The Detroit Lions are in the early stages of rebuilding with a defense in need of a lot of help. But this isn’t a bad starting point.
Fans of the Honolulu Blue and Silver are well aware that the legacy of this franchise is the inability to get it right. If the Detroit Lions can find a new way to lose games and humiliate themselves and the city they will.
For 60 plus seasons, the Lions have contributed more than their fair share of pratfalls to NFL lore. They have built big leads and lost them, made poor players look like superstars, and in general confounded their fanbase by not having a clue how to build a legitimate contender.
The closest the Lions have come to a title since they last won it all in the 1957 NFL championship game, was January 5, 1992, when they lowered the boom on the Dallas Cowboys to the tune of 38-6. However, one week later in the NFC title game, Washington proved the Lions were nothing more than frauds as they humiliated Detroit 41-10.
There have been those who have tried to convince me that Lions team was legitimate. To that, I have two responses. First, plain and simple is Erik Kramer. He was at best maybe average, but mostly inconsistent. The second is 41 points.
Defense wins championships and legitimate contenders don’t tend to give up 41 points in the playoffs. Yet the Lions did, were sent home with their tails between their legs, and are only remembered by the Motor City faithful because of the playoff win over the Cowboys.
In recent seasons the Lions’ calling card has been pathetic defense. Under former head coach Matt Patricia the defense was abysmal and is coming off the worst performance in the long and mostly below average history of this franchise.
Patricia’s beloved defense was allergic to opposing passers and his administration did nothing to improve it. Meanwhile, the scheme for his run defense was apparently to run away from enemy ball carriers. In a nutshell, Patricia’s defense did little if anything to stop opponents.
Now the onus has fallen on new general manager Brad Holmes to find talent to build a facsimile of the successful defense he helped to construct in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Dan Campbell and his staff have to find a way to make effective use of the defenders they have. But just maybe the cupboard isn’t quite as empty as we believe.