I have been dreading to write this. My heart wants my original hometown team, the Detroit Lions, to get off the snide and start winning. Of course, all of us true blue Lions fans have been waiting for them to get off the snide for a very long time.
But my head is telling me the Seahawks are going to pull this one out and even their record to 2-2 on the national stage of Monday Night Football. The Hawks are just too talented and well coached, playing at home and under Pete Carroll’s tenure, have done very well playing in nationally televised games. Too many hills for the Lions to climb.
Not to mention the 12’s, one of the most fanatical fan bases in the NFL. I know there is a contingent of loyal Lions fans that will be attending the game…I would hope that the 12’s will welcome the Lions Pride with respect. We’re all here to cheer on our respective teams. Let’s not do anything stupid on either side, OK?
Since I have lived in both Detroit and Seattle for approximately the same amount of time now, I feel I have a better perspective of both teams than the average fan. Anyone that knows me knows that deep down, I am a Lions fan. That will always be true. But the Seahawks also have my attention as well…and why wouldn’t they? They have achieved something us Lions fans have been waiting for since 1957…a chance to play in a championship game.
To further torture myself, I decided to do a comparison between the two teams. To be fair, both are compared from 1976, the inception of the Seahawks, to 2014…a total of 612 games.
Bottom line for regular season games? Seahawks went 305-307 for a winning percentage of .498.
The Lions? 242-370, winning at a .395 clip, just over a full percentage point worse than the Hawks. If the Lions could have averaged just 1.61 games over the past 36 years, they could be at almost .500 since 1976.
Here’s the thing about the two teams: From 1977 to 2010, both teams had frustrations in the playoffs. Granted, in 2005, the Hawks made their first Super Bowl appearance but we all know what happened in that game.
But in 2010, Paul Allen, since purchasing the team from Ken Behring in 1997, hired Pete Carroll and most important, John Schneider. With these two at the helm, they have made some fantastic draft choices, finding players they believe would fit their system the best. And they found many of these players from the 3rd round to the 6th as well as signing free agent rookies. They built a program around a power running game and protecting the football for an offense. As for defense, they went unconventional to very tall and rangy cornerbacks such as Richard Sherman and safeties like Kam Chancellor with a linebacker mentality.
And in a span of four years, the Seahawks played in 10 playoff games with a record of 7-3, appearing in back-to-back Super Bowls winning it all in 2013 and losing in a heartbreaker in 2014.
I don’t believe in the history of the Lions that they haven’t had the same level of coaching or players. There have been some very good coaches the Lions had…Bobby Ross, Steve Mariucci and Jim Schwartz come to mind…and current head coach Jim Caldwell has an impressive resume as well. And yes, we have had some bumbling idiots as well such as Rod Marinelli and Marty Mornhinweg.
But the coach is only going to be as good as the players assembled for him. And in this comparison, right now, the Seahawks have far surpassed the Lions in every single aspect. The draft better, they scout better, they look deeper and they sign smarter.
The Lions would do well to take a page from the Seahawks…but that’s not going to happen until a progressive owner takes over. I respect the Fords for being one of the longest-tenured owners in the league. But I said this when I was writing for FireMillen.com: The Lions will never become consistent contenders until new ownership comes in.
I want the Lions to remain in Detroit forever. And any new owner that comes in will need to keep them in place. But that new owner needs to bring in a new philosophy and a winning attitude. Otherwise, I’m not sure when the Lions will ever get back to the big dance.