There’s never been a more exciting time to be a Lions fan on Turkey Day than right now. Detroit is 8-2 entering Thursday’s matchup with Green Bay and hasn’t been this good to start a season since 1962. Much of the fanbase wasn’t even alive the last time this franchise had this much hope on Thanksgiving. Waking up Thursday morning, not expecting the worst from the Thanksgiving game, will be a first for many Detroit fans.
For the first time in a long time, that turkey dinner likely won’t be ruined before folks can sit down at the table. Detroit has lost six Turkey Day games in a row. They haven’t been victorious on Thanksgiving since beating Minnesota in 2016. Nothing is guaranteed, but the Lions are favored against the Packers this year as the superior team. They’ve already traveled to Lambeau Field and beaten the Packers earlier this season, so anything less than victory in Week 12 would be a surprise.
Aside from a couple of years during the Matthew Stafford-Calvin Johnson era, the Lions are usually dead in the water this far into the season. In fact, 2016 was also the last time this organization made the postseason. All while coached by Jim Caldwell. He led the team to winning campaigns in three of his four years there and hasn’t received another sniff at a head coaching gig since.
Since Caldwell was let go following the 2017 season, the Lions have pretty much been in the gutter until now. Most were skeptical of Dan Campbell from Day One, but he’s proven all the doubters wrong. One more win and the Lions are guaranteed back-to-back winning seasons since Caldwell’s final two years. Before that, you’d have to go back to the Barry Sanders era of the 1990s. His teams finished over .500 for three consecutive years from ’93-95.
So, it’s understandable if you see that Lions fan in your office acting more chipper than usual. They might not have to cancel Christmas this year. And if things fly off the rails during Thursday’s game after heaping praise on this squad, feel free to blame me. There’s never been a better time to be a Lions fanatic. Now, the next step is making it to January and winning a playoff game. It’s been over 30 years since Detroit’s won one of those, so they are long overdue.
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