It’s that time of year again. The lovable Lions are coming to town for an unofficial bye week and a fun little scrimmage to let the Chicago Bears offense get right and put a much-needed notch in our win column. I got a chance to question Mike Payton from Pride of Detroit about these feisty felines and where Lions fans are at with their rebuilding franchise.
1. From the outside looking in, the Detroit Lions seem like a rebuilding team who’s doing it right. They’ve focused on young talent in the trenches, and they are playing competitive games while managing to narrowly avoid the pesky wins which would decrease their much needed draft capital. Lions fans must be thrilled about that, right?
POD: Honestly I’ve never seen the Lions fan base be more understanding than they are right now. Sure there are some fans that are irrationally upset about a team they knew would be bad. But, most Lions fans are happy with what they’ve seen from a very young team and it’s coaching staff. They’re on the right track for what seems like the first time ever. It’s wildly refreshing.
2. When Matthew Stafford throws a touchdown to a wide open receiver in a Rams uniform, what percentage of you feels happy for him, what percentage feels a little annoyed by his success, and does Sean McVay’s smug little face ever make you vomit just a little bit?
POD: I’m super happy for Matthew Stafford. I think that’s the general consensus in Detroit. The Rams look like a team that could win it all this year. Lions fans will be happy to see it, but also slightly upset because the Lions do have the Rams first round pick. So I’m 98% happy for the guy. The only annoying thing is the Rams clearly know how to use Stafford while Matt Patricia clearly didn’t. I don;t like McVay’s hair.
3. Speaking of smug faces. Is Aaron Rodgers too obnoxious or just obnoxious enough to fill the role of love-to-hate villain menacingly lording over the NFC North until a young hero with a 1 on his chest comes to overthrow him in a grand finale?
POD: I wonder who’s going to wear number 1 for the Lions when that day comes. I still think when it’s all said and done, the NFC North will prove to be the worst division in the NFL this season. I don’t believe in any of these teams.
4. Who are the building blocks on this Lions team that you are most excited about moving forward?
POD: TJ Hockenson and D’Andre Swift keep getting better and better as time goes by. There aren’t many guys on this team, outside these two and maybe eight others, that I think will be here in two years. These two are truly going to be the guys this team builds around for years to come. There’s a lot of work left to be done. But, the Lions are off to a decent start with their young building blocks.
5. The Lions bumble their way to a win in this game, who do you think will deserve the game ball?
POD: At the end of the day it’s going to be D’Andre Swift. I think the Lions coaching staff learned last week that when the ball is in his hands, the offense just moves differently. He takes the pressure off Jared Goff and keeps defenses honest when the Lions are ready to throw the ball. I think after playing three of the best teams in the league in a row, the Bears give the Lions their best chance to put up their first win of the season.
Payton seems like a good cat with a cool name.