The Pride of The Lions: A Different Team in Detroit

“It ain’t the same Detroit”, Detroit Lions safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson repeated after their win against the Kansas City Chiefs. In the Instagram live video of Gardner-Johnson, he was wearing a blue ski mask and fans loved it. Now his idea to mask up is making a full circle moment.

In 2017, the University of Miami Hurricanes football team debuted the Turnover Chain, a popular tradition that rewards players who force turnovers during games. The celebration blew up and ever since, college football teams have taken the turnover celebration and added their own twist. Is there a possibility it will make its NFL debut on Sunday?

A fan took to Twitter/X stating that blue ski masks also known as a “sheisty” should be introduced as the Lions celebratory item for turnovers. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown agreed and Gardner-Johnson backed the idea. He encouraged fans to wear blue ski masks for their Sunday home opener against the Seattle Seahawks. Lions fans have now purchased all the ski masks from Amazon, completely selling them out.

What Makes This Team Different?

Dan Campbell

Dan Campbell has shown he’s the perfect fit to change the culture in Detroit. Any man gusty enough to fake a punt pinned against their own end zone may not be sane but that’s exactly what this team needs. In his first season as Head Coach, it panned out to be another coaching disaster, they finished with a 3-13-1 record. They decided to stick with him and it’s worked in their favor.

Last year, they jumped to 9-8 after winning eight of their last 10 games and barely missed the playoffs. So far, the preseason hype surrounding the Lions has been justified and they will continue to impress. Campbell has his team on the right track after defeating the reigning Super Bowl Champions. He has built a strong culture and they believe they’re capable of playing championship-caliber football all season.

The Rookies rated the Lions with the ninth-best draft class and their rookies showcased why. In their first game, they all impacted the game in different ways. Jahmyr Gibbs currently leads the league in broken tackles, Sam LaPorta is becoming a reliable target at tight end, and Brian Branch had a pick-six in his debut. As the season goes on Jack Campbell will get more comfortable in his role and be an X-factor type player at the linebacker position. The rookies only gave a small sample size of their impact in week one but they will be a big reason why the Lions turn out to be one of the best units in the league.

Offensive Balance

Last year they were one of the best offenses in the league, and it’s looking like they will be this season as well. They haven’t unleashed Jameson Williams yet as he serves a six-game suspension and Gibbs saw a light amount of work in his first game. However, the Lions still managed to look offensively sound thanks to their two-dimensional ground game.

“The thing that makes them so good is the diversity of the run game. They run so many different concepts”. Rob Gregson of A to Z Sports stated. “Teams usually stick to power or zone, they break rules by running both” he added. As the season progresses expect a heavier dose of Gibbs, especially in the passing game while David Montgomery plays his role as a punisher.

Pride of Detroit

Despite who was on/off the field for the Chiefs, you can’t discredit the Lions for their win. The defense was the focal point in the offseason and needed to find their identity for any success coming into this season. Between their coach and off-season acquisitions, there is a new swagger and attitude surrounding this Lions team.

The faithful fans are excited and believe the team is moving in the right direction. This may be the most anticipated home opener in franchise history and it’s going to be crazy. If Ford Field is packed with 65,000 blue ski masks, it’ll be a long day for the Seahawks.

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