The Detroit Lions -- can they rise once again from the divisional dumping ground?[caption id="attachment_17369" align="aligncenter" width="432"] AP Photo / Carlos Osorio[/caption] As an NFL fan one thing that I like to hold over many of my football loving friends is the fact that I have indeed been lucky enough to attend a live NFL match. My secret shame, however, is that the match was between the 2009 Lions and 49ers in a meaningless Boxing Day blowout at an overcast Candlestick Park. At the time San Francisco were largely irrelevant to the overall competition and Detroit, well, were bordering on obsolete. Back in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis the city of Detroit was largely viewed as a location on par in appeal with Gotham from the Batman Begins film, only slightly more depressing. And since no-one had actually came out of the place alive to argue any differently, the rest of the world had to take this glowing endorsement at face value. The Lions, defying the logic of every feel-good sports movie for the last forty years, were able to successfully put a face to Michigan's misery with a winless season in 2008 as well as a couple more years in the doldrums thereafter. Things were grim. Ford Edsel grim. But, slowly, the franchise under stormin' Jim Schwartz began making moves in the right direction. The hard work finally paid off last season with the Lions moving into the postseason, only to lose to the "Saints Bounty Bros". Disappointing, yes, but a breakthrough. The dark knights had returned to save their city! Fans rejoiced. Players Pro Bowled. Fantasy football fans blew their opening 2012 draft picks. And yet, here we stand. At 1-3 a quarter of the way through the 2012 season the Lions are staring down the barrel of the divisional scrapheap. This may sound like a fan cashing in his chips early, but when you consider the caliber of teams Detroit has played, and is yet to play, theirs is a hard row to hoe. It's not that the Lions games haven't been at times entertaining. I mean hey, everyone loves OT and kicks returned for touchdowns. It's just that it would be nice if Detroit was sharing in these spoils, and their special teams unit was performing lees like the Ralph Wiggum type of 'special'. Like Batman wearing a fat suit, or Megatron with the millennium bug, the Lions seem to be finding ways to lose. Or, at the very least, justify the existence of the Madden curse. Quite simply, the bye week could not have come soon enough, and Detroit's next two games -- both away from Ford -- will determine their season. History, and by history I mean Hollywood, has shown us that heroes can come back, that they can find a way to win. For the Lions to let go of their Super Bowl dreams so early in the season would be a travesty for their franchise and their city. But, as a team they need to start doing the little things right . Detroit has been through worse before, sure. But while everyone loves an underdog on the way up, there's no love in the NFL for a contender on the fall down. It's time for these Lions to rise again.