It was only a few short weeks ago when the Detroit Lions, with two wins through twelve games, were being talked about as the same old Lions. Some of us were making the argument that they were passing the “eye test” while others were arguing that if the wins were not there then there was no improvement whatsoever.
Fast forward a month and even the most pessimistic among us have to be surprised at what has happened and where the Lions are through 15 games. They halted their NFC North division losing streak at 19 games with their win over the Green Bay Packers at home. They snapped their NFL record road losing streak at 26 games and followed that up with another win on the road at Miami. The ending of these streaks is significant, make no mistake about it. You have to walk before you can run and the baby steps they have taken to end this season will pay off down the line.
The Lions are sprinting to the finish line in 2010 and in the process they are building some significant momentum for the 2011 season. This has been a good year for the Lions on multiple levels. They have had massive personnel losses on both sides of the ball and have managed to play their way into three straight wins.
There will be big expectations coming into the 2011 season. You can hear the discussion on talk radio and it is cringe-worthy. Talk of a ten win season in 2011 is unrealistic especially if disappointment follows anything short of ten wins. The Lions are showing that they are improving and they are on a good road. As we have seen over the past few years it is easy for teams to have a nice year and regress horribly (think Cincinnati Bengals last year and this year).
The latter part of this season has been very fun to watch and the wins are incredibly encouraging. It will be crucial that they make good free agent signings this off-season and that they have a solid draft. Taking that big next step will be difficult but there are signs that the Lions are capable of taking it. In the meantime, baby steps are fine by me.
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