In the end, the Lions might not make it to the postseason, but they’re certainly not going to quit trying whatsoever to get there. That toughness is a hallmark of the team, and something that head coach Dan Campbell has preached. He’s beginning to see that pay off in a big way.
After the dominating win, Campbell revealed why he thinks the team has enjoyed so much success. As he said, the biggest reason might be the fact that the group has stayed together even amid a season where the Lions struggled and have gone through peaks and valleys.
“It’s the same group that we’ve talked about. It’s the game group that when things didn’t look good, they put in the same amount of work. They’ve just gone in and have not lost faith. They’re unbroken, unshaken. They go to work,” Campbell told the media afterward. “It’s a group of guys that just goes to work. They believe in the game plan. They’ve got a lot of confidence right now. They trust the guy next to them and we’re clicking right now. Clicking at the right time.”
The Lions have a long road to make the playoffs, but the fight they are showing is admirable. A confident team is often the most dangerous team in the league, and the Lions are looking like arguably the most confident team in football at the moment.
If they can pay it off with a few more big wins, Campbell would likely not be surprised. He clearly loves the team for what they have done and the fight they have shown.
Campbell: Lions Can Compete With Anyone
This season, the Lions have proven that they can go toe to toe with any team in the NFL. It’s a big reason that the coach has a great faith in his roster to get the job done and show out in a major way.
As Campbell would also say after the game, he thinks his Lions can compete with anyone and win games, providing they can continue to do the little things right in terms of execution and clean play.
“I think we can compete with anybody,” Campbell said definitively. “You have to do all the things right to win as we all know. Doesn’t matter who you play, doesn’t matter what their record is. If you don’t play clean enough football, you turn the ball over, you don’t get takeaways, get a ton of penalties, no, you’re not going to win. Doesn’t matter who you play. When we do things right, I like our odds.”
The Lions showed in their domination of the Jaguars what such a clean game looks like. Detroit has competed against teams with way better records, and as they gain steam down the stretch, they seem to be peaking at the right time for coach.
Blowout Win a Gut Check Lions Passed
Detroit had a big day winning the game, putting up points and managing to hold off a team that had just scored a huge Week 12 win. To some, it may not mean much beating a 4-7 team. To Detroit and Campbell, this win was everything.
The ‘Same old Lions’ may have found a way to lose this game after being able to compete hard against a great Buffalo team on Thanksgiving. Instead, they responded with a major beatdown in a game they have certainly lost in the past.
There’s a long way to go before proclaiming the SOL mantra dead and buried forever, but days like this go a long way to proving that could be the case with a new team and new regime that doesn’t much care for the sins of the past.
To that end, Campbell could be very right. The Lions can compete with anyone, and when things are going well and the team is executing, they could be a tough team to beat, indeed.
How far will it lead? At this point, nobody knows. As coach knows, though, he wouldn’t rather ride it out with any group the rest of the way.