Like most Lion's fans I was pretty upset about the way the team played yesterday, but I kept trying to think of reasons why there was still hope and we shouldn't get too upset. Then while reading the latest Grantland piece I stumbled across something that really made me do a double take. Barnwell was writing a piece about the Colts and well I'll just C&P so you can get exactly what he was saying: The entire piece is right here
"OK. If Indy's defense is awful and the Colts can't move the ball without Wayne and get blown out by the Rams and have to squeak out wins over the Titans and Texans to win their division, they're done, right? Let's call that one a maybe. We're always quick in sports to reduce teams to the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately argument, when what they did at the beginning of the season might matter as much as what they've done recently. It certainly makes sense that the offense might not be able to reach its previous heights without Wayne around, but his absence shouldn't cause the defense to collapse the way it has.Really you could throw the 2011 Giants into the same equation and get the same results, they started the season off strong, had a few bad breaks stumbled down the stretch, only to just get into the playoffs and then look completely different once they got in there.
Here is why this is applicable to us Lions's fans. We are quick to get upset when the team doesn't play dominant football and blow teams out that we feel they should, or loses games to teams that we "feel" they should beat. Those are legit feelings to have but lets put some things back into perspective shall we. The Lions have indeed fallen off a bit of a cliff but they can still get up. Lets look back for a second
We had an impressive offensive display in week 1 We won in week 3 without the services of Reggie Bush They had a demolition of a good bears team (with Jay Cutler, and before their defense fell off a cliff) They put on a show against a good browns defense They beat a good Dallas team (One that still has a winning record) Then they went on the road and swept the Bears
Now all I'm saying is take what Barnwell says and apply it here, we are quick to think in sports "what have you done for me lately" when what you did earlier may be just as important. We played very well in the start of the season and weren't nearly as turnover prone. All we need to do is get into the playoffs and then ANYTHING is possible. We have all forgotten this now but think back to the end of the seasons of 2011, and 2012. Both fan bases wanted to run their head coaches out of town after the seasons. The giants were tired of playing mediocre during most of the season, and the Ravens thought that John Harbaugh was the right coach to rebuild them, but couldn't get them over the hump (Sound familiar?) They then snuck into the playoffs with OK records and did damage. The giants defense which had been statistically horrible (because of late season struggles) turned dominant. The ravens who were turnover prone suddenly stopped.
Now am I saying that this is about to happen for the Lion's, No. I bring this up to say remember to have faith and stay somewhat sane until the season is actually OVER. I would much rather squeak into the playoffs with a poor record and then win the super bowl, then blow teams out the whole season, rack up a bunch of wins, have a bunch of great statistics, then lose in the playoffs.