The Detroit Lions could potentially be the next NFL powerhouse

The Detroit Lions could potentially be the next NFL powerhouse

When someone mentions a powerhouse in the National Football League, the last team that comes to mind is the Detroit Lions. Since the founding of the Lions in 1929, they have only made eight playoff appearances, with the most recent being during the 2016 season. Additionally, Detroit is the oldest team in the league to have never played in a Super Bowl. Despite all of these embarrassing statistics, the Lions’ front office is setting its team up to be a top-five team in the NFL. 

For years, fans have said, “This is the year the Lions turn things around,” and every year, they have been very wrong. Most of these fans say this out of pure hope that the team will figure out how to pull itself together and utilize its talent. However, this year, there may be some credibility to these desperate words. To begin with, ownership has changed. The Lions still fall under Ford ownership, but Sheila Ford-Hamp recently took over, replacing her mother, Martha Ford. This small change may seem insignificant, but a “new” start to ownership has already proven beneficial.

To begin, the Lions fired head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn. Dan Campbell filled the head coach position, and Brad Holmes took over the general manager’s responsibility. The 2021-2022 season with Campbell as head coach was less than satisfactory, but he has one key factor that can make or break a team: morale. Campbell has been reported as inspiring by many of the players, and everyone is able to connect with him at a personal level. Even though he might not have the best game plan yet, Campbell has one of the most valuable assets of being a head coach. 

Another big change for Detroit was the trade involving its former starting quarterback, Matthew Stafford. The trade involved multiple drafts picks and the Rams’ quarterback, Jared Goff, in return for Stafford. Again, a less-than-satisfactory season has proven the value Stafford had on the team; however, the critical aspect in this trade was the picks. The Lions now have two first-round picks and a third-round pick. This will be essential for a struggling secondary and offensive line. Goff’s performance in the first half of the season was disappointing, to say the least. Still, in the second half, he began proving that he could be the perfect transition quarterback for the Lions until they draft a better and younger quarterback.  

The final big change that the Lions made over the past year or so is the performances of the team’s players. Many COVID-19 related illnesses occurred throughout the season, which left second and third strings to run the show. Many players, especially on the line, took this as an opportunity to prove their worth. The end of the season saw many close games and even a couple of large victories like those over the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals. Rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown is a prime example of this. The rookie had 912 receiving yards and broke the franchise rookie record. Again, this boost in player morale is directly related to the new coaching staff and team atmosphere.

As of now, the Lions are far from Super Bowl contention. But, the franchise is beginning to move in the right direction. With its current trend in the right direction, Detroit could soon prove it deserves a spot in the playoffs and maybe even the Super Bowl.