It happened. 0-16. Are you happy?
The Detroit Lions managed to place a happy ending on a season that will live in infamy—a season that will forever leave a skid mark on the City of Detroit.
Marketing geniuses from Detroit establishments promised free food if the Lions could somehow overcome destiny.
In the end—destiny prevailed.
In the most-watched season finale in Detroit Lions’ history, it seemed as though a different team was in uniform.
While the team managed to complete the unthinkable—today’s game was different.
Throughout the game, the Lions were never completely out of the game—countering every move the Packers made to try and extend their lead.
Unfortunately, the real Green Bay Packers came back to life in the fourth quarter.
Despite his interception in the first quarter, Lions Quarterback, Dan Orlovsky, had one of his better games as a starter—with a 52% completion outing for over 200 yards and two touchdowns. Ultimately, the string of fourth downs late in the game caught up with the Lions.
There was definitely something in the team’s water today—with just about every player in the Honolulu blue playing to win—a theme not found within the Lions’ organization in 2008.
John Standeford and Calvin Johnson gave it all today—racking up almost 200 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Nevertheless, the running game was, as always, sub-par. Kevin Smith failed to reach the century mark—for the 13th time this year.
I am fully convinced that if this team had played the way they did today—with the urgency to capture their first win—that a six or seven win season would not have been out of the question.
However, the 2008 season is now behind us and the team will shift focus to the offseason
The draft will be highly anticipated for Lions’ fans—with Sam Bradford, Matt Stafford and Andre Smith among the candidates for the first overall selection.
I’m sure the Lions will find a way to mess that up.
Regardless of what the Lions plan to do in the draft, there are some major front office renovations to be expected.
William Clay Ford, often referred to as the worst owner in professional sports, has already made it known that Tom Lewand, Chief Operating Officer, and the team’s General Manager, Martin Mayhew, will be returning next year.
Retaining Head Coach, Rod Marinelli, would not be the least bit surprising after hearing about Ford’s plans.
Yes, you read that correctly—an owner is keeping the two most crucial pieces in the front office from an 0-16 team.
While Bradford is busy focusing on his date with Tim Tebow on January 8th—the nightmares begin.
With the Oklahoma quarterback being the likely first pick on draft day, the thought of coming to Detroit could make anybody sick.
If this team wishes to be competitive in 2009, a complete bulldozing of the Lions’ organization is needed.
The secondary is among the team’s highest priority—having one of, if not the worst, defenses in NFL history.
Along with replenishing the defense, drafting another offensive lineman to accompany Gosder Cherilus should be another priority.
This offseason will be very interesting.
Will the Lions go out and make some noise or will they remain the team we have grown accustomed to?
Only time will tell.