Lions Win, But Feeling Is Hollow

You probably let out a little "yeah" when Jason Hanson's 39-yard field goal with no time remaining went through the uprights to give the Detroit Lions a 13-12 win over the New Orleans Saints. That little yelp probably faded into a small smile and then it was back to reality.

ALLEN PARK - You probably let out a little "yeah" when Jason Hanson's 39-yard field goal with no time remaining went through the uprights to give the Detroit Lions a 13-12 win over the New Orleans Saints. That little yelp probably faded into a small smile and then it was back to reality.

The win was only the fifth one of the season for Detroit. There will be no Honolulu Blue and Silver on the field when the playoffs start two weeks from now. There won't even be a .500 season. There will be very little talk of them this off-season in the national media and nobody will pick them to be any better next season.

Welcome to the long winter of discontent.

While Hanson's leg brought some well deserved cheer into the life of long-suffering Lions fans, it was way too little and way too late.

This team is now a reclamation project, but unfortunately the same architect who designed and built this ruins will be in charge of restarting the project. Despite a fifth consecutive losing season, Matt Millen will be allowed to try, try again to turn this team into a winner.

The Ford family still believes in Millen who put the blame for his team's failures square on the shoulders of desposed head coach Steve Mariucci. If Mariucci had coached 'em up, maybe this team would have been at least 8-8, we're being led to believe.

Mariucci was dismissed as head coach after a bad Thanksgiving Day loss to a mediocre Atlanta Falcons team. Detroit was so listless in that performance somthing was bound to happen.

Still, Detroit is a team with mismatched pieces in the front office, on the coaching staff and on the field. They need someone with new ideas and solutions to breathe life into what is a collection of loose parts.

Could that someone be former San Francisco 49ers head coach George Seifert? Seifert was spotted in Metro Airport in Romulus last week heading for parts unknown. If the Lions are truly committed to the West Coast Offense as their system, Seifert's might serve as a mentor to help Millen figure out why his offense can't move the football consistently.

Then again, at 65, Seifert could join the growing ranks of veteran head coaches who return to the sidelines like Bill Parcells (64) and Joe Gibbs (65). Seifert has five Super Bowl rings, one as the defensive secondary coach, two as defensive coordinator and two as head coach.

If nothing else, he could, as Matt Millen's head coach in Millen's playing days, offer some insight into how to build a cohesive on-the-field product.

While Sunday's win will give fans a little respite from the five consecutive losses they posted through November and December, it'll be more of the same unless substantial changes are made.

The next head coach has to be the right one, the next draft pick can't be a bust, the next free agent needs to actually produce on the field. George Seifert may not have all the answers, but maybe he's got some of them.

We like the idea of Seifert brain getting picked for answers.

That'll be a good start. We'll take it.


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