It’s been an up and down season for the Detroit Lions as they are trying to figure out how to win consistently. These “growing pains” are typical for young teams on the verge of success. In fact, the Seattle Seahawks, now considered one of the handful of elite teams in the NFL, went through a similar process a season ago.
In 2012, the Seahawks had one of the most talented rosters, but struggled to win consistently going 3-2 to start the season and flirting with .500 though 11 games at 6-5, before finding an identity and winning out to finish 11-5.
The Lions started the 2013 season identically to the 2012 Seahawks at 3-2 and have now matched their record at 7-5 through 12 games. A big part of the Seahawks’ formula of success was taking care of the ball finishing 2012 with a +13 turnover differential. Right now the Lions stand at a -8 differential in that area. The Lions offense may be more explosive than the Seahawks offense was, but Seattle’s defense was much more consistent at creating turnovers than Detroit’s with 18 interceptions on the season compared to Detroit’s 11 interceptions through 12 games. If the Lions want to close out the season with a five game winning streak then they have to turn around in the turnover differential.
Comparing the 2012 Seahawks to the 2013 Lions isn’t a perfect match, but the teams share a lot of similarity. Namely, the fact that neither team had experience in how to win consistently despite an abundance of talent. As the 2013 season has shown us, winning games in the NFL isn’t always about talent. There are a variety of factors, scheme, effort, maturity, execution, injuries, etc. These factors can explain Detroit’s highs and lows this season.
The 2012 Seattle Seahawks finished the season with three home games and two away games, identical to the 2013 Lions. Can the Lions find an identity and win out the rest of the season just as the Seahawks did a year ago?