I have made a couple of posts about how I am a Lions fan and the terrible history that follows them. A couple of years ago (geez, its been that long) I wrote about how the Lions needed to fire Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn. It happened and every lions fan around the world let out a collective sigh of relief. The QuinTricia era had to be one of the worst times in lions history to be a fan. This man irritated not only the fans, but he was hated by the players as well. It’s well documented how much Darius Slay hated him and there were many others too that came out after and spoke against him, even to this day.
A new day is upon us, however. And the future does look bright, but Lions fans have said that before.
Dan Campbell Era
Dan Campbell was hired by the Detroit Lions in January of 2021. It has been nothing but a roller coaster since then. His first season here, the team was still traumatized by the Patricia era. We had horrible players, Matt Stafford asked to be traded, and this was Sheila Ford Hamps first big decision to make as the owner.
That first initial press conference was a doozy. If you’re even slightly aware of football and press conferences, everyone knows about his “biting kneecaps” statement. Its easy to find, just search the internet for it and you will find many clips of him saying it and people making fun of him for saying it.
The lions went 3-13-1 his first season. That first win was the best, though. Now, Dan Campbell had been an interim head coach before, but that was only for about 12 weeks with the Miami Dolphins when the actual coach got fired. Either way, he impressed the fords enough to give him a shot here. With a little more time under his belt and another year of coaching, he’ll eventually get the hang of it.
That brings us to year 2. For the 2022 season, the team started out at 1-6. Quite the skid and not the results you want to see. The good (and bad) thing about the fords is that they like to keep people around a while. That was the bad part about the QuinnTricia era. The thing to think about is, how long should a coach get in the NFL? I don’t know, but I hate when teams fire coaches after just the first season.
Something happened during that season, though. They went on a win streak! They started rattling off wins with a couple of turd games in-between and even had playoff hopes by the end of the season. It was so great, they sent Aaron rodgers to the NY Jets, with his last pass being an interception, as a packer! You could tell, Dan has the trust of the locker room, the Fords, and the fans. The Lions ended the season at 9-8!
Now, this is where it gets good! The first game of the season is against the reigning super bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. Now, I know all fans can be hyperbolic about their team, but I’m not sure any Lions fan had them winning that game. Guess what the Lions did? Went into their home and won, on ring ceremony night!
Things just got better as the season went on. Of course with every season, hiccups will emerge and the Ravens really put a beating on the team. That’s ok because Lions never lost 2 games in a row this season. They ended the season 12-5. One of the best records of the lions, they won the NFC North for the first time in history, and they made the playoffs.
I don’t think people realize how major this is. For this organization, for the fans, for the city in general. The 2 playoffs games they got to play at home brought in millions of dollars to businesses in the city. Some of us just wanted to win one playoff game, but to get 2 was beyond expectations.
NFC Championship Game
This is where the heartbreak occurs. Lions actually make it to the championship game to play the 49ers. Things started great and ended…poorly. A 17 point lead, was wiped in 8 minutes. Unfortunately, the Lions, all season, were cursed by the third quarter (or the turd quarter as some lions fans like to call it). As bad as they have been in the third for games earlier in the season, this is the game where it really took a bite out of them. Not only that, there were numerous drops by our receivers, a fumble, and what some would say were questionable coaching calls (I wouldn’t say that because our kicker is iffy at best and going for it is what the lions do!)
In the end, they lost the game. You hope to be back next year, but I’m sure the Bengals and Eagles thought the same. It will be difficult, but luckily Ben Johnson is coming back and they can build on the previous years like they’ve been doing. Hopefully, it will only get better for them and you can thank Motor City Dan Campbell for the turnaround!