The Detroit Lions have a new head coach, new players, and a new direction in 2018. But what would constitute a successful season this year?
When the Detroit Lions opted to fire a successful head coach in Jim Caldwell following the end of last season, the Motor City made a firm statement. The Lions are no longer satisfied with being slightly better than average. Detroit wants to be great again.
Under Caldwell the past four years, the Lions have been a winning franchise. Posting a combined record of 36-28, Detroit secured playoff berths twice in that span. Unfortunately, they were unable to win in the postseason, extending their playoff victory drought to a whopping 26 years.
Prior to Caldwell’s arrival in Detroit back in 2014, the Lions had only posted two winning seasons since 2000. Those being a 9-7 record in 2000 and a 10-6 record in 2011. So, for the past four years under Caldwell, Detroit experienced success it hadn’t in decades.
Yet, the Lions seemed more than willing to cast Caldwell and his past successes aside following back-to-back 9-7 seasons in Detroit. That’s likely due in large part to general manager Bob Quinn.
After spending 16 years with the New England Patriots organization, Quinn became the Lions’ general manager in 2016. He inherited Caldwell, who was coming off a disappointing 7-9 season in the Motor City. And the two of them posted winning seasons in Detroit.
But Quinn and the Lions were willing to move on from Caldwell as they had an opportunity to add a fellow Patriot in New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. The head coaching switch in Motown showed their dedication to getting over the playoff hump.
This is a Lions’ squad that has been on the edge of real postseason success under Caldwell. With the addition of Patricia, many fans are certainly hoping his presence lifts their beloved franchise to new heights.
So what would constitute a successful season in Detroit in 2018? With the franchise handing the keys to Patricia, anything less than an average record (8-8, 9-7) will be seen as a major disappointment. Although, if it happens, we can expect the excuses to be plentiful with this new regime being in their first year. I believe a playoff berth will be seen as a success for this current group.
Getting the Detroit Lions back to the postseason after missing out entirely last year will constitute enough progress to satisfy most. Winning their first playoff game in 26 years will be cause for celebration. Anything beyond that will launch Matt Patricia into legendary status in the Motor City.