Here's What The National Media Had To Say after Detroit Lions' Victory Over Tampa

January 22, 2024, 3:55 PM

The skeptics and crtiics of the Detroit Lions and Coach Dan Campbell have been eviscerated -- at least for now. Here's what the national media had to say after the Lions' 31-23 victory over Tampa Bay.

Jason Gay, Wall Street Journal

Jason Gay, WSJ

I’ll admit it: I laughed when Dan Campbell was introduced as head coach of the Detroit Lions. I thought he was pretty absurd.

The installation happened three years ago, almost to the day. Campbell, a burly, 6-foot-5 former tight end who looks like a duck hunt in human form, was unveiled as Detroit’s next head coach—another unfortunate sucker, hired to minister to a hellbound franchise...

I was badly wrong, and I’m here to apologize. Detroit is roaring, both of my kneecaps are gone, and Dan Campbell and the Lions are one victory away from the Super Bowl.


Jon Hoefling and Jack McKessy, USA TODAY

The narratives surrounding these teams have been vastly different all year. Where the 49ers have turned somewhat into villains, who have assembled a super squad where a Super Bowl is the expectation, the Lions are the most beloved team in the country. After years and years of despair and hanging out in the basement of the NFC, head coach Dan Campbell has put together a Super Bowl-worthy squad. Of course, they've still got a tough test in front of them if they want any chance of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

Michael Rosenberg, Sport Illustrated

Michael Rosenberg, SI

Three years ago, Dan Campbell arrived in Detroit and held his infamous Captain Kneecap press conference. Historically, Lions coaches have to at least coach a game before they say something nutty and get roasted for it. (Hello, Bobby “I don’t coach that stuff!” Ross, wherever you are.) The city hoped Campbell would at least turn out to be a fire-and-brimstone leader. And yet he is so much more.

The beauty of Campbell is that he can give a hell of a pregame speech, but by that point, his team didn’t need one.

Nick Baumgardner, The Athletic

Sunday in Detroit, roughly 70,000 football-tortured souls came downtown to sob and cheer this state’s most beloved sports franchise to the edge of the impossible. For the second week in a row, thousands old and young pumped enough electricity into Ford Field to power a city block. They were rewarded for their efforts with a 31-23 Lions win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC divisional round.

Nick Baumgardner, The Athletic

Perhaps, a romantic might hope, the fans were loud enough for those who are no longer with us to feel the thing they wanted so badly but never got to witness. Some may not have been there in body, but the spirit of every true Honolulu Blue believer who had ever suffered with this team was no doubt hovering above those rafters.

The Detroit Lions (it has taken me longer than I care to admit to finish writing this sentence) are one win away from the Super Bowl.

Carmen Vitali, Fox Sports

Carmen Vitali, Fox Sports

All throughout Ford Field and emblazoned on the players and fans themselves, you'll see the word ‘grit'. It's been a mantra for the Lions all season, but it isn't original. It comes from the city they ‘put on' for. A city that has lived and died with this Lions team for decades, with nothing but heartbreak to show for it. Yet, fans kept showing up. Both at Ford Field and on the road. The team knows how much they mean to Detroit, and Detroit means everything to them right back.

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