Former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings is the latest to endorse the surging Detroit Lions, calling them the “team to beat” in the NFC North. During a recent episode of “The Carton Show Podcast,” Jennings addressed the newfound hype surrounding the Lions. “For me, the Lions, they are the team to beat within that division,” Jennings said. He added, “This is the year that I believe that the Lions will start to finish games and win those tight games versus handing them off to their opponent like they did last season.”
The Lions, often dismissed due to a history of underperformance, are now basking in an unusual glow of optimism. Their last division title came in 1993, and the team hasn’t had a playoff win since 1991. This year, however, consensus is growing that the Lions are gearing up for a great season. This growing belief is bolstered by the league’s decision to kick off the 2023 season with the Lions playing the Kansas City Chiefs.
Homegrown Talent Fuels Expectations
High expectations surrounding the Lions come from strategic free agent additions and their homegrown talent pool, particularly wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. Over the last two years, St. Brown has led his 2021 draft peers in receptions, outshining even Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle.
Despite being the 17th wide receiver off the board in his draft year, St. Brown has never hesitated to call out those doubting him or the Lions. However, he holds deep appreciation for the Lions’ faithful fanbase. During an interview with SI.com’s Gilberto Manzano, he stated, “My rookie year, we went 3-13-1, [Lions fans] were still there for us. Now the hype is crazy…They have big expectations, but I feel like no matter what, they’re always going to be there for us.”
A New Chapter According to Greg Jennings
When asked about the Detroit Lions on the heels of St. Brown’s comments, Jennings didn’t hesitate to express his support. “The Lions, they are the team to beat within that division. I thought last year was the year that they figured out how to win games,” he said, reflecting on their past season’s efforts.
Jennings, a Kalamazoo, Michigan native, had an impressive career while playing a decisive role in their Super Bowl XLV victory. Despite his history with the Packers, his Michigan roots seem to be pulling him towards the resurging Detroit Lions.
As a two-time Pro Bowler and one of the 11th players in NCAA Division I history to record three career 1,000-yard receiving seasons, Jennings’ words carry weight in football circles. His endorsement of the Lions signifies a shift in NFC North dynamics and raises anticipation for the upcoming 2023 season.
For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21
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Original Photo Credit: © Andrew Weber – USA TODAY Sports