Back on October 27, 2014, the Detroit Lions defeated the Atlanta Falcons in a thriller in London. Detroit fought their way back from a 21-point deficit to eventually kick the game-winning 48-yard field goal as time expired. The Lions, then 6-2, would finish the season with 11 wins, their second highest total in franchise history. The Falcons, on the other hand, would finish 6-10, their second straight season with ten losses or more.
After that season, the Falcons fired head coach Mike Smith and hired Dan Quinn, along with all new coordinators. Atlanta has gone 19-13 with their new regime and will participate in the second Super Bowl in franchise history in two weeks.
The Lions, since that season, have gone 16-16 with just a single playoff appearance. They have remained competitive, but are clearly a step down for the league’s best. So today’s Question of the Day is:
How close are the Detroit Lions to being a Super Bowl team?
My answer: Probably still at least two years away. While I don’t think the Lions necessarily need a coaching overhaul like Atlanta had, it just goes to show you how quickly things can turn around for a franchise.
For Detroit, that turnaround started last year with new general manager Bob Quinn. As we discussed last week, Quinn has already had a huge influence on the roster, specifically on offense. With another year of draft picks and free agency choices, I expect the Lions to field a much deeper roster in 2017. However, there appears to be too many holes on the horizon for just one more offseason to fix. If Quinn can hit on another successful draft in 2017, this team could be well prepared to make that jump in 2018.