Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
So, I pretty much had this article written when the Dallas Cowboys took a 10-point lead on the Detroit Lions for the second time in the fourth quarter, the second of which seemed lethal with just seven minutes left. This certain loss would send the Detroit Lions to a 4-4 bye week, something that was unfathomable when the team returned home for two games at 4-2.
Best. Rewrite. Ever.
When it was all said and done, easily the best game in the history of Ford Field, and probably the best comeback in the recent history of the Lions, was in the books–a 31 to 30 Lions’ victory.
The Must Win That Was Nearly Not
Detroit Lions’ fans were no doubt beside themselves at 4:25 Eastern Daylight Time Sunday afternoon. But for much of the game they were beside themselves for different reasons. But could anyone blame us? This did seem to be a Same Old Lions situation. The Lions were at home for two games playing likely divisional winners in Cincinnati and Dallas. They made the key mistakes last week to lose on a last second field goal, and they seemed to be making a lot of mistakes to lose to a surging Cowboys team that hadn’t played well.
Statistically, and in the end, the Lions had monster games from the trifecta of Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush. But each of these players had bonehead plays along the way. For Stafford, it was the second interception near the end of the first half, for Bush it was the WHY ARE YOU CARRYING IT LIKE THAT fumble, and for Johnson it was the deflected pass for the first pick and later, a fumble.
All told, the Lions were minus four in turnovers. And we all know that when the defense is not getting turnovers (as was the case against the Bengals), the team has a tough time winning. After all, it had been since 1980 when Detroit won a game when they were minus four in turnovers.
So perhaps it could be understood why some Lions’ fans thought the end was near, but some losers really went over the top. Like this guy:
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Stafford had ice-water in his veins when he fooled everyone to go over the top and score ultimately the game-winning TD with 14 seconds left. In the post-game it was revealed the play call was an audible Matthew called when he saw Dallas’ defense relax a bit as he indicated a spike was coming. He even fooled his own teammates. It channeled the infamous Dan Marino fake spike in 1994 and was the 10th fourth quarter comeback of Stafford’s career.
Despite having a few issues with holding onto the ball Sunday, Calvin continued to amaze. The ball control issues cost the team on the fumble and deflected pass, but when you get the ball as much as he did (an amazing 14 catches for 329 yards), I guess you gotta imagine a mishap or two will happen.
Yet without the defense pitching in, the miraculous comeback never would happened. Aside from a long touchdown, and an amazing touchdown catch from crybaby Dez Bryant, the defense held strong even when, as we mentioned above, the money offense guys consistently turned the ball over.
We also wouldn’t have gotten to the game-winning dramatics without Stafford’s pinpoint pass and over the shoulder 40-yard catch from Kris Durham.
When the Lions needed to get it done, they set the mistakes aside and got it done.
- I can almost feel for Cowboys’ fans. The way they lost was like a gut punch. Lions’ fans know that feeling all too well–it happened just last week against the Bengals. Still, Dallas has had to endure two unbelievable, “once in a lifetime” comeback losses against Detroit–in 2011 and Sunday. Then again, most Cowboys fans who don’t hale from in and around Texas aren’t true football fans anyway–yep, I went there.
- Sunday’s game was truly a must win. Two weeks to sulk about dropping two straight home games might be a season killer. Instead, the Lions have 14 days to savor one of the bigger wins in franchise history. Plus 5-3 at the halfway mark is world’s different than 4-4, especially with a favorable schedule at the back-end of the season.
- Seriously Dez, shut the hell up.
- I always enjoy bye weeks–sort of like a vacation as a fan. When times are tough for the Lions, the bye week is a saving grace. With the exciting finish, I may actually miss the Lions taking years off my life next Sunday. Then again, I will enjoy the rest.
- While you’re resting, enjoy this: