The Lions’ choke is not the end for Detroit: finding hope amidst defeat

This year’s NFC Championship Game is one the Detroit Lions and their fans will have nightmares about all offseason. One they seemingly had in the bag against the San Francisco 49ers entering the second half up, 24-7. Although the second half was entirely different from the first, and Detroit ended up losing 34-31, the campaign they had shouldn’t be discarded. General Manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell have this team set up well for the future. Detroit is a team that is just “learning how to win”. They’ve never really been a franchise that is expected to do much. While it hurts to get this close to your first Super Bowl appearance, not all is lost. Indeed, the Lions have pieces on both sides of the ball and an experienced quarterback who’s had “some postseason success”. It was a rocky start for Campbell in Detroit, especially those first few press conferences, but Holmes got it right in hiring the former Lions tight end. The Lions went from a three-win team to nine, and now 12, wins this season under coach Campbell in just three short years. Many times, a heart-crushing loss is part of the process. “I told those guys, ‘This may have been our only shot.’ Do I think that? No. Do I believe that? Absolutely not.” – Dan Campbell. One of the qualities about Campbell that made him stick out like a sore thumb initially is what Detroit has come to love about him. Even if Detroit doesn’t get back to the NFC title game next year, you’ve got to think they’ll be among the top three to five teams in the conference again. It’s not always about who won the most during the regular season. The Lions have their QB for at least another guaranteed season, but it seems he’s going to be around for a while. Keeping hitting it out of the park in the draft to add some pieces defensively and the Lions could be right back here very soon.