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From a Detroit Lions Fan... "Thank-you Packers Fans!"

I have not been the most optimistic fan for the Detroit Lions. I have certain beliefs and when the Lions did not conform to those beliefs, it bothered me. I see how much talent they have on their team. I see how close they are to being a very good team, and I see where they could have already been there if they had taken certain steps. When they did not make the moves I believed were the correct moves, it bothered me that they wouldn't be as good as I believed they could be.

I believed that the Cornerback position was much more important to address than the Linebackers. So when they signed good linebackers but only added Cornerbacks who were questionable, I didn't believe they were as improved as they could be.

My mind has not changed from that. However, I have realized there is much more reason to be excited than I was giving credit for. Before I move into explaining this, I must thank the Green Bay Packer's fans for my new found excitement. You see, it was in there forums where the Lions fans and the Packers fans were debating that I came to realize just how good the Lions just might be. So thank-you Packer fans. I owe you so much.

As for the rest of the story....

Let me take you back to the first game of the 2010 season, when Calvin Johnson made an outstanding grab in the end-zone to win the game and beat the Chicago Bears. Then the refs called it an incompletion because he did not get up with the ball. We will not go into the details of how by the letter of the actual rule, it was really a catch and the NFL chose to interpret the rule differently than it was written. The fact is, 99% of the NFL knows that it was a catch and the Lions should have won the game.

Later in Philadelphia, Jeremy Maclin shoved off of the Lions defender to catch a Touchdown. It was the difference in the game and if it had been called, the Lions could well have had another win.

In Green Bay, the Lions only needed a field goal to win. On a pass to Calvin Johnson, that would have put the Lions well within range, Woodson was shoving all over Johnson. No call was made. It was blatant interference and should have given the Lions a 1st down in field goal range. No call meant another loss.

Three separate instances where the refs made bad calls or ignored blatant penalties at critical times in the game to give the Lions losses. The Detroit Lions ended the season on a four game winning streak to give them six wins on the season. If they would not have had three other games stolen from them, they very easily could have been 9-7 for the season. I do not point these games out to cry about the Lions being cheated. I do not claim the Lions would have won all three of those games. I simply believe that the Lions very well could have won all three of those games and very well could have been 9-7 on the year.

Since then, the Lions are not worse in any one position on the team. On the contrary, they have improved in many positions. They have added another talented defensive tackle to give the defensive line more strength and depth. They have added two knew linebackers that have plenty of talent. They return with the same cornerbacks and have also added Eric Wright who has a lot of talent and we cannot forget that Aaron Berry will be healthy this year. On top of all of those improvements, they have added Erik Coleman to play alongside of Louis Delmas. The defense that showed promise but had so many holes last year will be much improved. Though I do not believe they are as improved as they could have been, I have to admit, they are still much improved. That excites me!

Then we look to the offense....

Jahvid Best played almost his entire rookie season on two turf toe injuries. For a running back who is built for speed, shiftiness and changing directions, those turf toe injuries can be extremely hampering. He is healthy now. But to play it safe, the Lions have added insurance and a change of pace guy in Mikel LeShoure, who has plenty of talent of his own.

Calvin Johnson is great and Nate Burleson proved himself to be a very good compliment, but they were short a third receiver who can pull some coverage away from Calvin. In comes Titus Young, a rookie many believes has the talent to do just that.

So the Lions have added talent to both the receiver and the running back positions, but those are the least of improvements. The biggest improvement on the offensive side of the ball will be the healthy return of Matthew Stafford. Finally having surgery in the off-season, Stafford should now be safe from dislocating his shoulder so easily. After all, it is supposed to have been the same surgery Sam Bradford went through before his rookie year and he held up very well. If Stafford stays healthy finally, as many now believe he will, there is no accounting for how much improvement he will be over Shaun Hill.

Think about it fans. A Detroit Lions team that was so extremely close to being 9-7 last year, will come into the 2011 season vastly improved in multiple positions. How can one not get excited over that?

If that is not enough to get your Honolulu Blood rushing through your silver lined veins, consider this... The Lions split the series with the Green Bay Packers. They lost to the Packers in Green Bay in a very close game without Stafford playing. Then later in the season, the Lions beat the Packers. Even though the Packers were without Rodgers for most of the game, the Lions were then down to there 3rd string QB. In two games, the Lions matched up almost evenly with the Superbowl Champions. And here in 2011, the Lions now have a whole Ford Truck full of talent added. How can you not be excited for that?

So thank-you Packer fans, for opening my eyes to just how good the Lions really are. For awakening my mind to realize the Lions 2010 season where they won 6 games was a misleading record. For they were much better than 6 wins last year. They are even better this year.
I have to say it. .... "GO LIONS!"

1 comment:

  1. I'm a hard core Packer fan and let me tell you the Lions are the only team in our division who worry me. That D-line is the best in the division maybe all of football. But they need stafford to play 16 game or it might be another long season for the Lions. I like this team a lot. Will be two great games with Green Bay this season.

    AJ from ajstakeonthenfl.blogspot.com let's talk during the season