Who are the Detroit Lions in 2017?

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Lions remain undefeated after the first two games of the regular season for the first time since 2011. What does this really mean?

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

It is good to be undefeated.

In the 47 years from 1970 until today, the Lions have achieved a 2-0 start an even dozen times. That’s just over 25.5%. I would imagine that each 2-0 start has generated excitement and dreams of championships among the fans. The reality is that in over half of those seasons, the Lions failed to end up with a winning record.

Two more years (1980 and 2000) saw them end the season a mere game over .500 and miss the playoffs. An anomaly is that the Lions actually made the playoffs with a losing record in the strike-shortened 1982 season with a record of 4-5 after starting the season with two wins.

As most Lions fans already know, none of these 2-0 starts ended with so much as a single playoff victory.

So where does that leave us today? How can we determine who the Detroit Lions really are this year? Well, we can’t. At least not definitively. Not yet.

I believe that this years team is different. I have heard a number of people say that it just “feels” different. The problem is, you cannot easily define feelings, therefore I will not even try.

Legendary personality Gil Brandt, known throughout NFL circles as the “Godfather” is a regular host with Alex Marvez on Sirius NFL Radio’s “Late Hits”. He was instrumental in the building of the Dallas Cowboys dynasty from 1960 to 1989. I have spoken with Brandt on several occasions. I am convinced that he has a personal anecdote about every single person that has ever played the game of professional football.

That is another way to say that I really respect his opinion.

Brandt has said on several occasions that, “…you cannot know who a team really is until Thanksgiving…”.  And the end of November is a long way off. So let’s take what he says at face value for now.

So perhaps you can’t, “know who a team really is”, but you can discern several things that will give you a pretty good indication of who this team is now. Let’s look at a number of elements that are starting to define the 2017 Detroit Lions.