Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm Optimistic, But I've Seen This Movie Before

After winning the last four games of the season, I'm optimistic about the future of the Detroit Lions. I know I sound like a homer, but a if a few blown calls go the Lions' way, they might've been in the playoff conversation in the last few weeks of the year. But that's just like horseshoes and hand grenades. They took some significant strides this season and gave Lions fans hope for the future. I like what they're doing I'm just cautiously optimistic.

First, there's the labor situation. I think it will get resolved around draft time. it's just that if it goes any longer, it could halt what progress the lions have made. Secondly, I've seen this movie before. Lions fans let's take a trip in the time machine. Remember 1989, Barry Sanders' rookie season. The Lions were in their first full season under Wayne Fontes. They started off 2-9 and things weren't looking good. Then the team finally started coming coming together and they reeled off five straight wins to close out the season, including a win over the defending NFC Central champs, Chicago Bears. They had Barry Sanders running wild and the run and shoot offense was clicking under Bob Gagliano. The Lions entered the 1990 season with high expectations and playoff aspirations. They started 1-3, got a key win over Minnesota and then went to Kansas City and were thrashed as 43-24 as Barry Word ran for over 200 yards.

The dagger was when they hosted the Washington Redskins when they had a 35-14 lead only to see the Skins stormback to claim a 41-38 win on overtime. That broke the Lions' back, similar to the Jets game this year. The Lions stumbled to a 6-10 finish.

This year has a lot of similarities to that. The Lions are trying to build themselves up again. They have two of the better young players in the league in Ndamukong Suh and Calvin Johnson. They have one of the best defensive lines in the league and if they can build up some depth along the offensive line, linebacker, and the secondary they should improve on their 6-10 finish. I'm excited about their future, but this reminds me too much of 1989. Hopefully they don't repeat history and can take a step forward instead of a step backwards.

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