Despite 0-2 start, the Detroit Lions find themselves in interesting company


The Detroit Lions have been bad. There’s no other way around it. The Lions look lost in all facets of the game and have given up their first two games despite high hopes and high praise during training camp and preseason. But it’s not all bad. The Lions find themselves in the company of four other teams that won ten or more games in 2014 that have yet to win a game in 2015. The Ravens, Colts, Eagles, and 2014 NFC champions Seattle Seahawks are all in the hole together marking an interesting fall from grace for some of the NFL’s best teams from a year ago.

Sep 20, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison (96) sacks Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) in the second half at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings won 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

While its true that less than 10% of teams that start the season at 0-2 make the playoffs, many teams as of late have debunked this theory. Including the 2014 Indianapolis Colts who started their season with two tough losses to the Broncos and Eagles and had some of the same questions floating around the team that the Lions do thus far in 2015. The Colts wound up winning five straight games and finishing the season with an 11-5 record and went to the AFC Championship game.

This isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened. Way back in 2008 the Dolphins, Chargers and Vikings all started their seasons in the dreaded 0-2 hole and found a way to get themselves to the playoffs. The previous year the New York Giants started out winless in their first two weeks and wound up getting hot and winning the Super Bowl. You have to believe that two or three of these winless teams will figure it out in 2015 and go on a run. But will the Detroit Lions be one of them?

The Lions must get it together in week three or they will find themselves in the deep end of the pool with no ladder to get out. Since the NFL’s inaugural season in 1920, only five teams have started off 0-3 and made the playoffs. One of them being the 1995 Detroit Lions. A team that wound up sporting the leagues number one offense by the end of the season. Interesting enough, the Lions blew a lead in the second half of their week one loss and got handled by the Vikings in week two that year as well. If you’re interested, the other four teams were the 1981 Jets, 1982 Buccaneers, 1992 Chargers and the 1998 Bills.

Sep 20, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) looks down after the game against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings won 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

To take a page out of the Western Philosophy book, “yesterday’s reality isn’t always today’s.” Of course this meaning that just because the Lions pulled off the unthinkable in 1995, doesn’t mean they can do it again twenty years later. Of course it also means that yesterday’s loss doesn’t mean the Lions are doomed to lose this coming Sunday or relive the nightmare that was the 2012 season.

The Lions need to find out who they are and what they’re doing in a hurry. This means putting away the stubborn play calling and admitting that it’s not working out. There’s no shame in reorganizing and taking a different approach. There is harm in failing to see that what you’re doing is wrong. That harm could wind up ending in termination for a certain coordinator. If the Lions find themselves at 0-4, they will find themselves trying to do the near impossible feat that only one team in NFL history has been able to pull off. The Window is closing for the Lions in 2015, they need to break it and jump through.

Mike Payton is an Editor at SideLion Report. He is from Holland, Michigan by way of Warren, Michigan. He considers himself to be obsessed with the Detroit Lions. Mike’s work has been featured on ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio and Mike is also a weekly contributor on It is what is with Sean Baligian on ESPN 96.1 and a contributor for The Holland Sentinel. Follow Mike Payton on Twitter@SLR_Mike

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