These Detroit Lions Are For Real


We’ve heard this countless times over the years; “This year is different.” Yet, every year it seems like the Lions find a way to break the hearts of their fans.

There was 2011, when they went 10-6 and clinched a spot in the playoffs. However, that seemed to just set us up with a big let down with the 4-12 season that followed in 2012.

More from Detroit Lions

We all know the story of 2013, the Lions are 6-3 atop the NFC North. Not only that but Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler are both out to injury.The NFC North was gift wrapped and for the first time since 1993 the Lions were going to be division champions.

What a story it would of been.

However fate had a different plan, the Lions went on to finish the season 1-6 and missed out on a golden opportunity.

Flash forward to 2014 and the Lions are in a very similar spot. 6-2 and alone in first place in the NFC North. Which is why many people are asking themselves, what makes this group different? Well, there’s a lot of things.

Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

For starters, this a completely new defense. We all already know that.

Last year the Lions finished 17th in total defense and towards the bottom in passing defense.

After week 9 the Lions are still the number 1 ranked defense and is showing no sign of showing down. Not only is this group better than Seattle’s self claimed “Legion of Boom” from a season ago, they are on pace to be the best defense the league has seen since the 2009 Jets.

If you have a good defense in the NFL, you are already a competitor.

Need proof?

That 2009 New York Jets team went to the AFC championship game with Mark Sanchez at quarterback.

Deandre Levy is very quietly one of the best linebackers in the NFL right now. This secondary, which many people, including myself thought would hurt the Lions, has turned out to be a huge strength of this team. The most encouraging thing about this team, is that Calvin Johnson, hasn’t truly played since Week 3. He was used as a decoy for weeks 4 and 5.

The Lions are 4-1 in those games.

Largely because of the great play by the best free agent pick up this off-season, Golden Tate.

I honestly believe Russell Wilson and all of Seattle have to feel like a jealous teenage girl seeing their ex boyfriend happy with someone else.

And wow did they ever take this man for-granted. Don’t forget, Tate said he hated getting tackled back in Seattle because he didn’t know when his next target would be. He only had 898 yards all of last season for Seattle. Not because of his play, but because he didn’t get the ball thrown his way enough.

He has 800 yards this season, after just eight games.

He also said he was excited because not only of an increased role but a better quarterback throwing him the ball. Speaking of that quarterback, he isn’t going to throw for 5,000 yards this year. He isn’t going to throw for 40 touchdowns like he did in 2011.But he is the quarterback on a 6-2 team, he’s cut down on the interceptions, and he’s doing this without his number 1 guy who is the best receiver in the NFL.

Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

He’s lead great comebacks these past two weeks, he’s proving he isn’t just a product of Calvin Johnson.

This bye week was very well timed for the Lions, now they will have a healthy Calvin Johnson, Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew and even kyle Van Noy will make his NFL debut in Week 10

However, it won’t be easy, as they face the hardest part of this schedule all year.

First a home game against a very hot Miami Dolphin team, then on the road to face the NFC’s top team in the Arizona Cardinals, then on the road to face the top team in the AFC team in the New England Patriots. After that tough stretch the Lions will have three home games in a row against the Bears, Buccaneers, and Vikings all teams below .500 on the season.

If you turn on ESPN right now, you wouldn’t hear a word about the Detroit Lions, you won’t hear about the top rank defense, you won’t hear about how the Lions are winning without not just their best player, but half their offense. You won’t hear about them being in 1st place, you won’t even hear about how Golden Tate is having one of the best seasons of all wide receivers this year.

What you will hear, is about how great the Packers are, and how this division still belongs to Green Bay. You’ll see the Packers ranked above the Lions in their power rankings as if the Lions didn’t hold Aaron Rodgers to 162 passing yards and the Lions top ranked defense didn’t score more points than the Packers offense.

This is a very different group of Lions, a new coaching staff is also to be credited.

This is a great time to be a Detroit Lion fan.