The 2017 season was the definition of a roller coaster of emotions. After the first quarter of the year, the Detroit Lions were sitting at 3-1 and were just inches away from being undefeated. At the time, some media outlets had the Lions as high as second in their power rankings.
It turns out that, no, the Lions were not really a top two team. They would go on to lose the next three games, then finish the final half of the season just above .500.
In such a competitive conference, 9-7 was sadly not enough for Detroit to make the postseason. They finished seventh in the conference, just a single game behind the Atlanta Falcons for the final wild card spot.
There were so many single mistakes or individual moments that collectively doomed Detroit’s season. But today’s Question of the Day is:
If you could change the outcome of one Lions game from 2017, which would it be?
My answer: I think it has to be the Atlanta Falcons game in Week 3. Not only would that win have been enough for the Lions to eventually make the postseason, but then the Lions would have been undefeated through four games, and the hype would have been out of control.
Obviously, we would all come down to Earth, as the flaws in the team would eventually emerge, but it still would have been worth it. I’m not one of those fans that thinks it’s better for a team to miss the playoffs than for them to make it and get bounced in the first round. Any chance at advancing in the postseason is worth it for a franchise, no matter how small that chance is.
So even though a win over Atlanta would have pushed the Lions to the playoffs, where they likely would have been beaten by the Rams, I would change that outcome if I could. Even if it meant that Jim Caldwell got to stay for one more year, I would do it. Of course, I reserve my right to completely change my mind if Matt Patricia takes this team to a Super Bowl, so don’t save the previous sentence then send it to me the morning after the Lions win Super Bowl LVI.
And let us not forget that a win over Atlanta would mean we’re free from the nausea that comes every time we hear the phrase “10-second runoff.”