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Sunday open thread: Is this season a letdown if the Detroit Lions miss playoffs?

After Detroit’s surge to relevance after starting the season 1-6, do the Lions need to make the playoffs to avoid a letdown of a season?

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Week 17 used to signal the end of the season, but it’s a good thing the Detroit Lions get an extra week to keep their season alive. After they dropped last week’s game to the Carolina Panthers, the Lions will need some help in the way of other teams losing their Week 17 and/or Week 18 matchups to make a playoff appearance.

Of course, the Lions have their own business to take care of before they worry about anything else, but all of this playoff talk lately leads us to today’s Question of the Day...

Is this season a letdown if the Detroit Lions miss the playoffs?

With just two games left for the Detroit Lions and their 2022 season, it’s best to remember it for what a wild ride it was. The Lions started the year 1-6, but have managed to pull their record to 7-8 as they head into their Week 17 matchup with the Chicago Bears.

Was the way Detroit came out against a then 5-9 Carolina Panthers team disappointing? Absolutely. Was it reasonable to expect this team to get off to a better start than they did after going through those same growing pains a season ago? For sure. Was there a play or decision made here or there that changed the trajectory of this season? Even Dan Campbell has a decision he made during that Week 3 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings that continues to burn him to this day.

But the field goal posts move over the course of a season, and boy have they moved for Lions fans, but who can blame them? The Lions are showing to be a product worth being invested in checking out each week for the first time in years.

This season won’t be a letdown for the Lions should they miss out on a Wild Card spot. Vegas set their win total at 6.5 before the start of the season, and the Lions have already cleared that bar with two games still to be played. The playoffs were always a pipe dream considering the Lions were never completely in control of their destiny by the time Detroit was making “In the Hunt” graphics.

This is also just Year 2 of a rebuild that started with a new regime trading the team’s franchise quarterback in Matthew Stafford, and required general manager Brad Holmes to uproot a lot of the cap rot the previous leadership left him to deal with after they were fired. It’s clear to see how the young players this new leadership group has brought in through the draft are making a difference on game day, and when those players a drafted in the fourth round like Amon-Ra St. Brown, or the sixth round like Malcolm Rodriguez, you have to be excited for what this team can look like with another offseason under their belt.

Your turn.

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