“Detroit had 10 days to get ready and prepare and we knew we would get their best shot here… I read somewhere that they thought this was their best opportunity and our guys had read this was their best opportunity (to win). They came out ramped up and we were a little bit off our game in the first half.
“Bottom line, they were in the red zone four times and had three field goals. We had a couple big fourth-down stops, one of those in the red zone right before the half that ends up being huge. A grind-it-out win. We will make absolutely no apologies for it.”
-Vikings coach Brad Childress
And it just wasn’t enough. The Lions could not execute in the red zone and in the end, I think that’s what will tell the primary story of the game. You can’t settle for a field goal time and time again and expect to win. And the Lions had every advantage possible. The Vikings didn’t realize they were playing a football game until the 3rd Quarter; The coaching staff then realized ‘oh right! We’ve got two of the best running backs in the NFC North, let’s run the ball!’ And run they did. All over us.
So you could say that maybe the Vikings were our best chances of finally winning one… And that is sad to say in the context of this NFC North, which is really theirs for the taking. But we couldn’t execute when it counted. You can’t settle for 9 points when you should have 21. Even turning one of those field goals into a touchdown would change the face of the game. But we couldn’t because we can’t. That is simply the best reason I can come up with:
We just aren’t good enough. And there were flashes of brilliance. Culpepper seems to be getting better, but he still looks like… Culpepper. Brilliance peppered with displays of “WTF WHY DID YOU JUST DO THAT” moments. I’d like to see him finish a game, his conditioning obviously still sucks and let’s take a moment to pat Calvin Johnson on the back. He is quietly putting together a really solid sophmore season. He’s beginning to really realize the potential of his natural talent. Kevin Smith actually appears to be a real talent, not just hype. The kid has some legs! Wait til we get a REAL offensive coordinator working under a REAL NFL coach! Think of the possibilities!
13 used to be our magic number in the Millen era… we’ve never passed that one going winless until today, so history was in fact made today. This is the first time in Lions Franchise history we’ve been rendered 0-13. Yet another stellar accomplishment left in the wake of the Matt Millen experiment.
So hunker down my brethren, those of us cursed with the scourge that is this team. There’s always the draft next year, there’s the massive firings that will be coming down in January and there is the hope that a new head coach hired by a new general manager can bring.
The tunnel is dark my friends, we can’t see any light but we have to keep digging! May your shovel be sharp and your will be outstanding!