johnson had just one catch. Add it all up and it doesn’t sound like an equation for success. It wouldn’t have been for the same old Lions.
Some might try to downplay the significance of the Lions win over the Packers because Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of the game late in the first half. You can be sure that these are the same people that would refuse to hear anything argument that the Lions would have beaten the Jets if Matthew Stafford had not left the game. Sorry haters, you can’t have it both ways.
Don’t get me wrong, the Lions still a ways to go before they are playing with and beating a Green Bay team with their full compliment of players. But that doesn’t mean we have to deny the progress that comes along the way.