A common practice by sports writers when a season hits a lull or concludes, is to place a grade on that team’s performance. Whether it is placed on the entire team, a specific player, or a specific unit, the grading tactic can become great fodder for blogs that cover the similar topic. For Lions fans, there were great feelings and high fives upon the conclusion of the season. Were these grades legitimate or worthy of the 2010 Detroit Lions squad?
Of the four different grades I witnessed from both local blogs and national pundits was a ‘B’. In any other situation or year, a ‘B’ grade would go to a team that either snuck their way into the playoffs or just missed the postseason in week 17. The Lions were at one point 2-10 and played the majority of their final four games against teams with below .500 records. Each one of those wins also came by a margin of less than seven points. The arguments against a high ranking are extensive.
A ‘B’ ranking should focus on where the team is in comparison to the league. There are very few teams in the NFL that would be ranked below this Lions squad. While the team may be on a resurgance, they are injury-plagued and destined next season to take on the NFC’s third best teams. They may have benefitted over the past few years of having an easy schedule, and now they will find out what it’s like to not have one of the top picks in this year’s NFL draft.