Detroit Lions: The Streak Is Over, Now What?
By Mike Payton
To quote my favorite metal band ever, “the trend is dead, the trend is dead.” The Detroit Lions mega upset on Sunday has that 1996 Pantera jam playing through my head non stop at this point. The magnitude of what happened at Lambeau yesterday cannot be understated and very well could have been franchise changing moment.
you heard it all week, from gas prices to hit songs and even world events that happened the last time the Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers in Wisconsin. Lions fans can rest assure that they now live in a world where 1991 is just another year again. Kids born in 2015 will likely never understand what feels like to get this monkey of the backs of Lions fans. This changes everything, even the way you watch a Lions game.
The national media can no longer rest their hats on the 1991 narrative during Lions games in Wisconsin. Which means Joe Buck has to go back to the drawing board and even I myself have no clue what I’m going to say the next time the Lions make the trip to cheese country. Not only is the 1991 streak over, the Lions found themselves ending another narrative on Sunday as well. Sort of.
One of the most steadily used stats Lions fans hear about all the time is the classic Matthew Stafford is 0 and blank on the road against teams with winning records. Even in this season that still is going to be wasted in the end, Matthew Stafford can finally say that he went out of town and got the job done against a winning team. Frankly, the one team that you wanted to beat the most. One has to wonder what that means for Stafford’s legacy in Detroit. Love him or hate him, he’s the guy that did what 13 other quarterbacks couldn’t do in two and half decades.
Nov 15, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) reacts after throwing a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Lions beat the Packers 18-16. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
By all means let the celebration continue throughout the week. But the cold hard reality is that this Lions team is still 2-7 and the outcome of the season is still very much bleak. Having said all that, it’s what the Lions do from here that means the most. We live in a world that is ever-changing. Yesterday’s reality doesn’t always impact tomorrows. If there were ever a moment to build on momentum, it’s now. But let’s be honest. The chances of the Detroit Lions going on a magical seven game winning streak from here are wildly slim at this point.
While the Lions only have one team with a winning record remaining on their schedule, it would take an overnight change so drastic that the Lions are unrecognizable for the team to go on an unprecedented run. Do you believe this team has what it takes to make that a reality? Especially considering all that you’ve seen thus far?
What this truly means for the Lions at this point is a change of culture. This is the kind of win that changes the spectrum of the offseason a bit. While I cannot see Jim Caldwell sticking around after Black Monday, he can certainly make a case for himself if the Lions start picking off some opponents. This is the kind of win that brings the team back to coach who lost them weeks ago. It’s the kind of moment that makes a team believe again.
What is more likely however is that this win keeps guys like Matthew Stafford and Stephen Tulloch in Detroit. As far as team building goes in the offseason, this win goes a long way in showing that the Lions may not be as far in the hole as it seems. The right moves must be made. As simple as this win is, it’s the kind of win that a team builds off of.
It all remains to be seen in the end. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to see the Lions go on a momentum filled winning streak and squeak into the playoffs. I would be the first person in line to say I was wrong about this team and their head coach. I just can’t see it happening. But what I do see is a moment that potentially changes a franchise at it’s very roots. Thing should be getting very exciting in the near future.