Are The Detroit Lions Finally Competitive?

Dan Campbell has the Detroit Lions looking like a real football team.

The Lions are 1-1 after an impressive 36-27 win over the Washington Commanders in week two. Aidan Hutchinson recorded three sacks, the offense wracked up 425 yards, Jared Goff threw four touchdowns and Detroit didn't commit any turnovers. For the first time in a long time, it feels like the Lions aren't an embarrassment to fans of the franchise.

After losing a tough one to the Eagles to open the season, Detroit bounced back in a huge way, and as a lifelong fan, it was great to see.

History hasn't been kind to the Lions.

I don't need to lecture anyone on the fact Detroit is historically a miserable football team. The last time the Lions were above .500 was 2017, and head coach Jim Caldwell ended up losing his job after back-to-back 9-7 seasons. Fans would kill for that kind of success these days.

From 2018 through 2021, the Lions won an abysmal 17 games over four seasons. The Matt Patricia era is something fans wish they could forget, and Campbell's first season resulted in a 3-13-1 record.

2021 wasn't as bad as it could have been, but all the fans know it wasn't pretty.

The future genuinely looks bright for Detroit.

As a Detroit Lions fan, you learn from birth to never get your hopes up. Am I falling into the trap a blind hope? Maybe, but let's roll with it.

The team's Sunday game against Washington was the most impressive the team has looked in years. For once, Detroit played a complete football game.

The defense was overwhelming, Carson Wentz was regularly running for his life and kept uncomfortable and the offense looked much better than expected.

We all knew Dan Campbell had the ability to motivate, but there were always questions about whether or not his style would translate to success on the field.

After Sunday, I think anyone who says they don't have at least a little optimism is just an unreasonable pessimist. Seriously, when was the last time Detroit looked that good? I can't remember. That's sad to admit, but it's true.

Where does Detroit go from here?

The Lions now have games against the Vikings, a bad Seattle team, the Patriots and a Cowboys team playing a backup QB. If the Lions split those four games, the team will be 3-3 entering a game against Miami at the end of October.

There's not a fan on the planet who won't be content with that given our horrendous recent years.

For once in a very long time, I actually believe Detroit can win games when I turn on the TV. That's something that's rarely said among Lions fans.

Written by
David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture. He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics. Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.