I hear fans all the time no matter how good the record is they will always be the same old Lions, they have never won a playoff game in 20 years, they have never won a super bowl, etc. The point are valid we have not won a playoff game since 1991, and we have never been to the super bowl but i can tell you this is not the same old Detroit Lions that we have been used to. The Lions in the 90's were good but not consistent, and the main reason was because of Barry Sanders, the team as a whole was not very good. which is in 1991 they could not get over the hump and win the 1991 NFC Championship and have only settled for below .500 season and wild card births and then Barry suddenly retired and in came Matt Millen. now the stats im about to provide i got from http://www.pro-football-reference.com/, i am going to compare the stats from previous Quarterbacks to Matthew Stafford, Past 3 "big time" Wide Receivers Drafted by Matt Millen, and the Coaching records of coaches hired by Millen compared to Jim Schwartz.
Now many Lions fans complain about Matthew Stafford, one of the complaints that is valid that he has not won a playoff game. To be fair the Lions have only been in one playoff with him as Quarterback, lets see how the previous Quarterbacks compare to Matthew Stafford.
Erik Kramer played 3 season for the Detroit Lions, he has Thrown for 3,408 passing yards and 23 Touchdowns while with the Lions
Scott Mitchell played 5 seasons in Detroit and threw for 12,647 yards and 79 touchdowns while with the Lions
Charlie Batch played 4 season for the Lions threw for 9,016 yards and threw for 49 touchdowns
Joey Harrington who was drafted by Matt Millen played 4 seasons in Detroit threw for 10,242 yards and 60 touchdowns
Jon Kitna played 3 season for Detroit threw for 9,034 yardsand 44 touchdowns
Matthew Stafford was drafted by Martin Mayhew, even though Stafford was out for the majority of his first 2 seasons he still put monster numbers in 4 1/2 seasons Stafford has thrown for 15,424 yards and 96 touchdowns, i believe that if Stafford was healthy in 2009 and 2010 he could have 20,000 plus passing yards and about 115 or 125 touchdowns and he is only 25.
in 2011 Stafford threw for 5,038 passing yards and 41 touchdowns,
in 2012 he threw for 4,967 yards and 20 touchdowns
through 8 weeks of the 2013 season Stafford has 2,617 passing yards and 16 touchdowns
Theres no question that Stafford could have done better in 2012 as far as touchdowns but the as a whole was a mess. Stafford is growing as a leader of the team and is proving himself to be a top 10 quarterback
now lets look at a few receivers
Charles Rogers was drafted by Millen and played only 3 years with the Lions he has 440 receiving yards with 4 touchdowns he is currently no longer in the NFL
Mike Williams was drafted by Millen he only played 2 years in Detroit he had 449 receiving yards with 2 touchdowns
Roy Williams played 5 years in Detroit with 3,884 receiving yards with 29 touchdowns
all 3 receivers are no longer in the NFL
now Calvin Johnson aka Megatron is s freak of nature and he is the only great draft pick by Matt Millen he has played 7 1/2 seasons with the Lions he has 535 receptions with 8,657 receiving yards he has been breaking and setting NFL records and he has contributed to the revival of this team and he will to contribute to the Lions future success
Now finally lets look at the Head Coaches, Since Matt Millen took over as GM of the Detroit Lions he has hired 3 coachs who have all failed, ontop of that he did not provide the players for any of the coaches to have any kind of success some of this is not their fault but it is not an excuse for horrendous seasons.
Lets start with Marty Mornhinweg he coached for 2 seasons with the Lions and had a record of 5-27
Steve Mariucci spent 3 season with the Lions he was fired after 11 games in his 3rd year he had a 15-28 record, now i think Steve could have been successful with the Lions if he had players who were qualified to start in the NFL, just about every one of the players that Millen drafted that played under mooch are no longer in the NFL including Joey Harrington, Mike Williams, Charles Rogers, Roy Willieams, etc..He was good coach with a bad team
Rod Marinelli now before i start on Marinelli, he was doomed from the start i did not like him as a coach from the begining mainly because of the fact Millen hired him but he also had no NFL head coaching experience. Rod coached for 3 seasons in Detroit and had a record of 10-38 before he was fired after the 2008 season when his team went 0-16 which included the firing of Matt Millen
Now lets start with Jim Schwartz just like every other fan i was skeptical of this hiring, one of the facts that he did not have any NFL head coaching experience, and knowing that Martin Mayhew worked under Millen i could not trust the hiring or any other draft pick that Mayhew had made in which he has made a lot bad picks despite the recent success.
Now Schwartz in his first season with a Rookie Matthew Stafford, a washed up Dante Culpepper, and a team full of Matt Millen draft picks. in 2009 the lions went 2-14 snapping the losing streak from 2008
in 2010 the Lions improved to 6-10 with some of Mayhews drafts picks on the team including Matthew Stafford who was injured in week 1 and was pretty much out the rest of the season yet with Stafford out we were able win at least 6 games
2011 was a turning point now with almost all of Millens picks gone and Schwartz had a healthy Matthew Stafford a healthy Javid Best until the end of the season, the Lions finished with a 10-6 record and made it to the playoffs for the first time since 1999 despite losing to the Saints in the wild card game the Lions were more successful then any of years under Matt Millen
2012 was a disaster with players having legal issues off the field, the Soap Opera with Titus Young, Nate Burleson was out for the season and the lions singed recievers that wouldn't even make the Jacksonville Jaguares a good team
Now in 2013 the Lions have a 5-3 record they also have an easy schedule ahead of them, they have overcome the injury of Nate Burleson, and the injury of Calvin Johnson who is puttng monster numbers this season along with Matthew Stafford and Reggie Bush. This team is better then the 2011 Lions and far better then any of the rosters that this team has put together over the past 13 years the team as a whole is getting better, Stafford has stepped up as a leader of this team with the second half this season under way, with Nate Burleson coming back, and a Healthy Calvin Johnson this team will be unstoppable and the future of this team is looking really good