The Detroit Lions are sitting in a pretty nice spot as they embark on the second half of a season that the casual Detroit sports fan actually gives a damn about. The 5-0 start brought a lot of Lions fans back into believing that these aren’t the “Same ol Lions.” It’s also the way that the Lions are winning that is making them fun to watch. Maybe their nickname should be “Team Swag” for the way no lead is safe against them and their aggressive 11 helmets to the ball kind of defense.
Their NEW attitude is rubbing a lot of people in the league the wrong way. I, like the players, am going to follow Head Coach Jim Schwartz’s lead and say, “We really don’t freaking care what you think.” Like the now iconic Chrysler commercial, THIS IS WHAT WE DO! These aren’t your older brother’s, or your father’s, or your grandfather’s Lions. These cats are in it to win it.
Before the season started, the Detroit Lions were picked by many experts to make a run for the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. So far, so good. It’s a strange feeling that at the halfway point of a Lions season, I haven’t given a single thought to who they should draft with their seemingly annual top ten draft pick.
The potential is there for the Lions to close out the season with a playoff berth. I see the New Orleans and the Thanksgiving game against the Packers as toughest games to win in the second half of the season. The rest of the games are all winnable. I think the Packers will have clinched the division by the last game, and will rest their starters for that game against the Lions.
I’m totally psyched that we’ll be playing games in December that MATTER. Sorry honey, but you’ll have to do the Christmas shopping yourself on Sundays this year. The Lions have a lot of things going their way as we head down the stretch. The defense is rock solid and it’s not just the front four doing the damage. The back seven are more than capable of making plays than we’ve seen in years. The offense is one of the most prolific scoring machines in the league. Calvin Johnson is routinely mentioned as the most dangerous weapon in the NFL.
The Lions season rests where it always has: on Matthew Stafford‘s shoulders. He has accomplished his number one goal so far, remaining upright. Unless his arm is falling off, there is no way Matt Stafford is going to miss a game this year. Speaking of years, this 23 year old, who in game years is only on his fifth game of his 2nd year, is fast becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the game. He has 19 touchdown passes to 4 interceptions. Remember, Tom Brady threw 4 interceptions in one game earlier this year. Stafford is only going to get better.
Last season, coach Schwartz challenged the team to refocus on the end of the season and to play the last four games like it mattered. They won all four. They found out how to win. The last half of the season is where reputations are made and I feel very confidant in saying that if the rest of the league doesn’t like the Lions now, they ain’t seen nothing yet.