Detroit Lions: What the heck just happened?


Well Detroit Lions fans, It’s safe to say that you’ve felt enough grief in 2015 to kill an elephant. But Monday night’s game against the Seattle Seahawks had to have you dropping to your knees and asking the football gods “why are you doing this to me?” Hey I’m right there next to you in that respect. I too was on the edge of my seat watching the Lions run an up temp offense (that I’ve been telling anyone who will listen all season) down the field and I saw Matthew Stafford go five for five and I foolishly bought into the thought of the Lions pulling off a massive upset. Then this happened.

Oct 5, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) forces a fumble by Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

I fell to the ground and laid there for the remainder of the game. Actually I laid there for about 20 minutes after the game was over. For Lions fans, they’ve seen this movie before. But this time it was different, this time it was like that scene in Deep Blue Sea where Samuel L. Jackson get’s unexpectedly eaten by a shark. Monday night the Lions and all of its fan base became Samuel L. Jackson.

The Lions are known for finding new and creative ways to lose games. This is why terms like “the Detroit Lions, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” were created. There is no way to explain why this continuously happens to this team. I don’t accept being cursed as an answer. There’s no logical reason that any other worldly being or force would have something against a football team.

The issue is and has always been that the Lions put themselves in the position for things like this to happen. If the Lions are up by a touchdown or more at the moment this happens, nobody would bat an eyelash. But the Lions continually move forward with a busted playbook that’s clearly not paying dividends and an offensive coordinator and stubbornly refuses to put his quarterback in a position where he can excel. For this reason the Lions had to hope for a miracle to pull off the game and they came half a foot to short.

No Lions heartbreaking loss comes without a thick air of controversy. According to the NFL rule book and any referee that wasn’t in Seattle on Monday night, knocking the ball out of the end zone should have resulted in a first down on the one yard line for the Detroit Lions. This obviously would have erased a massive mistake made by Calvin Johnson and the Lions very well could have got in the end zone while also taking more time off the clock.

As we know, the ref who may as well been getting a piggy back ride from K.J, Wright he was so close, did not believe that a man slapping a ball out of the end zone was done purposefully and did not throw the flag. Thus giving Seattle the ball back and eventually their second win of the season.

I’m not big on blaming the referees I believe it takes away from the game and becomes the focal point of why a team won or loss. But on Monday night the officials share the bale with the Lions in this debacle of a game. I won’t even mention the multiple chop blocks that went uncalled or the gang rape on Jason Jones that should have clearly been a hold. I agree with the NFL in a sense. Calling no penalties across the board in any game makes for exciting television and controversy keeps the shield at the top of the list of things that move the needle.

Oct 5, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) reacts after fumbling at the goal line against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Detroit, 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not letting the Lions off the hook on Monday night, you shouldn’t either. The way things are going, it’s going to be a long season and I’m sure most will find themselves struggling to find a reason to care this week leading up to what is sure to be a Lions loss to the red-hot Arizona Cardinals. I don’t blame you.

The Lions must figure out what they are doing, and do it fast if they want to salvage this season in any form, even if they just go .500. It starts at the top on Tuesday morning when the Lions should request that Joe Lombardi hand over the keys to this very talented and expensive offense. What will the Lions do to get over this one?

Mike Payton is an Editor at SideLion Report. He is from Holland, Michigan by way of Warren, Michigan. He considers himself to be obsessed with the Detroit Lions. Mike’s work has been featured on ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio and Mike is also a weekly contributor on It is what is with Sean Baligian on ESPN 96.1 and a contributor for The Holland Sentinel. Follow Mike Payton on Twitter@SLR_Mike

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