Every league has its laughing stock. In the NFL, the Detroit Lions have been for a while. They have only had five winning seasons since the start of the new millennium. However, things seem to want to change.
It was last August. HBO was launching another season of Hard Knocks, a series that follows an NFL team over a period of time. This year, the Lions were featured. In the aftermath, a video went viral.
Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, a native of Plymouth, Michigan, played college football in Ann Arbor for the University of Michigan Wolverines and was drafted second overall in the most recent NFL Draft by the Lions. He is a local hero. Like Nick Bosa, he is one of the most promising quarterback hunters of his generation.
During training camp, Hutchinson stood in the team meeting room, in front of all his teammates. Giving himself the tempo by snapping his fingers, he begins to sing Billie Johnby Michael Jackson.
The veins of the neck in battle, he sways. She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene.
The other players support the rhythm by clapping their hands and encouraging it with shouts. I said: Don’t mind, but what do you mean, I am the one.
His teammates start waddling in their chairs, waving their arms like in a concert. Who will dance on the floor in the round? She said I am the one. Who will dance on the floor in the round?
Suddenly, the players jump up and start singing with Hutchinson in the most complete delirium. And be careful of what you do. Cause the lie becomes the truth. Billie Jean is not my lover…
Something was happening in Detroit. The football world has fallen in love with these little lions.
A new culture
This season, the Lions have a record of six wins and seven losses. They are only a gain of a place in the eliminatory portrait. What’s most impressive is that after winning just one of their first seven games, they’ve won five of their last six games.
Lions are transformed. If they can fight for a playoff spot, it’s partly thanks to head coach Dan Campbell.
Hired in January 2021, Campbell lets his players exist and be whoever they want on the pitch. Lions have fun and it pays off.
Lots of option games, explosive sequences and a fast pace. Everything is possible with Leos and it is thanks to their symbiosis that they can maintain such a high yield. That’s how they beat the No. 2 Minnesota Vikings last Sunday.
Campbell was hired by general manager Brad Holmes, who arrived six days ahead of him. Its impact was immediate.
After being hired, Holmes sent quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams, in return for Jared Goff, a third-round pick and two first-round picks in 2022 and 2023. Incidentally, the 2022 pick, through an additional trade to the Minnesota Vikings, became Jameson Williams. The talented receiver from the Alabama Crimson Tide scored his first career touchdown in his second game on Sunday. The 2023 pick could have immense value in being a top-five pick, as the Rams are having a disastrous season.
Running back Jamaal Williams is the player with the most touchdowns this season with 14. In the winter of 2021, he signed a two-year deal with the Lions after four years in Green Bay.
In 2021, they drafted the best offensive lineman in the vintage, Penei Sewell, from Oregon, in seventh place. Then Amon-Ra St. Brown, late in the fourth round, who is the sixth-most receiving receiver this year.
All of these acquisitions have completely renewed the team’s offense. Detroit has the fifth-highest points-per-game average at 26.8 and the fourth-highest yards-per-game average at 376.4.
The good news for Lions fans is that the rest of the schedule is maneuverable. They will face the New York Jets (7-6), Carolina Panthers (5-8), Chicago Bears (3-10) and Green Bay Packers (5-8).
The Michigan men could very well emerge victorious in those four games, finish the season with a 10-7 record and be in the playoffs for the first time since 2016, following a 3-13 season in 2021-22.