The Detroit Lions' star rose quickly this year and burned brightly for four weeks. It was fueled by an offense that churned out yards and points almost faster than the scoreboards could keep track of them on gameday.
When the star fell to earth – unable to score a single point in Sunday's 29-0 loss to the New England Patriots – it landed with a thud and burned out quickly.
The show the offense put on for those first four weeks was forgotten. That was not a surprise.
What we learned in the first five weeks is that fans want entertainment, and it covers a lot of flaws.
Among the other things we learned in the first five weeks includes the following: The sack stats show where GM Brad Holmes must spend his draft capital and free-agent money on that side of the roster; there is no second-year slump for a 2021 rookie who had a surprisingly productive season; and for those who think the season is over for the Lions, their own history in an identical situation shows they can still achieve their goals.
We start with the offense:
They have put on an entertaining show, especially at Ford Field. The Lions were competitive until Sunday's debacle and Ford Field was rocking in the three home games.
The Lions' won once – 36-27 over the Washington Commanders. And they put up big numbers in two of their losses – 38-35 to the Philadelphia Eagles, and 48-45 to the Seattle Seahawks.
Both of those two left open the same question: If the defense could have gotten a stop, would the Lions' offense have taken advantage with a game-winning drive?
There is always hope with an offense. Sunday's loss, with the offense in the break-down lane, took away a lot of that.
The Lions are being judged not by the yards and points they put up on offense for five weeks but by the reality of where they are in the standings. And 1-4 and in last place in the NFC North is not inspiring.
Plan ahead: The days of the 1985 Chicago Bears holding opponents to 198 points and winning the Super Bowl are behind us, never to return. The game isn't built that way. Fans want points.
But we've learned that the days of teams giving up 170 points in five games as the Lions have and having any hope of making the playoffs are not upon us either.
The Lions have just seven sacks in five games, and none in the last two games. Rookie Aidan Hutchinson has three sacks. No one else has more than one
There are 12 games left on the schedule to improve those stats, but that likely won't change what they need to do in 2023 to be more competitive.
The Lions addressed the defense in the 2022 draft. Six of their eight draft picks were on defense, starting with top pick Hutchinson, who has not had a glowing beginning to his career.
Holmes has yet to sign a big-name free agent in his two years as GM. The 2023 season might be a good time to start.
Proving it: Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has shown that what he did as a rookie in 2021 was not a fluke. He had 90 catches, which was remarkable for a fourth-round draft pick.
Despite missing one full game with an ankle injury, St. Brown is on pace to match – at least – his rookie performance. He has 27 catches for 271 yards and three TDs.
History lesson: For those who say it's impossible for the Lions to make anything of this season, there's history that the Lions have done just that.
The 1983 Lions started 1-4. They got hot late and won the division with a 9-7 won-lost record. Unfortunately, they lost to the 49ers in the playoffs on a missed field goal in the final minute.
If the Lions could do it once, they can do it again – maybe.