The Detroit Lions, a team that once showed promise in 2019, have quickly faded into their all-too-familiar home in the basement of the NFC North. Their franchise quarterback, Matthew Stafford, has been sidelined with a back injury. In addition, their starting safety now plays for the Seattle Seahawks, and their coaching staff seems to be scared to play actual football.
They have one redeeming quality, however; They don’t quit. Head coach Matt Patricia said of his team this past week, and it is true.
“I truly believe that this team is tough. I truly believe that this team goes out and fights every single day. I think they work hard.”
With the exception of their loss to the Minnesota Vikings, every game finished as a one possession game. They are one of just three teams in the NFL to have a lead in every game they’ve played.
The other two teams are the San Francisco 49ers (8-1) and the Kansas City Chiefs (6-4). The Lions, however, are 3-6-1, including a loss to those Chiefs in the waning seconds of Week Four. The team fights, sure, but let’s be honest: Just staying in the fight is not enough. You have to be able to finish it off. Detroit can not do that.
This may have something to do with the coaching staff deciding to play ultra-conservative in the third quarter anytime they have any sort of lead. It may have something to do with the “defensive gurus” on the sidelines that have the distinct honor of coaching the NFL’s second-worst defense. It may be the injuries. It may be the total incompetence that permeates this organization and has since Barry Sanders retired.
The underlying point here is that something, anything, needs to change. It should start at the top. For years, the Ford’s ownership has produced mediocrity and incompetence. If Lions fans want any sort of change, they need to make their voices heard. The recent loss to the Dallas Cowboys is a perfect example. The Cowboys were the road team, but if it weren’t for the Lions branding all over the place, you wouldn’t have been able to tell. Dallas fans completely took over Ford Field.
Just staying in the fight doesn’t work. You have to be able to punch a team in the mouth and deliver a knockout blow. Something has to change, and if it doesn’t change soon, the Lions will find themselves back to their 2-14 ways in no time.
Photo Credit: Daniel Mears/Detroit News