Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Lions took their best shot at their first divisional title in two decades and have seemed to come up short every step of the way. While there is still a chance of Detroit winning the NFC North for the first time ever, odds are stacking against them—and with their performance over the past month (including the first quarter against Green Bay on Thanksgiving), this doesn’t look like much of a playoff team anyway.
Losing the way only the Lions can lose
The Lions’ defense didn’t give up a touchdown on Monday night and yet they still lost. The offense continued to defy expectations for their ineptitude. The two stars of the offense, Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, were terrible when it counted and the Lions may have cost themselves a shot at a division title.
There were bad penalties (both warranted and unwarranted), horrible coaching calls (not using the three timeouts at the end of the game), dumb play calling and mind-boggling throws from Stafford (and not in a good way).
And yet the Lions lost on a 61-yard field goal, the longest field goal to win a game in NFL history. It is perhaps fitting a few weeks after the Lions were erased from the record books for being one of the teams to allow the longest field goal in history that they’d go back in for something similar.
While the season is not over, and anything can happen in the NFL, its kinda hard imagining this team coming back from this emotional disaster in just five days against the Giants.
- The Lions still have a shot at the division by winning out and getting some help, however the Minnesota victory that looked so certain just a month ago appears not to be so automatic. The Vikings are playing better, as the Philadelphia Eagles (who destroyed the Lions a week ago and were destroyed by Minnesota on Sunday) can attest to. Not to mention, Detroit has had more than its fair share of problems in the Metrodome over the years.
- While the narrative was that events did not go very well for the Lions on Sunday with the Bears outlasting the Browns and the Packers coming back to beat the Cowboys, the truth is, it doesn’t really matter. A few weeks back when Minnesota beat Chicago, things were looking quite rosy for the Lions’ playoff chances. The bottom line (to the bottom line) is that while you can root and hope for bad things to befall your opponents on the field, you can’t expect it to happen every time. It usually evens out, as it did on Sunday. Championships have to be meted out on the field by the wannabe champion. Play to win, don’t hope to win. The Lions are showing they aren’t winners when they have a chance to play for it.
- I have followed the Lions for 22 years now and I can’t remember a more humiliating and frustrating loss. And there have been a lot of them to pick from.