Dan Campbell has more to sell to his players this week.
After the 37-31 overtime loss to Seattle, he can sell desperation. He can sell despair and he can sell a dangerous point of the season should the Lions lose Sunday’s home game against the Atlanta Falcons to fall to 1-2 at Ford Field.
Last week Campbell could sell “we are great.” We have high expectations. The world is in love with us. That’s all fine and dandy but that does not sell the grit and anger the Lions need to win.
The Seahawks not only were the better team, but the hungrier team in part because Seahawks coach Pete Carroll could sell all the things Lions players are buying this week. He did not want his team which aspires to win the NFC West dip to 0-2 where only 9.6 percent of NFL teams dig themselves from to make the playoffs.
This loss is not a case of Same Old Lions. It is Same Old NFL. Games are often a crap shoot, the luck of the draw or the luck of a coin flip. Seattle got the friendly bounce from the coin. The Lions did not.
It’s too soon for panic in Detroit although we’ve reached epic proportions of folks wanting to jump off the band wagon or have coaches fired.
We often overreact to single games.
Despite the loss the Lions are tied for first place in the NFC Central with Green Bay and only eight teams are 2-0 today. A whopping 24 of 32 teams are 1-1 or worse following a weekend where 12 of 16 games were decided by one score.
“I know it stings,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said after the game. “Those guys are disappointed. I am disappointed. This is good. We will get a little humble pie here.”
Seattle got the humble pie and responded with a win over the Lions. Now the Lions (1-1) are stuck with a stale order of humble pie and face a team in the Falcons (2-0) who have not experienced it yet.
Many assumed, me included, that after the Los Angeles Rams wiped the floor with Seattle in Game 1, after the Lions upset the defending Super Bowl Kansas City Chiefs that the Lions would return home and beat the Seahawks.
People believe that momentum carries over between games. It does not. Each NFL game is like a different chapter of a book. We don’t know the outcome until it happens. Games are determined by what happens on the field that week, not the previous week.
They are determined by preparation.
“Sometimes you don’t know where you’re at until you are in it,” Campbell said. “We come off a big win. You can always preach certain things, but man. This is the NFL. These guys (Seattle) came in and took that win. They earned it over there and we did the mistakes that cost us.”
For more from the author Terry Foster, check him out on Twitter here: @terryfosterdet
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Original Photo Credit: © Lon Horwedel – USA TODAY Sports