Detroit Lions fans still hopeful for that breakout year

bodhi white, 13

I wrote a Lions’ season preview at the end of last summer, so now I will do a Lions’ season in review. In my column last year, I predicted the Lions would go 10-6 (they went 9-7), and then I predicted that the Lions would make the playoffs. They missed the playoffs by one spot. They could have easily made it if they had won a fairly easy game against the Cincinnati Bengals who were 5-11. Then, somehow the next game they managed to pulverize the 8-7 Green Bay Packers, with the final score of 35-11.

We were an above average team this year and if we had been in the AFC, we probably would have beaten out the Titans or Bills, considering we had a close game with the Steelers, who were the No. 2 seed in the conference. The NFC was super strong this year with the Saints, Vikings, Eagles, Falcons, Rams and Panthers (just their luck). In my opinion, if they had made the right call in the game against the Falcons, they would have won and could have made it to the playoffs, too. They also won against the Packers both times this year in a commanding fashion. This is a thing all Lions fans must remember: we are a lot better than 2008 and we are not the Cleveland Browns.

Now the bad: They had a horrible game against the team that seemed the least in their way and pulverized the team that seemed most in their way (Green Bay Packers). They showed very little improvement from last year, and we have a quarterback in his prime and not using it. We have good running backs, but still a bad running game, and we still have not completely figured out the offensive line. If you look up defense team stats on NFL.com for 2017 it states they are 27th, but I think they are a bit better than that. Sure, they are 6th in the league in total yards allowed, but they are 4th in the league in interceptions. They are also a less impressive 20th in sacks, but if they still had Ndamukong Suh instead of Haloti Ngata, that sack rank would be way better as would their defense in general, which is another crucial failure by the Lions’ front office.

Now, a brief look to the future: The Lions fired their coach Jim Caldwell who was their best coach in modern times, but even though they had a winning record with him and all the years under Caldwell’s coaching were good but one, they did not win a playoff game and managed to be a couple steps off from greatness. Even though I like Jim Caldwell and I think he belongs in the NFL, I can understand why they fired him. They need success now. So, now we’re here with the hiring of Matt Patricia, a former defensive coordinator for the Patriots, who will provide a huge defensive boost. He will probably be a good coach, just because he learned from Bill Belichick. I think he is going to do well. But we will see.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bodhi White is 13 and an eighth-grader at Bothwell Middle School. He is a National Junior Honor Society member who loves sports.