The Detroit Lions have been trying to shake the "Same old Lions" label for years. One step at a time, it's disappearing.
A 21-20 road win against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday was fueled by players simply refusing to quit. Every time it felt the Lions would break, they didn't. Instead, a play was made to turn things around.
Historically, the Lions find ways to lose close games. That tide has turned. As ESPN's Dan Orlovsky pointed out, there were finally no moral victories to be had.
It wasn't just Orlovsky noticing this. Robert Griffin III proclaimed after the win that it's time to start taking the Lions seriously given how they stepped up in a high-pressure situation.
Such national love only comes with bonafide achievement. In knocking the Green Bay Packers out of the playoffs to close last season and spoiling the Chiefs' banner raising to open 2023, the Lions are showing they are moving past "SOL" failures.
The same old Lions don't find a way to win either of those games. Certainly not on the road, against those quarterbacks and with the in-game adversity they faced.
Lions overcome questionable officiating in win vs. Chiefs
Perhaps the most notable takeaway from the win was how the Lions did not allow themselves to become impacted by inconsistent officiating.
Much of the night, the Chiefs were getting away with holding Detroit's defenders and blatant uncalled false starts by right tackle Jawaan Taylor. But in the end, none of it mattered.
The Lions have struggled to overcome bad officiating in the past, and questionable calls have become a crutch for fans to lean on in bad losses. But taking the game out of the officials' hands is what good teams do.
Now, the Lions are evolving into that type of team. The bad night for the officials became a footnote in a Detroit win, rather than a reason for conspiracy theories after a gut-wrenching defeat.
It seems to be coming together for the Lions. The more clutch victories they stack, the further the "Same Old Lions" narrative will be put in the rearview mirror.