Detroit Lions: Improvement is overshadowed by growing pains

SideLion Report

Charles Harris, Detroit Lions (Photo by Junfu Han-USA TODAY Sports)

The Detroit Lions defense played their best game of the season. However, the growing pains were still excruciating for the team and fans alike.

Let’s take a deep breath. In with the good air and out with the bad. Despite what many are calling another incredibly painful ‘same old Lions’ finish, there are positives to take out of this game.

I agree with the whole idea that moral victories mean nothing, but if we’re being honest, that isn’t a hard and fast rule across the board. For a young rebuilding team that isn’t expected to win very much, there are moral victories that come with improvement.

Last week and this week I keep hearing people throw around the term ‘same old Lions’ to describe the efforts of these Motor City cats. While the irony of Justin Tucker hitting a record 66-yard long field goal to beat Detroit 19-17, echos what Tom Dempsey did for the New Orleans Saints in 1970 when his then-record 63-yard kick dropped the Honolulu Blue and Silver by the same 19-17 score does open up old wounds, the Lions did make some improvements.

In a game where we expected the Baltimore Ravens to bludgeon the Lions, Detroit’s defense did the unthinkable; they actually kept the game within reach. Because of the defensive effort, the Lions almost won.

However, defensive miscues definitely contributed to the loss. Even if Tucker had missed, which I wasn’t wagering on, there were still plenty of things that need to be cleaned up.

This is a young team that is very inexperienced, especially at cornerback, and still has a lot of roster needs. It isn’t a team that is built to compete yet, but despite the miscues and lack of talent, they did compete against the Ravens.

Up next is the Chicago Bears and if the Lions can compete at the same level they did against the Ravens, then they could find a way to get the first win of the Dan Campbell era. However, if they continue to have blown coverages in the secondary it could be another painful day for the Honolulu Blue and Silver faithful. 

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