If you go back to November 4th, the Lions had destroyed the Denver Broncos to improve to 6-2 and unheard of excitement existed in regards to Lions football. With hopes of a playoff run on everyone's mind, we all as fans made the mistake of raising our expectations. If you were skeptical throughout all of this, then kudos to you as your expectations probably never did go up. For everyone else, we are all looking at another disappointing end to a once promising season.
Despite the fact that the Lions did win 6 games, to me, I don't see this season as being any more successful than 2006's 3-13 team. You can say all you want about how great the first half of the season was, but what matters is the final record of a team, not how many wins you have after 8 games.
The problem with Detroit is that they are about to finish the year on an 8-game losing streak. Although a Chiefs team that is almost as bad as Detroit comes to town on Sunday, there's still a great chance the Lions will lose. Being that there really is nothing left to play for in the public perception, many fans have officially given up on the Lions. Granted people officially putting the Lions to rest came a little later than usual, but in the end it still happened.
Although most fans have lost interest in this team, these next two games are important. If the Lions can beat Kansas City, then one goal coming into this season would be accomplished: lose less than 10 games. Again, it may not mean much to us considering this team could have achieved that goal over a month ago, but for this team it is big. I would like to see this embarrassing streak come to an end, and all it takes is 1 win.
Should the Lions win on Sunday and then pull off an upset in Green Bay (keep dreaming considering the Packers could be playing for homefield advantage), an 8-win season would be great to see. Reaching .500 has been something I wanted the Lions to do for a while now, and although the path taken to 8 wins wouldn't be pretty, 8 wins is 8 wins.
If you just looked at the Lions record when the season is finished but didn't see how they got there, then 6-10 would provoke a reaction of something like, "sounds about right." For me personally, I predicted them to go 6-10, so that would be a record I expected. Should Detroit end up at 7-9 or 8-8, then looking at the record alone, many would say this was a successful season, as sad as that may sound. Problem is, there is more to a record than wins and losses.
It's one thing to lose one week and win the next, but to start the year 6-2 and realistically have a shot at finishing 6-10 is simply inexcusable. I'm getting sick of watching this team go out there one week and play well enough to win only to follow it up a week later with a complete joke of a game. As harsh as this may sound, Rod Marinelli's job should be in question if the Lions don't win at least one of their final two games. Mike Valenti of 97.1 FM The Ticket shared similar thoughts about the situation, but he called for Marinelli to be fired if this team finishes 6-10.
I don't disagree at all with a statement like that. Valenti was right on as no team should end the year on an 8-game losing streak after such a promising start, especially since it's not like injuries played a huge factor or something like that. Sure, Roy Williams being out has hurt us lately, but before that most players were perfectly fine. Even though some may think Marinelli should get his walking papers if the losing streak continues in these final two weeks of the season, there is no chance of that happening, just as there is no chance Matt Millen is fired.
What it all comes down to for me is that this team pulled a fast one on us. It wasn't intentional by any means, but of course, the football gods were looking for new ways to torture Lions fans. Rather than just give us another possible 10-loss season for the Lions, we get our hopes up as the team starts out the season 6-2. Believe it or not, Detroit making the playoffs was a realistic possibility. Even after the loss to Arizona and the loss to New York, and to Green Bay and Minnesota, the playoffs were still reachable. There was no excuse for losing all of those games in the first place, but there was still a chance.
Then came the game that sums up this season. Detroit plays great and leads for 59 minutes and 42 seconds against Dallas. Then, as time is starting to run out, the Cowboys score after the Lions had two chances to put the game away, and that was it. 2007 officially came to an end. Now, the rest of this season is just going through the motions for me and it appears to be the same for the team. If they don't care, then why should we?