The New York Jets and Detroit Lions were once two of the premier teams in the AFL and NFL respectively. Both teams captured championships before the big merger that combined the two leagues.
The teams have had a number of bad things happen to them over the years. Whether it’s drafting a premier wide receiver that leaves fans at the altar or having one of the oddest football mishaps we have seen in decades, fans of both franchises should wonder if they are cursed.
Today we will look at both teams and figure out what they can do to turn things around.
The Lions level of futility is beyond comprehension
After winning the 1957 NFL Championship, the Detroit Lions have been a laughing stock of the league. Let’s recap some of the lowlights of the Motor City team.
They went 0-16 in 2008, after a 7-9 campaign in 2007. The Lions were the first team to go winless since the league expanded to 16 games.
Detriot had two Hall-of-Famers at popular positions and couldn’t do anything with them. Barry Sanders is regarded as one of the greatest running backs to ever play the game and was on his way to beating Walter Payton’s career rushing yards record when he abruptly retired at the age of 31.
This was due to a lack of talent around him, as the Lions consistently missed the playoffs during his career. Calvin Johnson was in the same boat, as the No. 2 pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, Johnson is viewed as one of the best wide receivers in league history. But, he also abruptly retired at the age of 30.
Having two exceptional talents with zero championships to show for it is the meaning of cursed.
How the Lions can turn it around?
Head coach Matt Patricia is in his second season with the Lions, but there are already grumblings that he may be on a short leash. He will have to set the tone early next season to save his job, and if the defense can get its act together, the Lions could be a sneaky pick in the NFC North.
The Jets have had success at times, but is it enough?
Besides Joe Namath’s famous guarantee, the Jets have never really been a threat to win a Super Bowl. When Bill Parcells was the head coach they were able to string together competitive teams. His drafting and roster building is some of the best we have ever seen.
When Parcells left Bill Belichick was scheduled to be the next head coach, but he resigned after a day on the job. Then headed up to New England and changed the history of the league for good.
Once Rex Ryan got to the team he built a tough defense that went to two AFC championship games, but they fell short both times. The “Butt Fumble” made quarterback Mark Sanchez a laughingstock in the league, and is still one of the most memorable follies on a football field.
How do the Jets turn things around?
Sam Darnold is the QB of the future and could be a star in this league. The Jets were lucky to have him fall to them at No. 3 in the 2018 Draft. With another strong draft this year (along with new head coach Adam Gase), you could see a team fighting for eight or nine wins and a possible playoff spot.
Curses are meant to be broken
Despite their heartbreaking past, the New York Jets and Detriot Lions both have a glimmer of hope heading into the season. If fans have waited this long, they sure aren’t giving up on them now. Training camps start in a few weeks so be sure to check out our NFL section for more coverage from around the gridiron.