So while the national pundits think the this will be the ‘Same old Lions’, the truth of the matter is that they are every bit as competitive as anyone else in the NFC North. The biggest difference is that they will fly under the radar while the Packers, Bears, and Vikings will all have expectations to fight for the divisional title.
Which brings us full circle back to the original question; is it good for the Lions to be considered such a non-entity in the divisional race?
I think if you ask Matt Patricia, he’s happy with it. He thinks that disrespect helps fuel the fire and will allow them to creep up on their opponents. And in a way he’s right. Unlike the New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs who have a bull’s eye on their chests and will get their opponents best shot each week, the Lions will be viewed as a team to be overlooked.
At least until they prove otherwise.
So while much is expected of these Motor City Cats by their fan base, they certainly haven’t caught the attention of too many others.
And the expectations at Allen Park aren’t exactly modest either. From Martha Firestone Ford herself down to the ball boys, they believe they are ready to challenge for the division and especially for the playoffs.
How it all plays out on the field is yet to be seen but on paper, these Lions don’t have much to apologize for. A defense which was much improved over the second half of last year simply has better personnel this season, the offense which was predictable and ineffective is now under the guidance of a proven offensive coordinator and Matt Patricia has gotten his feet wet, along with having an entire offseason to evaluate his own performance from last year.
Until things change on the field, these Lions won’t get any national love. But none of what the pundits have to say nationally or even locally has any bearings on this season. The improvement of Matt Patricia as a head coach, his roster’s improved talent level to fit his scheme and the ability to execute game plans each week will ultimately decide their fate this year.
But for anyone who has paid attention, there are no excuses not to be a different franchise from what we have traditionally seen in the past. Whether they are flying under or over the radar.