By: Omar Thabet
The 2023 Detroit Lions are your NFC North Division Champions; first time in 30 years!
Led by quarterback Jared Goff, running back Jahmyr Gibbs, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and tight end Sam Laporta, the Detroit Lions were able to go into Minnesota and win a pivotal game against a divisional opponent with a final score of 30-24.
We got to give credit to the Detroit Lions defense too. They intercepted Minnesota Vikings starting quarter back Nick Mullens 4 different times in the game. The biggest interception came with 58 seconds left by Ifeatu Melifonwu, who plays safety for Detroit. That interception secured the victory for the Lions, and improved their overall record to 11-4.
Dan Campbell, who is the Head Coach of the Detroit Lions, was quoted after the game by the Detroit News saying he felt “ecstatic” after the win.
The full quote from the Detroit News article is here:
‘”Yeah, I’m pretty ecstatic, man,”’ ‘Lions coach Dan Campbell said, holding back some emotion.’ ‘”This is special. Like I said, it’s a special group. This is just the beginning. We feel that way. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys.”’
How we got here
Winning didn’t just happen overnight for the Detroit Lions. There is a reason they haven’t won the division in 30 years. Bad drafting, incompetent coaching, unmotivated players, mixed in with a little bit of bad breaks, have made the Detroit Lions organization the laughing stock of the NFL since the new millennium.
Then came Sheila Ford Hamp, the current owner and chairwoman of the Detroit Lions. She is the daughter of the previous owner Martha Ford. Sheila had enough of the losing culture and knew changes needed to be made.
Sheila immediately hired Brad Holmes to be the new General Manager of the Detroit Lions. Since then, Brad Holmes has been nothing short of spectacular with most of the moves he has made. He has hit on draft picks, free agency signings and trades. So much so that he is a candidate for the executive of the year award in 2023. But the best decision he probably made was bringing in current head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions.
Dan “the man” Campbell has been the perfect captain to lead the Detroit Lions’ ship. He brings a style of grit and blue-collar toughness with him that defines the city of Detroit. He also understands the history of the team. Dan Campbell was actually a player on the 2008 Detroit Lions team, which is probably remembered as the worst team in NFL History after going 0-16 that year. He played tight end for them that year, so he knows what it feels like to lose in this city, and he didn’t want that to ever happen again.
The Detroit Lions went 3-13-1 in the first season under Dan Campbell. They made some drastic improvements in year 2 and finished with a 9-8 record (just missing the playoffs).
Now in year 3 the Detroit Lions are 11-4, division champs, and one of the top teams in their conference. This remarkable three-year turnaround by the team, spearheaded by upper management, has been long overdue for Lions fans.
The biggest change this organization has made over the last few years has to be with its culture. The Detroit Lions organization went from a losing culture, to one that wins and has hope for the future.
As the Lions prepare for their final two games of the regular season, on the horizon is an already secured Detroit Lions home playoff game, which will also be the first since 1993.
The Lions currently hold the #3 seed in the conference. There is still a chance they can get the #1 seed, but they can’t get any lower then the #3 seed.
The Detroit Lions having a successful season has had a positive effect on their local residents as well.
Hussain Majhed, who is an auto worker for FCA Warren Stamping Plant, says he feels like life was restored for a lot of local residents when the Lions won that game in Minnesota.
“Can I be honest I don’t think we know how to feel we never been in this situation” Hussain said jokingly. “It does feel great though to get compliments whenever I put on my Lions gear.”
Local business owner Fahmi Husain said, “When the Lions win, the customers are happy. When the customers are happy, they spend more money. When the customers spend more money, it helps boost the local economy and it makes me happy as well. Go Lions!”
Good luck to the Detroit Lions for the rest of the season. We hope they continue to make the state proud!