The Detroit Lions Just Had A Night That Browns Fans Dream Of.

There’s really no denying it anymore.  Browns fans have to admit it: 

We are now envious of the Detroit Lions. 

With a 5-0 record after their national coming out party on Monday Night Football, there are probably a lot of teams that would swap places with the Lions.  But the Browns can identify with the team on the other side of Lake Erie and their losing ways.  Sure, the Lions were the team that went 0-16, but Clevelanders have undoubtedly suffered more total sports misery.

But that common background of ineptitude is what left me awestruck at the Lions last night.  Here was the team just a few seasons removed from 0-16, crushing a division rival with a core group of players as likable as any in the NFL.   And they did so in front of a national audience, on a night that was already being billed as a return to glory.  They delivered.

 It’s been a genuine winning season too, with not a hint of flukiness about it.  Not by playing a soft schedule, or by getting a lucky bounce here and there.  They have just been the better team most Sundays.

Indeed, if there was a perfect way to architect the Browns resurrection you could do much worse than the way the Lions have done it.  How about drafting a franchise QB, the best receiver in the NFL, a mauler on the defensive line, and a premier running back in consecutive seasons for starters?

Detroit has done it the way it should be done—with a homegrown team that their fans can be proud of.  They have the foundation for winning for seasons to come, and the fun is just beginning.  The last time Browns have felt that way was probably 1985, when a young Bernie Kosar led a plucky upstart team to the first of many playoff runs (that of course all ended in heartbreak).

So now the Lions are well on the way,  and Browns fans are still left wondering if their team is going in the right direction.  It’s hard to look at the Browns roster and see a guy that is of the same caliber as their Detroit counterpart.  The Browns don’t have a Matt Stafford, or Calvin Johnson, or Ndamakung Suh.  Although, they did draft just a few spots behind each of those players, meaning they were bad, but not bad enough apparently.

On the flip side, it would seem to mean there is hope.  If the Browns can find their franchise QB (or if he is already on the roster), and mix-in some other pieces, then we too can watch as our team one day beats up the Ravens or Steelers on Monday Night Football to run our record to 5-0.   One can only dream.

But in the meantime, let's not hold a grudge.  Let's marvel at our former fellow cellar-dwellers knowing that

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