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After the Detroit Lions completed a 24-23 victory over a very tough Rams team on Sunday, there was a camera shot of a man in the stands weeping as the Lions lined up in the best play in all of football:

The Victory Formation. 

This formation signaled the end of a playoff drought that has lasted for over three decades. 

It also made it perfectly clear that the Detroit Lions of yesteryear was gone.

There was no secret that the St Louis Rams had a great deal of momentum headed into the playoffs.    Going into the game, they had won 7 out of their 8 regular seasons.    Their only loss was a 37-31 overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens.   It seemed like the Rams had all the potential to go on a serious run in the playoffs as a wild-card team.   In order to begin that journey, they needed a vulnerable team with home-field advantage to make a statement.

The Detroit Lions seemed like the perfect steppingstone for the Rams to begin their journey.   Misfortune and bad luck have followed this franchise around as if it were ghosts.  Before this season, the Detroit Lions have only made three playoff appearances between 2000 and 2022.   (2011, 2015 and 2016).   All three appearances ended with them being eliminated in the wild-card round.      

It was no surprise that many pundits believed that history would repeat itself for the Detroit Lions.   

However, the Detroit Lions proved that this is a new era in Detroit.   A franchise that was silly enough not to pursue  Joe Montana due to lack of interest has a GM In Brad Holmes.   Holmes has pushed the right buttons.    In 2021, he drafted recently named All-Pro RT Penai Sewell in the 1st round, Alan Mcneill in the 3rd round and none other than their top receiver Amon-Ra St Brown in the 4th round. 

In 2022, he followed it up by drafting Aidan Hutchinson and getting a steal in James Houston in the 6th round.    In the last draft, he struck gold again by drafting Jahmyr Gibbs in the 1st round and Sam Laporta in the third round.

Of course, it helps that the franchise has a head coach that has the pulse of the city of Detroit.    Dan Campbell’s went 3-13-1 in his 1st season in Detroit.    In his 2nd season, he started off 1-6.    Campbell seemed headed for the unemployment line.   Little did we all know that this was the start of a journey towards glory.    Dan Campbell would finish off the 2022 season with an 8-2 record and a ton of momentum towards the 2023 season.   You would be hard pressed to find a coach and GM that are more unified than Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes. 

Today, the Detroit Lions find themselves in the divisional round of the playoffs.   As evidenced by the triumphant yell of Brad Holmes in the elevator after the team’s victory.   It was a yell that signaled that his hard work is paying off.   The yell could be also that the realization that the old Lions are done and that a brand new era in Detroit has begun.

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