Since Ford Field opened in 2002, the Detroit Lions are 7-8 in their first home game of the season. Which opening day wins have been the most impressive?
With a little less than two more weeks until showtime, I feel like sending out some good vibes in the spirit of preseason optimism. Since moving to Ford Field in 2002, the Detroit Lions have had a mixed bag of sorts in home openers.
They’re 7-8 overall in these games, with a few blowout wins, a few blowout losses, and plenty of everything in between. Today, I’m only going to focus on the real gems: the Ford Field season openers where the Lions were truly impressive. I found four of them.
Not Making the Cut
2005 vs Packers (W 17-3)- I don’t remember anything about this game, so how impressive could it really have been? A little digging revealed that Detroit was wearing the black jerseys and Joey Harrington was playing quarterback. Sometimes memory loss can be a blessing.
2012 vs Rams (W 27-23)– Sure, Matthew Stafford engineered one of his patented last minute touchdown drives to get the win, but that’s not enough. After an offseason filled with numerous player arrests and other embarrassing moments, I had a heavy suspicion that the 2012 team would underachieve in a big way. Requiring Stafford magic to fend off a team that was 2-14 the year before was a red flag more than something to savor.
2013 vs Vikings (W 34-24)– What was so unimpressive about beating a division rival by double digits to kick off the season? The Lions’ dominance convinced me that they should have been up by at least three touchdowns for most of the game. Yet they somehow trailed at halftime, and Minnesota was still in striking distance until midway through the fourth. Sluggishness and missed opportunities ended up being key themes for the 2013 team. I still can’t believe they didn’t the NFC North that year.
2016 vs Titans (L 15-16)-Watching the 15-3 third quarter lead dissipate wasn’t very fun. When I need a cheap smile, I can always count on the clip of Stafford trucking that Titans defender on a scramble though.