Sunday afternoon looked like it was gearing up to be the same ending to the same story that we’ve seen so often in the last few months watching the Detroit Lions. During their 15-game winless streak, they came close to pulling off a victory on so many occasions only to be ultimately left heartbroken by the time the final whistle blew.
However, on Sunday the Lions finally flipped the script and found a way to pick up their first win since week 13 of last season. The Minnesota Vikings went up by four points with less than two minutes to play, but Jared Goff managed to march Detroit down the field and hit Amon-Ra St. Brown in the end zone with no time left on the clock for the 29-27 victory.
The win was Dan Campbell’s first since taking over as the team’s head coach in January.
“I’m proud of our guys, man,” an excited Campbell told members of the media following his team’s win, via si.com. “I’m happy for them. Of course, I’m happy! We’re all happy. I’m happy for the coaches. I’m happy for everybody. But, it’s like, you want this so bad for the players, man, because they’re the ones that put in all the hard work and sweat and tears. And yeah, we all do, and so do the coaches, man. But, it’s also, that’s what makes this great. When you lose, it hurts, it’s hard. But, that’s also why winning is so great in this league, because it’s not easy to do. And, when you get ’em, man, it’s special.”
While the Lions are just 1-10-1 on the season and well outside the playoff picture, the win represents a step in the right direction for a franchise that hasn’t had a whole lot to be happy about in recent years. This will be the fifth consecutive year that Detroit will miss out on the postseason, but at least they are starting to learn fundamental lessons. A fact that hasn’t been lost on Campbell.
“I said this last week. It’s, ‘You gain confidence from a demonstrated ability to do it.’ And, we demonstrated it today,” Campbell said. “That’s the first step, really it is. What you learn is what not to do, up to this point. And to finally be able to get over the hump, now you got a taste of it and you know you can do it. And this is what it took to do it. It might take this every game. It can take this for the rest of the season. It can take this next year. You may have to win a game like this every freaking time to win. But, at least you understand what it’s like now. You’ve been in it, and you know what you have to do when you’re under pressure and you’ve got to respond.”
The Lions will look for their second win in a row on Sunday when they visit the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:05 pm E.T.