The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Acorn Newsmagazine

The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Lions Season Recap

A Look Back at a Historic Season for the City of Detroit

This season has been a rather historic one for the Detroit Lions. They achieved 12 regular season wins for only the second time in franchise history. They won the NFC North for the first time since the division’s creation. They have 5 pro bowlers and 5 all pros. With a season as remarkable as this it is only just to take a step back and look at how we got these accolades and how we’ve dealt with both successes and setbacks.

We start with the first game of the season. The Lions played reigning Super Bowl champions,,the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Lions managed to pull out a major upset winning 21-20 and going up 1-0 for the first time since 2017.

Lifelong Lions fan and Royal Oak High School math teacher Matthew Milazzo said “It was such a fun way to start the year. It felt like they got a little fortunate and spots, the pick 6 by Branch kind of felt like a lucky play, but at the same time he put himself in the right position to get it done. Exciting to get that win. Long season ahead but a good place to start”

After the victory, the Lions started to get national attention going into their second game against the Seattle Seahawks. The game was their first home game of the season. Similar to the Chiefs game, this one was also an upset. Only this time it went against the Lions as they lost 37-31 in overtime.

The loss led some to believe that the Lions would continue their legacy of limited success.

Lions fan Junior Trevor Mulheisen said “That was a tough one. I was thinking that if we could beat the Chiefs then we can beat them, especially since it’s at home. It was tough, but it wasn’t a blowout, we lost the toss in overtime and they managed to score. I wasn’t a fan of those who jumped the gun on saying the Chiefs game was just a fluke.”

After the rather heartbreaking loss to the Seahawks, the Lions got hot and went on a winning streak. They won against the Atlanta Falcons 20-6, the Green Bay Packers 34-20, the Carolina Panthers 42-24, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-6. This propelled them to a 5-1 record tied for first in the NFL. Going into week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens hopes were high and the Lions had an opportunity to beat one of the best teams in the league. That however did not happen. Against the Ravens the Lions did not score until the fourth quarter as they took a beating, losing in a blowout 38-6.


Milazzo said on the game “Those games are gonna happen. Ravens are a good team and that’s why you don’t have to go undefeated to make it far in the playoffs. It was unfortunate but it’s one of those things where you just gotta chalk it up and be glad that it happened to a really good team”

The devastating loss did have some upside to it as Jahymir Gibbs the 12th pick in the 2023 NFL draft went on to record over 100 scrimmage yards in the game. This would continue into the next week when Gibbs had a breakout game. He rushed for 152 yards and a touchdown which helped carry the Lions to a 26-14 victory. With that win the Lions were 6-2 entering their bye week.

After the bye week the Lions came out hot, but so did their opponent the Los Angeles Chargers. The Lions narrowly won with a game winning field goal sealing it 41-38 Lions. The Lions went up to 7-2 on the season.

The Lions followed it up with a comeback win against the Chicago Bears. The Lions down 26-14 with only four minutes left in the game managed to score 17 points and win 31-26. This put the Lions at 8-2, their best 10-game start to a season since 1962.

A mere four days after playing the Bears the Lions went on to host the annual Thanksgiving game against the rival Green Bay Packers. The Packers got off to a hot start leading 20-6 at the end of the first quarter and the Lions could never catch up. The Lions lost 29-22 taking their first loss since the blowout loss to the Ravens leading to an 8-3 record.

The Lions followed up the loss with a win against the New Orleans Saints. The Lions put up 21 points in the first 7 minutes and never gave up the lead winning 33-28 and going up 9-3.

After the victory the Lions went to Chicago and faced a tough loss to the Bears which put them down to a 9-4 record. This disappointing loss was followed up by a much needed

victory as the Lions put 42 on the Denver Broncos winning 42-17 in the process and clinching a 10 win season for the first time since 2014 putting the Lions at a clean 10-4 record.

In week 16 the Lions faced a divisional opponent in the Minnesota Vikings. The stakes were high as if they managed to win the game, they would win the NFC North for the first time since the division’s inception. The game was a one score game for nearly the entire time, but in the end the Lions came out victorious giving the Lions a 11-4 record. For the first time in 30 years the Lions were division champions. This development also led to the Lions clinching a playoff berth for the first time since 2016.

Milazzo said on the victory “That was nice. It’s been a long time as I was trying to explain to my 10 year-old the last time the lions won a playoff game, I was also 10 so it was a nice thing to see. You knew they were going to get a home playoff game which I’d been saying since the previous season, ‘Just give the Lions a home playoff game and you’ll see what Detroit fans are about.’ so I was really excited. It made me really look forward to what was coming.”

