Home » Blog » Lions look to restore roar, and Lance Briggs retires

Lions look to restore roar, and Lance Briggs retires

The Detroit Lions are desperately looking for a playoff victory. The last time Detroit tasted postseason success, it was back in 1991 when they spanked the Dallas Cowboys in an NFC Divisional Playoff game. It was a great time to root for the Lions, when Barry Sanders was just entering his prime and the team was good enough to reach the conference championship game.

However, the team would fall on tough times. After a bunch of one-and-done playoff seasons under head coach Wayne Fontes, Sanders retired and the team went into disrepair. It was a brutal stretch that, of course, culminated in Detroit going 0-16 back in 2008. The Lions then drafted quarterback Matthew Stafford, and things have been getting steadily better ever since.

Last year, the Lions fell to the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in a controversial playoff game. The defeat left a sour taste in everyone’s mouths, and it only got worse once the free-agency period arrived. General manager Martin Mayhew could not convince superstar defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to return to the Motor City, instead watching him leave for South Beach and the Miami Dolphins. Perhaps even more frustrating was the departure of Nick Fairley, who went to the St. Louis Rams on a one-year deal. How could Mayhew not re-sign Fairley for such a cheap price?

Going into 2015, Detroit is looking at a different roster. The stars on offense remain present with Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and Stafford, although the backfield is new with rookie Ameer Abdullah and Joique Bell replacing Reggie Bush. The offensive line also has a few new starters in center Manny Ramirez and left guard Laken Tomlinson, the team’s first-round choice in April.

On defense, Haloti Ngata was acquired to help replace the productivity of Suh and Fairley. Ngata is aging but remains one of the better inside presences in the game. The main question is whether the pass rush will be good enough after losing Suh. The hope in Detroit is that Ziggy Ansah can step up and become a truly dominant player off the edge.

For the Lions, the talent remains in place to make a run at the playoffs and perhaps advance a round or two. Their coach, Jim Caldwell, has been to the Super Bowl before. It’s a matter of putting all the pieces together for the first time in almost 25 years.

Briggs moves on

On Wednesday. Lance Briggs decided to retire from the NFL after 12 seasons with the Chicago Bears. While overshadowed much of his career by teammate Brian Urlacher, Briggs was one of the best players to ever wear the Chicago uniform.

All told, Briggs went to seven Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro three teams, including a first-team designation in 2005. Briggs was on the Bears team that reached the Super Bowl in 2006, and retires with 15 sacks and 16 interceptions.

  • 100%