Detroit Lions Have an Opportunity to Make Real Progress Against St. Louis

Ross Maghielse@@MaghielseCorrespondent INovember 1, 2009

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 27:  Wide receiver Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions celebrates with a fan as he walks off the field after the victory against the Washington Redsklns at Ford Field on September 27, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Redskins 19-14. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

DETROIT—Progress is a broad term. Is going from zero wins to one progress? Is it progress to go from being ranked the as the worst team in every defensive category a year ago to now being ranked 22nd overall in total defense?

In a sense, yes, the Detroit Lions have made progress this year. But when considering that the Lions and their opponent today, the St. Louis Rams, have a combined record of 1-32 over the past 33 games, that progress comes with a grain of salt.

But hey, at least the Lions are the team with the one win. It could be worse.

They could be St. Louis, or Cleveland. I mention those two teams specifically because the Rams and Browns may very well be the only teams remaining on Detroit’s schedule that the Lions are capable of winning against.

The quest for 3-13 continues today, with a home game against St. Louis. This article is being written from a back booth at Hockey Town café in downtown Detroit, a pre-game gathering spot for Detroiters. The walls may be littered with Red Wings memorabilia, but all the talk is about football.

People can sense a potential victory looming.

And for progress sake, it had better come. A sign of true progress is beating the beatable teams on the schedule, and for the Lions, not many games fit that category. But St. Louis does. The Lions are favored today. It’s amazing how large the gap between one and zero (wins) can actually be.

In reality, this is not a must win for Detroit. Let’s face it, in the NFL, any win before eight is irrelevant. Yet, if the Lions can win today, in my opinion, they will be 2-0 against “beatable” teams. How’s that for a glass-half-full approach?

If the Lions win every game they are “supposed” to win, is that not progress in its purest form? Upsets are billed as such for a reason; they’re not supposed to happen. Detroit was not supposed to be Pittsburgh, or Green Bay, or Minnesota, or New Orleans.

Yet, the Lions should beat St. Louis today. And if they do, it will be a sign of real progress in Detroit.