So the times have changed for the Detroit Lions in 2012. No longer are the days of being 1-0 a welcome for a celebration of sorts amongst the team’s fan base.
Times have certainly changed considerably since the Lions 2008 campaign that saw the team go all season long without tasting victory.
Matthew Stafford has risen through the quarterback ranks to become a top notch QB in the NFL. Calvin Johnson has become a top tier receiver as well, if not the best receiver in the league.
Detroit will have its work cut out when it plays Sunday night against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers had maybe the most impressive win in week one over the Green Bay Packers. San Francisco has a defense that is dangerous on every front and that is more than capable of turning the ball over and getting lots of pressure on the QB.
Matthew Stafford will have to limit the turnovers and he will have to be sharp for Detroit to have a chance to win. The game will be a rematch of sorts of the matchup from last season in which the 49ers gave Detroit its first loss of the season in week six. The game is probably more widely known for the frosty way head coaches Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh communicated with each at the end of the game.
There is no doubt that the team’s meteoric rise from obscurity to playoff contender has played a role in the raising of expectations for the Lions not only in Motown, but across the NFL landscape. The Packers and the Chicago Bears meet Thursday night in an NFC North matchup.
Both teams are favored to finish above the Lions this season in the division even though they have problems of their own that could derail the train so to speak. The Packers don’t play defense anymore and the Bears are just the Bears, especially with an unpredictable Jay Cutler at the helm of the offense.
Even though times have indeed changed for Detroit the Lions still need to prove they belong in the conversation of playoff contenders.