The Detroit Lions' win in Green Bay wasn’t like any other win this past season. Yes, playoffs were off the table for Detroit, but that just made what they were able to accomplish all the more impressive.
The Lions walked into the Packers’ house—who needed a win to get into the postseason—and handed them a loss, ending their season.
Think about that for another second. With extending their season off the table, the Packers desperate for a win, and with the reigning MVP under center, the Lions didn’t blink. They simply wanted it more and out-executed the Packers through the final whistle. When it mattered, the Lions made plays, held onto the ball, converted fourth downs, and ran out the clock on the Packers season.
That, was a statement win.
That, was a franchise-altering win.
That, shows that from now on, “all roads go through Detroit.”
After the win, Lions coach Dan Campbell delivered a stirring message to the team in the locker room, expressing how proud he was of them and how this “special team” is for the organization.
“You earned your respect today,” Campbell told the players. “Man, I couldn’t be more proud. These coaches couldn’t be more proud. Guys, do you understand? When I say ‘this is a special group’, this is a special group. And by the way, this is just the beginning. This is just the beginning. Because now the idea down the road will be all roads go through Detroit.”
Campbell passed out two game balls. The first went to Jamaal Williams after rushing for over 1,000 yards on the season and breaking Barry Sanders’ franchise record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season (17). The second game ball went to a less obvious choice, but one that was definitely deserving of the recognition.
“I’m just telling you,” Campbell continued. “I’m just freakin’ telling you. I’ve been around as a player, I’ve been around as a coach in this league. We got, I’ll telling you, the best owner—THE best owner in Shelia (Hamp). She gave us everything we could possibly need. Every resource—she thinks about you guys all the time. And she knows everything about you. But I’m telling you, she is rock solid. She’s as good as they come. She’s a good freakin’ person. And she’s competitive. And boy does she loves wins.”
Check it all out in the video provided by the Lions: