While the Lions play on Sunday was disappointing in and of itself, the greater disappointment I felt was due to how it changed the Lions place in the NFC playoff picture.
I don’t think I was much different from most Lions fans in what I expected this season. Eight to nine wins and remaining in the playoff discussion through the end of the season is what I expected to see. Not double-digit wins, not a sure playoff spot, not the things that were put into doubt by the Lions blowout loss in Chicago.
I’m still really bothered by the way Sunday’s game went but it is important to put it in perspective. Even if a timeline could be applied to the Lions plan, this wasn’t going to be the season they legitimately competed for a championship. This year was always about taking another step, whether that resulted in a playoff appearance or not.
The Lions still sit with an excellent shot at entering their Thanksgiving Day game with the defending Super Bowl Champion Packers at 7-3. That might not have sounded all that great when the Lions were 5-0 but there aren’t many Lions fans that wouldn’t have taken that if presented with the situation before the season.
It’s fair for expectations to change over the course of the situation but when things start going downhill it is important to remember where expectations started. Preseason expectations have to remain as the baseline and if we keep that in mind, the Lions are doing just fine.