It’s 22 games and counting. Imagine how frustrating it is if you’re a young Lions fan and you’ve been following the team since you were a kid. Incredulous as it sounds, you’ve never seen the Lions beat the Packers in Wisconsin in your entire life. Some things never change. To quote the great Bill Murray in the movie Meatballs, “It just doesn’t matter, it just doesn’t matter anymore.”
I’m past the Lions playing for any shred of respect they can muster by winning these meaningless games in December. They’ve already fallen to the bottom of the NFC North division, and they may as well make the most of it by losing out and getting that top five draft pick. I can’t believe how everything came crashing down on the Detroit Lions in such a short time. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson were the Sports Illustrated cover boys just a couple of months ago. If the Lions were on the cover now, it would read “How to screw up three years of progress in one short season.”
Does anyone really want to hear the details of how they lost to the Packers in Green Bay for the second decade in a row? The Packers toyed with the Lions like a big brother toys with his little brother. Big brother spotted little brother 14 points, then turned on the power late in the game when he needed it by rushing straight down the field for a touchdown–like they could have done anytime they wanted to.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a big believer in the Lions–after this season ends. I believe they have the nucleus to get to the Super Bowl in the near future, and this was a valuable learning experience to them. Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz need to realize that maybe, just maybe, they aren’t the smartest guys in the room. Their draft strategy is now being questioned, and their failure to add any significant free agents in the off season looks positively stupid. The rest of the NFL passed them by in a flash.
No matter how bad this gets at the end, I feel like coach Schwartz deserves to come back next year and prove that this year is the aberration, and that last year wasn’t. I have my fingers crossed that my Lions can lose out and be the worst team in the NFC this year. But the Cardinals are on a hell of a run themselves, losing nine straight games, and the last one 58-0, and could derail my dream of the Lions getting that top five draft pick. Watch the Lions win and mess up the good thing they have going now.