Oct 20, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) catches a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals were the better team and they made the plays at the end of the game and the Detroit Lions didn’t; it’s that simple. No harm in losing a tough battle to a better team. But, and this is a BIG but to me, the Lions going Prince Fielder at the end of the first half and laying down – basically quitting – was inexcusable. They had just had a field goal blocked and the Bengals drove down the field for a touchdown. They got the ball back on the their own 20 yard line with 41 seconds left in the half.
Let’s jump to the future by an hour or so, and we see the Cincinnati Bengals at the end of the of the fourth quarter at their own 49 yard line as the result on another Lions special teams blunder. Very promising punter Sam Martin had shanked a punt, giving the Bengals great field position. Of course they’re going to get aggressive and try to win the game. You learn that about the time you learn how to throw a football. If it’s a given to do that at the end of the game, how come the Detroit Lions don’t see that as a given at the end of the half? They weren’t even getting the ball back to start the second half – Cincinnati was.
If it sounds like I’m pissed off, it’s because I am. I’m used to the Lions being the Same Old Lions. I can handle that. What I’m not used to is having a pretty decent football team turtle at the chance to win the game – at any point in the game. They ran two straight plays designed to go nowhere but eat up the clock. But you’re telling me that if it was the end of game, we would have went down guns-a-blazing? What’s the difference?
The Lions, as we would see later, could have gotten into field goal territory in the time it takes Megatron to run fifty or sixty yards. They had a John Elway lifetime to get down the field and at least get a field goal. Did you notice by how many points the Lions lost? Gee, maybe those three points would have came in handy later. It was only a 29 yard difference that could be made up in 10 seconds that was different, but I’ll bet the Bengals would have gone for the gusto at the end of the half. Winners take every chance they get, losers wait until the next time.
The Lions losing yesterday makes the game this week at home against the Cowboys a must win. If the Lions win and are 5-3 going into the bye week, then things are looking pretty good for now. They lose and they go into the bye week with a thud, landing 4-4, then I think we’re going to start hearing about Jim Schwartz’s job stability. If we do, I’ll remember that for me it started with 41 seconds left in the first half yesterday.