Opportunity is knocking, will the Lions answer it?
Now despite the favorable schedule, we need to remember that it looks like Kenny Golladay may miss more than just this weekend in Minnesota with his hip injury and we already know that Trey Flowers will be out at least three weeks on the injured reserve. When we add in the possibility of Matthew Stafford not playing on Sunday, it makes the odds pretty bleak.
But the truth of the matter is that if Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia are indeed building something here in the Motor City and not preparing to be the latest regime to be swept away after failing to make the Lions winners, then this is when they can make a case for themselves.
The next man up philosophy which Patricia espouses will be on display. Quinn did acquire defensive end Everson Griffin and the former long-time Viking is very interested in making a mark on his former team. They also hand-picked Chase Daniel to take over if Matthew couldn’t play for any reason.
Good teams find ways to win even when they are hurting. Not make excuses.
Opportunity is still knocking, but will the Lions answer it?
Much of the evidence concerning Matt Patricia’s regime works against him. Their inability to be a consistently better defensive team despite his background as the New England Patriot’s defensive coordinator, the lack of discipline his teams have continued to display, and his overall record of 12-26-1 is all underwhelming.
However, in what is a big game this weekend, Matt Patricia’s Lions have a chance to make a statement. They have a chance to win an important divisional game and set themselves up to maybe go on a bit of a run.
They also have a chance to wilt under the pressure of performing when they need to. Something that is no stranger to this franchise. But no matter how this game ends it has the opportunity to jumpstart these Lions on one of two very different courses.
A win gives the Lions a chance to continue to get well against mediocre opponents. A loss puts them firmly behind the eight ball in their division and makes the possibility of actually getting into the playoffs a little bit more difficult.
One way or another the Lions are firmly in position to complete the mandate of ‘playing meaningful games in December’. The question that begs to be answered is; does meeting the letter of the mandate give Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia a free pass back for next year or if this season ends on another sour note like so many others, will Sheila Ford Hamp even notice?