The Detroit Lions remain hopeful for a playoff run after a huge 20-17 win over the New York Jets on Sunday. With such a late start to success, remaining calm, cool, and collected is what they are aiming to do.
The Lions have one of the youngest teams in the NFL. For many players on the team, the 2021 and 2022 seasons are the only seasons they know. That being said, they’ve seen a lot of loss. Last season, the Lions went 3-13-1 and then proceeded to start 2022 off 1-6. The Lions have now won 6 of their last 7 games, improving their record to 7-7 and giving them playoff hopes. While there is a fear younger players may fold under pressure, Coach Dan Campbell says their inexperience is actually a good thing.
“…we’ve got a whole slew of young guys that don’t really know. They don’t know any better, and that’s kind of a good thing, honestly. They’re new to the League, and they don’t really know what this is all about, so they’re just kind of, ‘Hey, you tell me. You tell me what it’s all about. I’m just going to go though.’ And so, as long as we just keep them focused on their job at hand, working like we have. We’ve got to have a good gameplan.”
Week in and week out, you hear from players and coaches that it’s time to get back to work. This team is one that is consistently grinding and always putting in the work in hopes of getting results. Last week, Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn said it’s not perfection that gets you to the playoffs, it’s consistency.
“Well, there’s no such thing as that, so we can cancel that, being perfect. And that’s where guys usually mess up, when they try to be perfect. I just want guys to go out there and understand what their role is, understand what their job is, and do the best they can with that job. And if you do that in practice, and let that transition go to the game, that’s the consistency I’m looking for, so I’m not looking for a guy to be perfect, I’m looking for a guy to go out there and understand what he’s supposed to do, and do it at a high level, and if you do that, I’m all good.”
While the fans and the media continue to amplify the playoff hopes and drink the Honolulu Blue Kool-Aid, Coach Campbell says it’s important to stay focused on the task at hand. In a press conference on Monday, he told the media that this team just gets it.
“I don’t feel like I need to beat that one over the head. They get it, and it’s been acknowledged, and now it’s – listen, I think we have a pretty good idea of who we are, where we’re at…”
The Lions now gear up to face the Carolina Panthers in their Week 15 matchup. It’s yet another away game, and this week, they play on Christmas Eve. The Panthers are currently 5-9 on the season, 4-4 on their home turf. While winning on the road was not only a struggle for this team, but for Coach Campbell, he’s confident they’ve figured it out.
“I don’t care who you’re playing. To win in this League is a good thing. I don’t care who it is… We won three in a row two different times, and you win on the road, which we’re figuring out how to win on the road. And that’s not by accident. Our guys are playing good football right now.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 1pm ET.
Maddy Miller – Detroit Lions Beat Reporter
On Twitter: @madelynvmillerr
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(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)