By: Eric Thomas
A stress free Sunday is a rarity in Detroit; I hardly even knew what to do. The Lions put a beat down on the Jaguars and it was over by halftime. Sure, there could have been a comeback for Jacksonville, but it didn’t seem likely. Their offense looked terrible, with MJD sitting on the sideline. At the half, all of Metro Detroit found something else to do. I watched the Red Zone channel and had an enjoyable afternoon.
Meanwhile, the grumbling continues. Seems like Lions fans have been well sated by the easy win, while the national media spent the pregame firing up the Lions jokes again. Jimmy Johnson called them the biggest disappointment; the blond bomber said Schwartz should be fired if he doesn’t get it “straightened out.” Lions fans might seem a little shocked by this. We are only a few years removed from two and three win seasons, we aren’t used to expectations. Four wins is almost worthy of a banner at Ford Field. All of us remember when the Lions looked a lot like the Jaguars.
But the criticism is fair. The Lions got on the covers of magazines and video games because they’re supposed to be good. They were supposed to contend. Even conservative estimates say they would be lucky to win eight games. Schwartz has a lot of talent on the roster and they are not getting it done. They still look undisciplined and distracted, even though they were far less undisciplined than the dumpster fire they lined up against.
Look, if the Lions were chain sawing a division opponent, I wouldn’t have popped on Red Zone. I would have watched every bloodletting second of it, DVR’d it and watched it again. But slapping around a team with one win might make Lions fans feel better, but it’s hardly anything to get excited about. Joique Bell had a nice game against the Jags, but let’s not act like he is a solution.
The Lions need to make a run at a championship. Its win now. This group of young talent isn’t going to be around forever, it doesn’t work that way. The Lions need to spend the money on a corner, keep Chris Houston, stop throwing money at the defensive line, and use this year’s draft pick on a top flight running back. Spending a high draft pick on someone in the defensive secondary would be a waste. Open the checkbook and find that corner in free agency.
The Lions made major strides for the last three years, only to fall back on this one. It feels like they are just going through the motions, like a waste. I still don’t understand why they thought that Jahvid Best was going to play this year. I don’t know why they weren’t more aggressive and spendy with the defensive backfield in the offseason. Mayhew and Schwartz deserve the criticism, but should they be fired this year? Of course not. But another year like this one, and the drumbeat starts.
So far, fans seem willing to give the Lions a mulligan this year. It’s encouraging to see the fan base show some level of patience. Maybe we are maturing. Maybe Lions fans are more realistic than we used to be.
Games like the Jaguars should be enjoyed but understand the context. Don’t think that this means that under-performing players are getting better. This doesn’t mean that the team is turning a corner. They are still going to get embarrassed by talented teams.
It’s also okay to be glad that you aren’t the team that everyone beats up anymore.