It's hard to believe that after only four games, Detroit has already matched last season's win total. That really tells you just how bad 2006 was, but still, it's very unusual for a Lions team to have 3 wins in September. I think it does show you that not only are the players better, but the mindset of this team is completely different.
Take a look at how many close games Detroit lost last year and that alone shows you the difference. Time after time Detroit would head into the fourth quarter with the lead or at least a chance to win, and almost every time, the Lions came out on the wrong end of things. In 2007, however, the Lions have come out with a "W" in all close games. The three wins they do have in 2007 have been decided in the fourth quarter. Never before has a Lions team had the mental aspect on their side. In year's past, when they go down in the fourth quarter, the game was basically over. Just as we saw yesterday though, they now can go and score 34 points in the final quarter to win.
The question now is how long until 2007 > 2006. All that needs to happen for that statement to be true is one more Lions win. Of course, after that fourth win does happen, people will start to wonder just how much better 2007 will be. I wouldn't say that Detroit is going to head into Jon Kitna's 10-win territory just yet, but hey, if the Lions pull off a couple more wins in the next few weeks then who knows what could happen.
Let's not start looking too far ahead just yet, but for the time being it is very nice to see the record of 3-1 next to Detroit in the standings. The biggest surprise this season in my opinion relates to the team ahead of Detroit in the NFC North standings. Who would've thought Green Bay would be 4-0? I sure didn't, but Brett Favre has played unbelievable this season and has led the Packers to a perfect record. Again, who knows how long it will last, but for right now, the NFC North title race is shaping up to be pretty interesting. With the Vikings nearly out of it already, I would say knock it down to 3 teams right now. Then as you look at Chicago, the title race really could be down to two teams shortly. I'm not going to write the Bears off completely just yet, but they are on life support.
What it comes down to for the Lions in 2007 is playing with the mindset of winning at all times. As we've seen in the three wins this year, that is exactly what they did. However, the coaches and players have to make sure that games like Philadelphia a week ago yesterday happen on only the rare occasion. I can see this team take a couple losses in a row like that and completely get off track. To prevent that from happening, there is only one thing needed: winning. Keep it up, Detroit.