Winning cures all.
That is often the case within a team organization, with mistakes forgiven, dysfunction ignored, and insubordination overlooked when at team is still coming out of every Sunday with a win. But that statement rings just as true for a team’s fanbase. A team can look ugly week after week, but if the result is still a W, fans will cling to optimism with a death grip.
The Detroit Lions may be 1-10-1 after 12 games, but all that matters right now is that one. The Lions beat the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, and Lions fans are suddenly all-in on this team’s future again.
In our weekly SB Nation Reacts confidence poll, 88 percent of Lions fans said they were confident the team is headed in the right direction. That’s the highest level of confidence we’ve recorded since their Week 7 competitive loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and it’s basically exactly where confidence was to start the season (89 percent in Week 1, 88 percent in Week 2.)
Of course, that may be a bit of an overreaction. Head coach Dan Campbell was criticized last week for some odd coaching decisions against the Bears that led to a loss—leading confidence to drop below 63 percent. And even in Sunday’s win, Campbell made some controversial decisions that were partially responsible for Detroit losing their 14-point halftime lead, as the team had to mount a two-minute drill for the win.
Still, there are plenty of positives to take, too. Detroit just took down a division rival in the middle of a playoff race. Their defense continues to play way, way, way above their talent level. And the offense, for the first time in several weeks, showed significant signs of progress.
Maybe this isn’t just about winning curing all. Maybe there’s some actual signs the team is headed in the right direction.