The Lions opened the season with six losses in their first seven games and it was easy to believe that this would be the latest in a long line of subpar years in Detroit.
It looks a lot different for the team right now, however. Sunday’s 34-23 win over the Vikings was the Lions’ fifth in their last six games and it leaves them with real playoff hopes heading into the final four weeks of the regular season. It’s a big change for a team that always seemed to find a way to make a killer mistake and it’s one that head coach Dan Campbell believes has eliminated any thought that the Lions can’t compete with the best teams in the league.
“I’ve said it before, it’s hard when you get down in the dumps and you were where we were at, it’s easy to lose faith,” Campbell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “But these guys never did and we stayed true to what we’re about and they knew, they believed we were one play away and that’s where we’ve been. And so now we’re making the play, we’re making the one extra play. It’s not costing us. And we’re able to overcome some of these mistakes we were making earlier. So, no, our guys, they know they belong. They know when they play football like we’ve been playing the last six weeks, we can play with anybody. That’s the truth.”
Week 15 brings a matchup with a Jets team that’s also trying to overcome historical futility by making a playoff run this season, but the Lions will be the ones riding a winning streak into one of the most compelling games on next Sunday’s schedule.