What a Win: Lions Defeat Vikings in Must-Win Game

Sunday’s win over the Vikings was the Lions’ most significant win of my lifetime. I’m not exaggerating either, that was huge. Throughout the week, I spewed to anyone willing to listen that the Vikings being underdogs on the road was “free money” and that “Vegas doesn’t know the Lions like I do”, and I was incredibly wrong. Going into the weekend, this seemed like a textbook game that the Lions would lose. Everybody started to take them seriously, and we were faced with a tough test against a 10-2 division leader. Much to my surprise, they were able to get a double-digit win, and they showed huge signs of improvement once again.

Let’s get one thing straight: I’ve been watching the Lions since 2009 when I was 6 years old, and I can confidently say that yesterday’s win was their most impressive win in that timespan. Based on the importance of the game, their performance, and the quality of the opponent, that is definitely the best win I’ve seen.

I’m not breaking any news by saying that the Lions haven’t won any big games since most of us have been alive, but seeing how they beat the Vikings has me excited for the future, and I’ll explain why.

The Lions ALWAYS lose these games
New Orleans in 2011. Dallas in 2014. Greenbay and Seattle in 2016. Minnesota in 2017. Hell, Cincinnati in 2017. The Detroit Lions NEVER play their best with their season on the line. With those examples above, they’ve either been playoff games, or games with playoff implications that they haven’t been able to win. Sunday’s game might not end up meaning anything in a couple of weeks, but what we do know is that their chances of making the playoffs are a hell of a lot higher now that they managed to win against a great team.

They’ve already doubled last year’s win total
With a 6-7 record, not only are the Lions in the hunt but they’re also doubled last year’s win total with 4 weeks to play. Let’s say they were to split those 4 games. We’d be looking at going from 3-13-1 to 8-9. That’s pretty good! A 5 win improvement with a second-year coach is MASSIVE for the future, and a respectable record like that will definitely be on a lot of people’s minds come free agency.

They have an easy remaining schedule
Here are Lions’ next 4 games:

@ New York Jets (7-6)
@ Carolina Panthers (5-8)
Chicago Bears (3-11)
@ Green Bay Packers (5-8)

As you can tell, none of these teams are that good. Sure, the Jets are decent, and the Panthers have been playing well, but none of these teams are really going to be an uphill battle for the Lions. Going 4-0 is a real possibility, and doing so would lock up either the 6th or 7th seed in the NFC. Making the playoffs is well within reach, but the Lions have to do their part. Had they lost against the Vikings this weekend, we’d be looking at mock drafts right now.

For the first time in 5 years, I am truly happy with my favorite football team. Being a Lions fan isn’t easy, but these guys are giving us all something to cheer for. Let’s hope they can keep it up and finish the season strong.

Stud of the week: Jared Goff
Dud of the week: Jalen Reagor (hopefully he thinks twice before he guarantees the win)
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