After an incredible 6-1 stretch of football, the Detroit Lions did what they do best in an embarrassing loss to the Carolina Panthers. With playoff aspirations in sight and a chance to finally move from “in the hunt” to “in the playoffs”, the Lions started the game allowing over 200 rushing yards in just the first half. Watching such a pathetic game after winning 6 of the last 7 has left many Lions fans confused on how they should feel about the team. Were those wins just a fluke? Can the Lions really make the playoffs? Is this team still cursed?
In his postgame press conference, head coach Dan Campbell said his team did not deserve to win on Saturday. He took responsibility for the lack of preparation and fight displayed by his players. He noted the team‘s youth, and said that while this team has matured significantly, there is clearly some more learning to be done.
While words can often feel meaningless after a loss, Campbell has a valid point. This Lions team is still incredibly young, and although they have shown flashes of elite potential, they still need to learn how to win consistently.
There are a few ways to look at this game as a Lions fan. For many, this spells the beginning of the end. The team looked good for a bit, but they believe the Lions are simply going to Lion. These are known as Same Old Lions fans. While this strategy has saved Lions fans unimaginable grief over the past few decades, it can prevent fans from enjoying the team and celebrating success.
On the other hand, there is still optimism for the playoffs in these final two games. The Lions have shown that they can win games despite their inexperience. The team is talented and has come an incredibly long way from 1-6, where they once sat at the bottom of the league. For many, this team has already surpassed expectations and provided hope for the future. The loss to Carolina was brutal, but it can also act as motivation and a lesson for the team in the future. With two games to go, we will see what Dan Campbell and these Detroit Lions can do as Motor City remains hopeful for a playoff push.