There was some optimism coming into the season that the Detroit Lions could be a dark horse playoff team. Head coach Dan Campbell could motivate anyone into playing hard and the players give it their all, but the Lions just don’t get the results they are looking for on the field. Now, they are heading in a new direction following the trade of tight end TJ Hockenson to the Minnesota Vikings.
Another losing season is on the horizon as Detroit is 1-6, as they have the least intimidating defense in the NFL. They are last in yards and points allowed as everyone has a big game against the toothless Lions’ defense.
Three of the losses are by four points or less, which speaks volumes to how strong the team’s offense has been this season despite missing key players for entire games and large chunks of others. The offense has suffered another loss this week, but it was a self-inflicted loss.
In a surprising turn of events, the Lions traded tight end TJ Hockenson to their NFC North rivals, the Minnesota Vikings. That was another sign that the team has set its sights on the future as Hockenson was not only one of the longest-tenured players but one of the best ones on the team as well.
It was a move that brought out a lot of emotions. The NFL is a business, but these are still human beings that have developed relationships with each other. Quarterback Jared Goff is confident that the front office made the move with the best interest of the team in mind and wasn’t a waiving the white flag moment. However, that doesn’t make it any easier for him to stomach.
“It sucks going through that as a teammate, mostly just seeing him in the building every day, not being able to be around him,” Goff said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “But yeah, I wish him the best and I know he’ll be successful in doing his thing. Happy for him and hope everything works out for him.”
It was quite a move for Hockenson who woke up on Tuesday on a team with the second-worst record in the NFL and by the end of the afternoon he was on the roster of a team tied for the second-best record in the league at 6-1 in the Vikings.
Week 14 wasn’t a big deal for the Lions, but now it will be a homecoming for Hockenson. That is the next time that the Lions will be hosting the Vikings in what will assuredly be an emotional game for the former first-round pick returning to Detroit for the first time as a visiting player.