The Detroit Lions are on the clock


Let me start off by saying that this is not a draft prospects article. I’m not going to mock Connor Cook to the Detroit Lions with the first overall pick. At this point the Lions have found themselves in a position where only five teams in the past 95 years have been able to come out smelling like roses on the other side. The NFL Draft is really all anyone can think about at this moment. Forgive me for not sharing the same optimism as any other fans, sure the Lions can find a way to get themselves off the clock, all they have to do is go 10-3 the rest of the season. I would have to ask anyone and everyone why they think that could happen based on current events?

Nov 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Detroit won 34-17. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions are on the clock because they lack one of the most important features that all great teams have, a killer instinct. You could see it all Sunday Night. The Lions had about 53 chances to come back and win the game. At times the Broncos were doing everything they could to give it away. The Lions could never capitalize, they could never stick the dagger into the back of Peyton Manning and twist it. The shame is, the Lions have all the talent that has the potential to form this instinct.

This tweet says it all. It says more than a million words could say. The Lions are predictable with a side of stubborn. Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi is hell-bent on making a playbook that is clearly doing more harm than good, work. It’s absolutely choking the Lions out and now that the world knows, I’m still 100% sure that the Lions will start out their match up with the Seahawks with a hand off to Joique Bell for a one yard carry.

Predictable teams don’t win games and they sure don’t win championships. Take a look back at the last five teams to win the Super Bowl. Only one of them had an above average run game and defense. The rest of the pack had stats like the 32nd ranked rushing attack (Giants) or the 16th ranked defense (Ravens). What’s the correlation between these teams? They adjusted and got on a roll, then they adjusted again. Ravens are a perfect example of this. This is a team that nearly missed the playoffs, fired its offensive coordinator, gave Jim Caldwell the reigns and went on a run and became champions.

This is symbolic of that killer instinct that the Lions do not have. For that reason, the Lions are 0-3 and the question now is who will the Lions draft in 2016? and how high of a pick will the Lions have?

Sep 27, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) carries the ball as Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib (21) defends during the fourth quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Lions go on a run? Sure, anything is possible. But this is a bit unlikely at the moment. What it would take for this team to turn it around and go on an unprecedented run would be a complete change in direction in all facets of the game. I’m not saying fire everyone just yet. What I mean is the Lions have to come to grips with the fact that they are wrong and agree that they need to find a new way to win games. Then they must implement a new game plan from top to bottom and get DeAndre Levy back too. Oh they also have to do all of that stuff this week. I just don’t think they can or will.

You will know the answer based on which running back gets the weekly first carry of the game for the Lions next Monday. If it’s Bell, get ready for a long season and start looking at the mock drafts already.

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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