Are The Detroit Lions Ready To Contend?

Are the Detroit Lions ready to contend for an NFC playoff berth? It looks like they may from the way they’ve started the season. It’s hard not to be impressed with what this young Lions team has done over the first two weeks of the 2011 NFL season.

The Lions have opened the season with wins over a pair of  teams that won 10 games last season. They won 27-20 on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week one. Then beat the defending AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs like they stole something 48-3, wow.

Coming into this season I thought the Lions were still a year or so away from contending for an NFC playoff berth, but I may have underestimated them a tad. The biggest thing is that quarterback Matthew Stafford is healthy and on fire, but they must keep him healthy.

I think the Lions will beat the Minnesota Vikings this weekend and have a 3-0 record heading into week four at Dallas. The most impressive thing to me is this team was 0-16 in 2008 and look how far they’ve come in such a short amount of time.

The credit belongs to GM Martin Mayhew as well as head coach Jim Shwartz. What these guys have done with this franchise is incredible in such a short time span. Cleaning up the mess from Matt Millen’s “Reign Of Error” looked like a 10 year job!

Millen was terrible at building a team and judging talent, but it’s the ownership who must also get some of the blame for leaving him in a position to inflict catastrophic damage to the franchise and their fan base. I know that may seem harsh to some, but when you go 0-16 I’m not sure what else to call it.

I thought we had it bad here in D.C. with the incompetent Vinny Cerrato, but after looking at the numbers from the Millen era I’m stunned. Cerrato looks like a genius compared to Millen, unbelievable!

Millen era stats from 2001-2007

  • 31-81 with at least nine losses every season
  • 0-24 road record from 2001-2003
  • 0-16 in 2008
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