The Detroit Lions loss left me upset and disappointed but what disappointed me even more was the immediate reaction by a number of fans that projected Sunday’s performance on to Saturday’s playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.
Yes, Matt Flynn is a backup quarterback but, as a member of the Green Bay Packers, all that really says is that he isn’t as good as Aaron Rodgers on an every day basis. Flynn was going to be a hot commodity on the free agent market even before he torched the Lions defense for one of the best passing days in league history. If Sunday was the first time you became aware of Matt Flynn, you haven’t been paying attention. This isn’t like in 2005 when Chris Weinke came off the bench to lead the Carolina Panthers to a victory at Ford Field. Flynn is a legitimate NFL quarterback and he’ll be starting somewhere next year.
The “if Matt Flynn did that to the Lions defense, just imagine what Drew Brees will do next week” theme is downright ignorant. There is no reason to “imagine” what Drew Brees will do against the Lions defense, he’s already faced them. Did he throw for 600 yards like some would seemingly suggest from their overreactions to last Sunday’s game? Now, he threw for 342 yards, exactly his per game average for the season.
Drew Brees could certainly light up the Detroit secondary but that doesn’t change the fact that the Lions have already taken the step forward that we needed to see. This team surpassed my expectations for what they would accomplish. Has 12 years of waiting for a playoff appearance not been long enough for us to be able to just sit back and enjoy the chance to see our Lions play beyond the regular season?
I just don’t understand the attempts to marginalize this team, the first Lions team to make the playoffs since 1999. I saw some twitter users snarkily point out to local radio hosts that the Lions went 0-5 against NFC teams that made the playoffs. Yes, that is true, but they still did manage to finish 10-6, the same record as the Atlanta Falcons who only had to play three games against NFC Playoff teams. Is the point that the Lions aren’t Super Bowl contenders? I’ll concede that, but the Lions have earned their way into the playoffs and that should be celebrated.