Following their first time winning the NFC North the Lions went down to Dallas to play the Cowboys in what would be one of the most important games of the season. The game had major playoff implications as if Detroit won they would nearly guarantee the second seed and potentially have a shot at the first seed and a bye week heading into the playoffs. The game was a one score game the whole way through. With 23 seconds left on the clock the Detroit Lions scored a touchdown to make the game 20-19 Dallas. In what would be an extremely controversial finish the Lions would go for the 2 point conversion to win the game. The Lions would succeed in converting the two point conversion but the referees called a penalty on the play stating that the player who received the pass was ineligible downfield, meaning they were not allowed to receive the football. Footage would later show that the referee made an error and the player followed all necessary procedures to report as eligible. This blown call would cost the Lions the victory as they went down 20-19 and their record went to 11-5. This loss would effectively seal the Lions playoff position as they were set to receive the third seed.

There was some benefit to this however as it lit a fire under the coaches and players which is explained by Mulheisen “Going into the playoffs this gave them a chip on their shoulder.”

After the loss the Lions went back to Detroit to finish their season against the Minnesota Vikings. In a controversial decision the Lions starters played in the game although it had minimal playoff implications. This was highlighted when the Lions star rookie tight end Sam Laporta suffered a knee injury and was unable to return to the game. The Lions pulled through in the end winning the game 30-20 and ending the season with a 12-5 record.

The Lions clinched the 3rd seed in the NFC. This led to them hosting the Los Angeles Rams at Ford Field in the Wild Card round. This would be a rather emotional match for fans and players alike as the Quarterback for the Rams is longtime Lions QB Matthew Stafford. Stafford played for the Lions from 2009-2020 and it was his first game back in Detroit since being traded in 2021.

The Lions would take the lead in the first quarter and never let go winning 24-23 and advancing to the Divisional round. It was the first playoff win for the Lions since 1993.

Milazzo on Stafford’s return and the game said “I love the guy. I was super excited that he won a Super Bowl for the Rams, wish he would have won one for the Lions, but it what it is. It was also just fun to beat the Rams, nothing against Stafford it was just about wanting to win a playoff game. We hadn’t won one since ‘91 and the Rams happened to be the team in the way. It was fun when he won the Super Bowl, but now it’s just about winning a playoff game.”

After the win against the Rams the Lions would go on to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. The Lion took the lead in the first quarter and never trailed. The Buccaneers would go on to make an attempt at a comeback but an interception by linebacker Derrick Barnes sealed the game and the victory for Detroit 31-23. This would advance the Lions to play in the NFC Championship game.

The game would be Detroit’s first road game of the postseason as they would have to travel to Santa Clara to play the San Francisco 49ers. The first half of the game the Lions started extremely strong ending the first half 24-7 Lions. This excitement would not last as the Lions would slowly be picked apart by the 49ers leading to a soul crushing loss in the Championship game. The game ended 34-31 ending the Lions season. Within the game two crucial 4th downs were unsuccessful and a fumble contributed to the devastating defeat.

Mulhiesen said “Plain and simple they choked. It all comes back around to the defense. It stung. It sucks obviously and was a huge loss.”

With that the Lions season was over and many began to look at the next season with the hopes that this postseason run will not become a once in a lifetime experience, as it has so many times before. The Lions finished the season with a combined record of 14-6. The Lions have 7 picks in the 2024 NFL draft with two 3rd rounders but no 4th rounders. Overall the future for the city is bright. The Lions have made it known that they are legit Super Bowl contenders and that they will not stop until they get their share of Lombardi.

Milazzo spoke on his hope for the future saying “I’m excited to see what they do next. This was never going to necessarily be the year so there’s always things they are going to need to do to improve and I think they’re in the right position to do it. I think they are finally in a position for the first time since I can remember where they just need to build in spots. There’s no reason that they can’t contend again next year and that’s exciting to think about. I also think that it’s super cool timing that Detroit is hosting the NFL draft in April. I think that’s such great timing for all of it. I hope the Lions fans turn out and let everyone know what the Lions are about.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Aidan Morris
Aidan Morris, Layout Editor
Hello! My name is Aidan Morris and I am a Senior here at ROHS. As a layout editor, a position I share with Estela, I work to create the layout of the magazine putting together the ads, photos, and stories. When I’m not writing and working on Layout’s, I enjoy going on walks, going to the ponds at the graveyard, spending time with friends, and going bowling. I have been a member of the ROHS bowling team for 3 years now. My favorite memory was when we beat North Farmington at home last year. I can’t wait to see how my final year of Acorn goes and I am certain it will be a wonderful year.

Comments (0)

All Acorn Newsmagazine Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *