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Yesterday, The Lions Provided Detroit Sports Fans With A Rare Moment Of Hope

I wrote last week that I was disappointed by how the Lions played in their opening game against Philadelphia. By all accounts, Philly seems to be a pretty sound team once again, so it wasn’t so much the result as how the Lions played overall. They were inconsistent, they were sloppy, but they still pulled off their typical BS where they scored a few garbage-time touchdowns, and people patted them on the back for playing hard. I left week one extremely unimpressed, but week two? I was very happy with week two. 

Yesterday was essentially a must-win for the Lions. While it’s so early in the season, the possibility of this ball club starting 0-2 after what many considered to be a really good off-season would’ve been pretty devastating for the fans in Detroit and throughout Michigan. I think the fans at Ford field collectively breathed a sigh of relief after seeing the Lions take care of business yesterday. There are a lot of things to clean up. This secondary is going to get torched all season. Detroit plays Minnesota next week, and I shiver at what Justin Jefferson will do to this defense. But the defensive struggles in the second half didn’t remove my excitement about this game. What I liked about what I saw yesterday was that the Lions have genuine playmakers for the first time in a minute. After a rough first game, Aidan Hutchinson was brilliant for Detroit, collecting three sacks in a second career start. The coaching staff let it be known that they were not worried about him after that first game, and they shouldn’t have been. I watched every snap this guy played at Michigan. The dude is a wrecking ball, and he was incredible yesterday. 

Over the last two decades, it can't be overstated how often the offensive line has let down the Detroit Lions. Matt Stafford was constantly getting banged up, and while every so often, you'd have someone like Reggie Bush in 2013 who had a good season out of the backfield, this team hasn't had a star running back since Barry Sanders. They may have found that with D'Andre Swift. He's been incredible through two games.

I'm not the biggest Jared Goff guy. I don't think he's bad, I just find him to be slightly above serviceable most of the time, but I think Brad Holmes and company have done an excellent job of surrounding him with weapons that will probably make him look better than he is. Amon-Ra St. Brown is an extremely fun player. It is stunning that he fell to the fourth round in the 2021 draft. All the guy does is make plays, and I think the way the Lions have used him so far in his young career has been highly encouraging. 

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This year, my slogan for the Lions has been, "Please just give me something." I can't deal with another meaningless, empty, hollow, awful Detroit sports season. I can't do it. I still believe this is probably a six or seven-win football team, but it's a genuine relief that we don't have to talk about the season essentially being over after two weeks the way that we've done with pretty much every Detroit sports season over the last six years. My cynicism will remain at an all-time high like it always does. This is the Detroit Lions we're talking about. Sustainable goodness has been a foreign concept to this organization for 60 years. It is still technically year two of a post-Stafford rebuild. The jury is still out about whether or not this will work, but I know that it CAN work, and that's a lot more than what we've been able to say in the past.