Lions Restoring The Roar In The Motor City

One of the best and most heartwarming stories of this early NFL season involves the continued resurgence of the long downtrodden Detroit Lions.  Sunday, the Lions moved to 2-0 after a 48-3 thrashing of the Kansas City Chiefs at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. The Lions opened the season with an impressive 27-20 victory on the road vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Counting their four-game winning streak to end the 2010 season, the Lions have now won six consecutive regular season games.

Led by an impressive core of young players, including former first overall pick, QB Matthew Stafford, All-Pro WR Calvin Johnson and stud DT Ndamukong Suh, the Lions appear to be on the verge of greatness for many years to come.

In his third season at the helm, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz has instilled a level of toughness and respectability, sorely lacking for most of the last 50 years of Michigan professional football.

Aside from the 1990's teams of Barry Sanders, Herman Moore, Chris Spielman and Robert Porcher, which resulted in six playoff appearances and two NFC Central titles, the Lions have rested near the bottom the NFL world, only winning one playoff game (1991 vs. Cowboys) since the team's NFL Championship Game victory way back in 1957.

The infamous low point of the franchise took place in 2008, when the club finished winless in all 16 games played. The first time that mark had ever been established during a 16-game schedule.

Looking ahead to the remaining 14 games on the regular season docket, the 2011 version of the Lions has an outstanding chance to win 10 games, meaning they just might find their way into the NFC playoffs.

With two games remaining against division rivals from Minnesota and Chicago, home games vs. the 49ers and Panthers, as well as winnable road games at Dallas, Denver and Oakland, the new look Lions' schedule is reasonably manageable.  

Detroit's remaining games include challenging home dates with the Falcons, Packers (Thanksgiving Day) and Chargers, along with difficult road tests at New Orleans and Green Bay.

With the level of talent and confidence now present within the halls of the Lions' suburban Allen Park practice facility, it is well within reason to see the club winning eight or nine of these games. That would almost certainly result in that long sought after playoff appearance.  

What an amazing turn of events! January football could very well be in the cards for the loyal fans of Southeastern Michigan. Who would have ever thought this could be possible just three years ago, when the team could not even win as much as one solitary game?