12th Man Report: Same old Lions?

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Two weeks ago on Sept. 15, following the Lions’ late-game collapse against the Arizona Cardinals, NFL analyst Tony Dungy called Detroit the “same old Lions.”

But after the Lions’ victory over the Chicago Bears two days ago — in dominating fashion, I might add — Dungy was taking some heat on social media for his earlier comments. The Bears came into Detroit with the NFC North’s best record, and after claiming victory, the Lions took first place from their divisional foe.

In all honesty to Dungy, the Lions did look like the team of old in Arizona — good enough to be in the game, but bad enough to lose the close ones. And even on Sunday, as the Bears climbed their way back from a large third-quarter deficit, Detroit looked strangely similar to the old Lions. The difference in Sunday’s game was that they held on to win.

Despite anything that might happen in the coming weeks, the one thing we do know is that “the same old Lions” weren’t leading the division four weeks into the season: they were falling behind early and often, and were rarely relevant.

It’s also tough to call them the same old Lions when they snapped a 21-game road-losing streak against the Redskins. They literally were different than 21 previous Lions’ teams. The old Lions would’ve never snapped that kind of streak.

They are visiting the Packers this weekend, and they’ll really get a chance to prove that they’re not the same old team — they haven’t won at Lambeau Field since Dec. 15, 1991. Sure, Green Bay is pretty daunting to play at, but a 22-game road-losing streak? I mean, come on.

In all seriousness, I’m probably way ahead of myself. There’s still a lot of football left to be played and almost anything can happen. So if the Lions go into Green Bay and get a win, it’ll be even easier to say that they’re not the same old Lions. But if they don’t get a win, they’ll be 3-2 and still in the thick of things. Beggars can’t be choosers, right?

When push comes to shove, there’s just a lot of football left. Plenty of time for those old Lions to come back — you know, the team we’ve become accustomed to over the years (find me a Lions fan that isn’t a cynic concerning the team’s success). But for the time being, they’re not the old Lions. The old Lions never have showed this much promise early in the season.

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