When you are the Detroit Lions, the answer is yes. Actually an emphatic "YES!" I'll add, "God Damn Straight!" as well. I have 5 reasons as to why.
We need to see this version of the Lions on Sunday...
But I'm ALWAYS worried we'll see this Lion instead...
1. The Falcons are starting a rookie QB and middle linebacker. No way in Hell should the Lions lose to a team so handicapped at a pair of important positions. The Falcons are in rebuilding mode, with a new head coach, turnover at the QB position, playing in a city that couldn't give two shits about them.
Despite that, the Falcons are a 3 point favorite, which means 1) Vegas thinks this game is essentially a toss up, and 2) Vegas books don't believe in Detroit. In my mind, considering the Falcons' many issues, this is a game the Lions should, without a doubt, win. The game is there for the taking, it's only a matter of taking advantage...Something the Lions don't often do. If they lose, the "Same old Lions" mantra will begin, and never, ever stop.
2. Any enthusiasm currently shown by the fanbase (Just go to Mlive, where Killer's loopy acolytes are taking him to task, and wanting justification, over his predicting a 5-11 season) after the Lions' 4-0 preseason start will evaporate quicker than Kwame Kilpatrick's freedom. If the Lions want to continue selling out Ford Field, they need to win early in the season. Otherwise the haters, whom I've lumped with at times, will be out in very vocal force, but not in Ford Field's seats.
3. In my lifetime of Lions fandom, they long have had a very nasty habit of allowing rookies, over-the-hill's, never-were's, never-gonna-be's and who-in-the-Hell-is-that's to have career games. If Matt Ryan (a rookie QB) and Michael Turner (a career backup till this season) have breakout performances...Well, I wouldn't be surprised. Detroit cannot allow the likes of Ryan (he may turn out to be a good QB, but won't be in his first NFL start) to beat them. If it does happen, it'll be another sign nothing has changed, the Lions are still the "Same old Lions."
4. I think we can safely assume the 2008 Lions are, for the first time, Rod Marinelli's team. There's not a bat shit crazy Mike Martz undermining him, along with the ditching of his pass happy offense, he has his
There's no more excuses to make, or scapegoats to fire, for the Lions head coach. A loss to a team the Lions really should beat would not be a ringing endorsement of the Lions new direction under Sgt. Marinelli.
5. The schedule is set up nicely for the Lions get off to a fast start. Atlanta is just plain bad. The Packers are breaking in a new QB. The Niners are starting the not-so-immortal J.T. O'Sullivan under center. Chicago has Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman to pick from at QB, which means they have jack and shit. Minnesota and Houston are far from juggernauts, and not exactly sterling at QB either. Washington looked underwhelming, at best, in losing to the Giants last night. Then it's Chicago again.
The Lions don't face a God honest, guaranteed Super Bowl quality team till game 9, when Jacksonville comes to Ford Field. It's up to hem to take advantage of that fact, starting Sunday. The rest of Detroit's season, and my sanity, may depend upon it.