Maybe, just maybe, Lions fans will have something to celebrate on Thanksgiving. The Detroit Lions are 8-2 entering Thursday’s matchup with the Green Bay Packers, marking their best start to a season since 1962. This has created a sense of hope and excitement among the fanbase, many of whom haven’t experienced this level of optimism on Thanksgiving before.
For years, Lions fans have become accustomed to disappointment on Turkey Day. The team has lost six consecutive Thanksgiving games, with their last victory coming in 2016 against the Minnesota Vikings. However, this year feels different. The Lions are favored against the Packers, a team they have already beaten earlier this season. Anything less than a victory in Week 12 would be a surprise.
In the past, the Lions have often found themselves struggling at this point in the season. Except for a few years during the Matthew Stafford-Calvin Johnson era, the team has typically been out of playoff contention by Thanksgiving. The last time the Lions made the postseason was in 2016, under the guidance of coach Jim Caldwell. Despite leading the team to winning campaigns in three of his four years, Caldwell hasn’t received another head coaching opportunity since.
Since Caldwell’s departure, the Lions have been mired in mediocrity. However, this year under the leadership of coach Dan Campbell, things have started to change. Despite initial skepticism, Campbell has proven his doubters wrong, and a win in Week 12 would secure back-to-back winning seasons for the Lions for the first time since Caldwell’s tenure.
The excitement among Lions fans is palpable. This season has provided a glimmer of hope for a franchise that has long been starved for success. If the Lions can maintain their momentum and secure a playoff berth, it would be a significant milestone for a team that hasn’t won a playoff game in over 30 years.
So, as you encounter a chipper Lions fan in your office this Thanksgiving, understand that they have good reason to be optimistic. This year’s team has the potential to break the cycle of disappointment and bring joy to fans on Turkey Day. And if things don’t go as planned during Thursday’s game, don’t be too hard on them. Lions fans have waited a long time for this moment, and they deserve to revel in the hope and excitement that this season has brought.