It is hard to believe that the last time the Lions hosted a Monday Night Football game, they were playing in Pontiac’s Silverdome.
Since that time in 2001, they have been part of zero playoff games and have mostly spent their time talking about losses in the postgame pressers. Even with an NFL season in doubt with a lockout being mediated in a courtroom, the Lions could be on the brink for hosting the Bears on MNF in week five.
While the four weeks leading up to the prime time match-up leave the Lions staring at a potential 0-4 start, the announcement by the NFL is simply a validation that this city’s football team is ready for prime time. This is a once-in-a-decade chance to prove that the young stars of the Lions are the real deal and ready to take Detroit’s NFL squad back to the playoffs.
In highlighting this game immediately following the release of the 2011 NFL schedule, ESPN’s Ron Jaworski was quick to point out how excited he was to cover Ndamukong Suh in this week five showdown. If Jay Cutler has more shaky performances like he did in 2010, there’s no reason why we can’t expect to see Suh have a huge game.
Even if the Jaworski comparison to Hall of Famer Reggie White comes off as extremely premature, Suh has shown flashes of what a force he could potentially be in this league.
The league is also counting on seeing players like Jahvid Best, Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford in the lineup for this Bears-Lions showdown.
While those players will have a large say in the result to this game, the storyline that will also get a lot of press locally will be the returns of Mike Martz, Rod Marinelli and Matt Millen to Ford Field. Martz and Marinelli have already been in Ford Field as visitors, but Millen’s attendance could really hit a fever pitch among some very angry Lions fans. Who knows what that game may bring on the field, but most of the attention in the crowd could be focused on enemy number one.