Progress in the National Football League is oftentimes measured in wins and losses. It might seem reductive, it might seem myopic, and when people's livelihoods are on the line, it might seem a rudimentary way to determine how successful a given season was in the grand scheme of things.
But that’s the way of life in this league: winning is the cure-all, the elixir for any ails this game may cause.
Last year’s iteration of the Detroit Lions was a team at the ground floor. General manager Brad Holmes was put in charge of uprooting the personnel and making changes under the constraint of a shrunken cap. Halfway into the 2021 season, there was plenty of cause for concern with this Lions team staring down the barrel of another winless season—even with the hope of one-score games sprinkled throughout September and October.
Being winless at the bye led Detroit to make some pretty big changes. Dan Campbell took over playcalling duties from the now-departed Anthony Lynn. Former tight ends coach turned current offensive coordinator Ben Johnson started to become more involved in designing and implementing plays on offense. Josh Reynolds was brought in to spruce up a depleted wide receiver room and give a struggling Jared Goff a familiar target.
By the time the dust settled on the season, the Lions won three of their final six games and there was an unprecedented amount of praise being showered on a three-win football team. Again, winning helped wash away a lot of the stink from the first half of the season.
All of this brings us to today’s Question of the Day...
How can the 2022 Detroit Lions prove they’re headed in the right direction?
Considering how the Lions finished their season a year ago, it isn’t enough for Detroit to hold serve in games they end up losing by three, six, or seven points; for the Lions to take that next step in the right direction, they need to win some of those games. It isn’t enough for the team to show that competitive spirit that’s become a badge of honor for Campbell, it’s about the players—and the coaching staff—to show up in those moments where a win is within reach.
Again, this is a league that measures success by wins and losses—for better and worse—and for the Lions to prove things are progressing, that just so happens to be the way many will determine if this regime is doing the trick.