While there might not be any blue ribbons given out for such a finish to the year, the Lions built some major momentum for next year with the win. Many folks will be trashing the win because Detroit missed out on the top pick, but for once, that didn’t matter in this scenario.
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At this point, the Lions needed a big win for the future more than they needed another top pick. This year, there is not a can’t-miss quarterback nor is there a bonafide playmaker to worry about missing on. For all the hand-wringing over potentially losing either Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux, the Lions might have their choice of either player depending on how things go with the top pick.
A win, however, allows the Lions some further validation for Dan Campbell’s plan and allows the team to blast into the offseason with some major confidence. Now, the team can push forward and have some major momentum for their offseason program. The late wins came at the perfect time and show that the team is capable of competing with anyone and turning things around when next fall rolls around.
It’s tempting to be disappointed for the Lions missing out on the top pick, but at this point, there is so much more at stake for the team than securing the first selection. In time, this win and the confidence the team gained could prove even more valuable.
What else was learned from a raucous season-finale victory? Here’s a look:
Amon-Ra St. Brown is Already a Star
There isn’t much to say about St. Brown that hasn’t already been said. The wideout had another huge game for the Lions with 109 yards and a touchdown. He not only is the Lions’ single-season rookie leader in terms of receiving yardage, but he is a big play waiting to happen as this touchdown proved.
It’s tough to imagine St. Brown not becoming a star in 2022, and his big finish to the year has only helped to prove himself as legitimate. Coming toward next season, the Lions will be in great shape to see St. Brown become a star thanks to what he has done this season to lay the groundwork.
Detroit’s Defense Has Some Strong Pieces
The Lions have traditionally had a weaker defense, and early in 2021 that was the case. As things pushed on this year, however, things came together in a big way under Aaron Glenn. In Week 18, Glenn’s rag-tag group once again found a way to make big plays and win a game. The biggest play was probably a fumble recovery with the game hanging in the balance:
Timely plays will be huge for the Lions moving forward and they are just what the team needs. Give the Lions credit for finding them this week.
Dan Campbell is the Perfect Coach for Detroit
Though it was a bit of a rough start for Campbell this year, the Lions have been able to rally for their coach and the town has been able to learn his idiosyncrasies as a play caller and a boss. His never-say-die attitude and penchant for gambling is noteworthy. Once again, he managed to dial up a fake punt, and also had a pair of trickeration touchdowns on the day including this beauty:
Campbell proved he is much more than just a soundbite as a coach. He’s a serious mind capable of leading and scheming, and could soon prove to be one of the better coaches in the league. Not only do the Lions love
Lion? Kalif Raymond, Wide Receiver
Not only did St. Brown have a big day catching the ball, but Raymond did as well. He went for 101 yards and a score and made a very compelling case to stick with the team into the offseason. Raymond is a free agent this offseason, and has been public about his desire to stay. With the type of big games he is turning in, it makes sense why that would be the case.
Lions’ Stat of the Game
7, hat’s the total number of sacks, interceptions and fumbles in this game. The Detroit defense played like a team possessed, and managed to have a big time afternoon getting after the pocket and forcing mistakes no matter who was in at quarterback or playing for Green Bay. Detroit’s recipe for success involves plenty hits, interceptions and takeaways. That will be what the Lions will have to do moving forward in order to have success on the defensive side of the football. It was a great show for the Lions and they made the big plays on the day in order to come up with the big win.
Lions’ Quote to Note
“It’s a credit to my teammates, credit to the coaches and to the people around me. Without them, I couldn’t have done what I’ve done this year.I think hard work, patience, opportunity, when those all come together it’s awesome to see.” -Amon-Ra St. Brown
St. Brown, ever the humble man, provided a great answer about his success. Obviously, it’s all about the team and not individual performances.