This season hasn’t gone the way anyone in Detroit had thought or hoped it would. The Lions are 5-10 and closing out their season Sunday in Green Bay with only pride and draft position on the line.
It certainly wasn’t the season second-year linebacker Jarrad Davis was expecting, and that’s a cause for motivation in everything he does from this point forward.
“It’s a huge motivating factor just because you go out this whole season and you put the work in the offseason and now you come back and you have this bad taste in your mouth,” Davis said Thursday. “You have to go home and sit down and watch playoff football.”
Playoff football that Davis will not be a part of for the second straight season. Just like last year, he plans to watch as much of it as he can as another motivation tool for himself. The Lions didn’t do enough of what they needed to do throughout the course of the year to be among those six playoff teams in the NFC. That’s something that will eat at Davis all offseason.
“I just have to go home and suck it up and watch those (playoff) games,” he said. “It’s going to suck, but at the same time it’s like, ‘Hey, it’s ball.’ Every Saturday and Sunday, whenever the wild card starts, I’m excited. I love watching ball.”
Davis has made some big improvements from year one to two, and has been a good fit in Matt Patricia’s defense. He is one of only five players in the league to have 90-plus tackles and 5.0 sacks this season. He’s improved the pass-rushing aspect of his game, and continues to improve in coverage and as a tackler.
So, when the playoffs begin next weekend around the NFL, Davis will be watching, analyzing and gritting his teeth, mad he’s not a part of it.
He’ll use it as fuel for the offseason in the hopes that maybe he can be one of the reasons this Lions team is part of the playoffs in 2019.