Golden Tate: Time is now for the Lions

July 1st, 2015

The recent history of the Detroit Lions is a sad tale, overflowing with bitter losses and miserable season stacked upon miserable season.

The Lions haven’t won a playoff game since 1991 — that was pre-birth for the team’s 2015 draft picks. Detroit last won a division title in 1993, back when it was still the Central Division, kids. After being lugged to the playoffs by Barry Sanders six times in the ’90s, Detroit has gone to the postseason just twice this Millennium, as a Wild Card, and lost both times.

Oh, the woe is not finished.

Since divisional shuffling in 2002, the Lions have never gone three consecutive seasons without finding themselves in the cellar of the NFC North. Guess how many back-to-back double-digit win seasons Detroit has? Zero. You read that correctly, in the entire history of the Detroit Lions, dating back to the 1930s, they have never compiled consecutive double-digit win seasons. Since 2000, the Lions have earned more seasons with five or fewer victories than six or more triumphs.

This is a franchise whose players in 2001 boisterously celebrated a Week 14 victory that avoided a zero-win season. Seven seasons later they went 0-16. This soliloquy of woe doesn’t even touch the myriad draft picks busted and coaching fumbles plaguing the Ford-owned team.

Despite the negative history, Lions receiver Golden Tate believes all that despair can be relegated to the past by the current iteration wearing Honolulu Blue.

“I think it’s time for us to consistently, year in and year out, win ballgames,” Tate told the Detroit Free Press. “I think we have the personnel. I think we have the coach, the coaching staff. I think we have a heck of a fan base.

“It’s time. We’re trying to shake ‘the same old Lions.’ We’re trying to become — I thought we were good — I think we’re trying to become elite now. I think we’re trying to compete with the Packers and give them a run for their money and take over our division year in and year out.”

If only words were so easily acted out.

The Lions have some stellar pieces. They boast one of the top receiver combos in the NFL, rookie runner Ameer Abdullah could be a stud and it will be intriguing to watch defensive coordinator Teryl Austin tinker and scheme with a flexible unit.

But there is a long way to get over the Green Bay hump and the plucky Minnesota Vikings are clipping at their heels. The Lions have their work cut out to achieve the first back-to-back 10-plus win seasons in franchise history and dispatch that ‘same old Lions‘ moniker.

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