The Detroit Lions have been a franchise that has struggled to put things together in the grand scheme of things, but even for such a team, hope always does exist for the future.
This year, hope has come in the form of the San Francisco 49ers, a team which went 4-12 a year ago, but surged to the top in 2019 and is now in the Super Bowl after a great run through the playoffs. Thanks to some of the parallels, many have begun to dream
On the Pat McAfee Show, contributor Evan Fox is a noted Lions fan. He spent some time hyping Detroit up this week as the next team to potentially follow in the footsteps of the 49ers and go worst to first, perhaps even worst to the Super Bowl in 2021.
Here’s a look at what he said on the show as to why that could be the case:
“Don’t sleep on the Lions,” Fox says to laughter. You got Jimmy Garoppolo going down, lose every game. Matthew Stafford goes down, lose every game. That allows them to get Nick Bosa. Lions are sitting there at No. 3, could get Chase Young. Kyle Shanahan’s third year as head coach, Matt Patricia’s third year as head coach.”
At the end of the clip, McAfee said he respects Fox for having such faith in the Lions. That’s true no matter how blind it might seem.
Even Matt Patricia isn’t sure he can predict such a fast turnaround for the team in 2020, but that won’t stop many from believing it is possible.
The Lions have plenty of work to do this offseason in order to try and make this the case moving forward.
Senior Bowl Director Sees Lions and 49ers Parallels
That status could help them have a much better team in 2020 moving forward as some recent history shows. In fact, as Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy explained, there are plenty of parallels between the Lions and the San Francisco 49ers, who coached in the game last year.
Like the Lions, the 49ers had a miserable 2018 season in which they went 4-12 and had plenty of injuries complicating matters for their team. That’s similar to the Lions in 2019. Also similar was how they used the Senior Bowl as a scouting springboard for the team.
The Lions and their fans have to hope that Detroit can pull off such a turnaround for 2020 and go from worst to first, but many believe already that this could be in the works moving forward.
Parallels Between 49ers and Lions
Though many Detroit fans likely won’t let bygones be bygones with several of the players, executives and coaches they used to have, it’s probably a good time to do just that in time for the Super Bowl. San Francisco offers Detroit hope that one day, the Lions could be in their shoes. Just a year ago, the 49ers were coming off a dreadful 4-12 season, picking high in the draft and looking like they were in trouble from the front office down. Now, they are being celebrated as one of the better up and coming franchises in football. It merely goes to show how quickly things can and do change in football with health, good drafting and savvy executive work.
The Lions have a long way to go before qualifying as such a team, but if San Francisco can put the pieces together and go worst to first, there’s no reason teams in a similar boat can’t put it together to do it too.
That’s something that even the Senior Bowl director as well as plenty of others see.