The Detroit Lions win their first game of the season; earning themselves a victory for Dan Campbell.
There is not much to look forward to when your team is winless. The Detroit Lions playoff hopes vanished in a blink of an eye, while the NFL Draft took over as the event to plan for after Week 18. However, Dan Campbell gave fans something to smile about waking up this morning.
The Lions won their first game of 2021 on a buzzer-beater touchdown against their divisional rival, the Minnesota Vikings. The scoreboard read 29-27 in favor of Detroit as the clock hit 0:00. The win proved that the team refused to give up, even after blowing lead after lead.
One way to end a losing streak is to play a team just as unfortunate as you. Unfortunately, the Vikings fit the mold, losing in heartbreak fashion yet again. However, Campbell’s crew fought with hearts like the jungle animal, which will not be the last time fans witness this in the new era of Detroit football.
Can fans give Detroit Lions Jared Goff some respect?
Jared Goff has been put through the wringer throughout his time as a Lion. The media put his struggles under a microscope, critiquing every little move he makes. Goff receives nearly all of the blame for the offensive woes, but no one steps back to see who he can rely on in the offense. Kalif Raymond went from being a punt-returner to a WR1 in under a year; it was because of circumstance, not talent.
The Lions’ signing Josh Reynolds gave Goff the confidence he needed, as Reynolds proved to be the missing piece in only two games. His presence on the field allows guys like T.J. Hockenson and Amon-Ra St. Brown to shine. As a result, the offense becomes well-balanced and challenging to stop. Just imagine what a healthy D’Andre Swift could do.
Yes, their second-half looked abysmal compared to the first, but don’t blame Goff or Campbell. Mike Zimmer is one of the best defensive minds in the NFL. The Vikings’ defense has a lot of playmakers on it who need halftime to make necessary adjustments. It showed as Goff nearly cost the team the game once again, failing on a fourth-down conversion.
Goff and the offense have come a long way since Week 1, but the defense also deserves some credit.
Is the Detroit Lions’ defense good?
The Lions’ defense disappoints fans weekly. However, their matchup against the Vikings shocked the football world by making unlikely critical plays. The pass rush made Cousins uncomfortable in the pocket. The defense totaled three sacks and even recovered a fumble. However, the day’s play came from a rising star in the system.
Alex Anzalone’s play allowed the Lions to gain the win. In the fourth quarter, Cousins threw a potential game-clinching touchdown to Tyler Conklin in the end zone. Instead, Anzalone covered the pass, forcing Conklin out of bounds. Based on further review, the play has ruled a touchdown, but Conklin did not touch his other foot in bounds.
The play could have made the Lions 0-11-1, but not on Anzalone’s watch. He continues to be a standout on the defense, continually making plays, even acting as a field general when he has to. Their defense has been a work in progress for some time, primarily the covering the pass. The Lions will have a top pick in the 2022 draft that needs to be used on a potential X-factor defender.
Watching the Lions win put a smile on my face. Dan Campbell jumping for joy into embracing his quarterback permanently sits in, of course, my mind. Campbell and the rest of the staff have a plan in place. But, that winning feeling isn’t going away; it’s only just getting started.