The Detroit Lions are setting their sights on Week 11, and while the team has been close this season to finding their first win, they haven’t managed to find it on the field.
Predicting the Lions to get that done, as a result, can be a fool’s errand for some. But a former NFL player believes that it’s going to happen this week and is calling his shot as it relates to that just one week after the Lions came close to nabbing their elusive first win over another AFC North foe.
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Speaking in an interview with Bryce Derouin of Gambling.com, former NFL Pro-Bowler and All-Pro Shawne Merriman who is an ambassador for the site revealed his game picks for Week 11. When it came to the Lions, Merriman said quite directly that he believes the losing streak will end this week for Detroit against the Cleveland Browns.
“I believe the Lions get their first victory. They’re playing tough. If they’re going to get their one or two wins this season, I think it’s coming against the Browns. I like the attitude of head coach Dan Campbell. Their personality and passion and willingness to fight back is what I like. No matter what their record is, you’re not going to just walk all over them. They’ll play you and fight you for 60 minutes,” he said in the piece.
Merriman would know about the tendencies of successful teams, given he played with the Los Angeles Chargers when they were in San Diego and had a ton of personal success on the field. He finished with 45.5 career sacks and 257 career tackles and was the league’s sack leader in 2006. He was also one of the league’s toughest players as well.
This season, the Lions have gotten plenty of credit for playing hard in spite of their record, and it’s clear Merriman likes what he sees from Dan Campbell and his crew.
Earlier this season, it seemed as if the Lions and Browns would be two teams heading in opposite directions. Many believed the Browns would be Super Bowl contenders, and while it seemed like that would be the case, things have changed for them in a hurry this season. Cleveland sits at 5-5 on the season and is in desperate need of a bounce-back win after an ugly loss to New England. They may have injury problems with quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has struggled at times this season.
Detroit, on the other hand, has to feel good about where they are at after competing hard and earning a tie. The Lions’ offense looks to be able to run the ball well, and the defense is keeping the team competitive and in games. To that end, the Lions are improved as an 0-8-1 team and perhaps a bit better than their record might suggest. This will be a big challenge for the Browns as it relates to not overlooking a hungry team that can sneak up on opponents this year. To that end, that is probably why Merriman sees this game as a win for the Lions and so dangerous for Cleveland.
Lions Have History With Going Winless
No matter these thoughts, history isn’t on Detroit’s side in terms of avoiding making history again. The Lions became the first ever team to go 0-16 in 2008, and were later joined in that feat by the Cleveland Browns. Now, though, the league has added another game, so the Lions could make history again by becoming the league’s first 0-17 team. Looking at the schedule, the Lions might have a shot to make more history, considering they will continue to play tough teams from the AFC North as well as the NFC West in the second half of the season, in addition to a few more battles with their NFC North competition.
The Lions could seemingly be running out of time to find that first win, but at least one former player believes it’s going to happen for the team this week.