I think that with the benefit of a couple of weeks to get over the loss to the Saints, Lions fans can see how bright the future looks. Sure there are some cap issues to contend with, and some questions as to whether our defense can live up to its billing. But nothing that causes me to lose sleep at night.
Scan the FanPosts and things are generally positive. We have continuity in our coaching ranks, a GM who is in the running for executive of the year, and young and talented playmakers remaining under contract on both sides of the ball. You know things are pretty good when some people are talking about trading down in the draft. If the Lions can get consistent production from the running back position (and I believe they can), this offense will be unstoppable.
In the meantime, all is not rainbows and lollipops elsewhere in the NFC North. I have no illusion that the Packers will struggle in coming years. Even so, their fans on APC are wondering how they got so thoroughly outplayed on their home turf last weekend, and debating whether Jermichael Finley should be allowed to walk in free agency. The Vikings fans are so concerned about their offensive line that they can't even say whether Ponder is going to be good enough to risk passing up RGIII in the draft. And the Bears...where to begin...they have a whole pile of issues, whether it's ownership, front office hiring, love lost for Lovie, or Forte's contract. Here's a sample post headline from WCG:
The Effects Of a Mike Tice Departure-An Indictment of the Lovie Smith Era
And 204 comments down that post, the comment:
Our threads reek of cynicism and despair. Bears fans are not in a happy place right now.
I don't delight in other fans suffering (with the possible exception of some Bears fans <cough> Dane Noble <cough>) but all I am saying here is that Lions fans have a lot to feel good about right now.
Is there anyone who would argue that the Lions are NOT on the rise heading into the 2012 season?