Let it go, please let it go.
If I could ban one phrase immediately and forever from the English language it would be “Same Old Lions.”
Please get over it.
We are not frozen in time.
What resemblance does this bunch have to teams of the recent past?
They play close games, but they mostly win them. They are 7-1 at home and 4-3 on the road in the first season under coach Jim Caldwell.
Just because a game is close, doesn’t make the Lions failures.
In the NFL, it’s not how you win but how many you win.
Maybe you’ve noticed that NFL games are often about the unexpected.
Did you think the woebegone Redskins would upset the Eagles on Saturday night?
The New England Patriots went down to the wire with the Jets on Sunday. Were you expecting that?
Not saying these Lions are the best or even that they will win a playoff game. There’s just no denying they are different.
Here are five reasons these are the new Lions and should not now or ever be compared to the old bunch:
1. They are 11-4. First time the Lions have won 11 games since 1991 when they finished 12-4.
2. They’ve clinched a playoff berth for second time since 1999. With a win on Sunday at Green Bay they could win their first division title since 1993.
3. The defense came out solid in week one and has improved. There is no such thing as a perfect defense in the NFL, but this group is formidable.
4. Matthew Stafford gets dumped on every week. No, he’s not perfect. He’s too inconsistent. But he makes smarter decisions now and there’s nowhere he’d rather be than leading a fourth-quarter comeback. He’s strong, he’s got guts and he’s matured in his six NFL seasons.
5. Jim Caldwell is not like other Lions coaches. He’s won two Super Bowl rings and he brought the Colts to the Super Bowl in his first season as a head coach. He’s changed the attitude of the team. He respects them, treats them like men and, in turn, they respect him and, from all accounts, love playing for him. Why wouldn’t they? He’s got them believing in themselves and playing with confidence.
The Lions are not an elite NFL team, that takes years.
But they are not the same as they have been in the past. They are not.
So please, please enjoy what you see.
Did you expect an 11-win season? Not many did. And, in fact, it could be 12 wins.
These Lions are different. Admit it.
I beg of you, let it go.