Is this team going to be prepared for the season opener is a fair question to ask of this Detroit Lions team after what happened just three short years ago. Under a new head coach, the team came out swinging and missing completely as they were routed by the New York Jets while looking completely lost for four quarters of football. So, will this year with a new head coach be different in the first week of the season?
Obviously, that’s the hope. Lions head coach Dan Campbell indicated via Mike O’Hara on the Detroit Lions website that there’s a lot to clean up. This came after the team’s public practice on Saturday. Well, coach, the honesty is certainly appreciated, even if it doesn’t instill confidence.
That’s where realistic expectations come in. According to WynnBET.com, the Lions’ best bet is to win four games this season. Five games won is a close second for the betting site. Last year, that wouldn’t have been a very exciting team result. This year, there’s another game to be played in the regular season making these bets even worse for team expectations.
Fans will get a little better idea of where the team stands after their first preseason game as they host the Buffalo Bills on Friday the 13th – hopefully, that’s not too ominous for Campbell’s first game as head coach. It will more likely be a first test of where some players are at and how far they need to come along before the Lions host the San Francisco 49ers on September 12.
While it won’t take much to improve over Matt Patricia’s first regular-season game – a 48-17 embarrassment that included a 31-7 third quarter – Campbell surely has his sights set a little bit higher. The 49ers will be a tough opponent, but these Lions should be better prepared coming out of the gates than the 2018 team. If they’re not better prepared, it will be a long 2021 season.
Will Campbell’s charisma and biting of kneecaps be the change to help the players buy into his plan for the team? Will the return of lightheartedness and bringing fun back to the game of football in the Motor City result in some wins at the end of the season?
The hope is all of this is packaged together to show fans there is more intention and drive to produce, no matter the current circumstances looking like a rebuilding year. The Detroit Lions roster isn’t completely bare of playmakers on either side of the ball. While expectations might be four or five wins, fans still want more. Hopefully, Campbell has these players wanting more as well.