NFL.com’s Joe Thomas, Marc Ross, Scott Pioli, and Maurice Jones-Drew all weighed in on specifically which fan base—not just which team—but which fans most deserves a title.
It was the sweet soul Scott Pioli who chose the Lions (and the Cleveland Browns, I guess) as the most deserving of the 2021 title.
“Both teams are very proud franchises with glorious histories full of great players, coaches, owners and classic NFL characters — all of whom helped grow this great game. Those figures had the “shoulders of giants” that our game now stands upon, and their fans are some of the NFL’s best,” he explains.
The Browns haven’t won a championship since 1964 and the Lions since 1957. Pioli went on to wonder how neat it would be if the two franchises met in Super Bowl LVI?
“We can call it the ‘Rust Bowl’ or ‘Battle of Lake Erie.’ (I know Detroit isn’t ON Lake Erie, but it’s on the Detroit River, which connects Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair.) Think about all of those fans from two historic, blue-collar cities descending upon Los Angeles in February. (Plus, this would allow them to escape the snow and ice.) Not only do they need a championship, they deserve it!”
And onto the rest of your notes.
- A member of the Detroit Lions family is heading to the Olympics. Melissa Gonzalez, who is married to David Blough, will run the 400-meter hurdles in Tokyo later this month. The Free Press’ Dave Birkett also goes on to tell their love story in this great feature story. (Subscription required)
- Around the NFL’s Marc Sessler selected one potential first-time Pro Bowler from each team.
- RSP’s Matt Waldman takes an in-depth look at Jamaal Williams’ work in the passing game, including a few elements he thinks are missing in D’Andre Swift’s skillset.
- CBS Sports’ John Breech took a stab at ranking the NFL divisions. The problem with ranking the NFC North? No one knows if Aaron Rodgers is going to be in it or not.
- PFF offers a piece on measuring quarterback resilience — how each quarterback performs after getting hit. I see a familiar face as the featured image for this article.
- Also from PFF is a calculation of the best and worst-case scenarios for every NFC team this upcoming season. Worst case, the Lions go 3-14 in 2021, the best case here.