Monday, November 25, 2013

Eat My Words

I blew it.  The Lions lost to the Bucs 24-21 at Ford Field yesterday.  I thought they should've won the game by a couple of scores.  So did writers at the News and Free Press.

Instead, it became an unmitigated debacle, mainly in the second half.  Matthew Stafford threw for four interceptions, and he wasn't helped at all by Calvin Johnson and Kris Durham allowing the ball to pop out and find its way into the Bucs' hands (Durham's catch was a fumble, while Johnson's catch popped out and into a Bucs DB's hands).

Mistakes, aside, it seemed like Tampa Bay wanted to give this game to Detroit, and the Lions kept refusing it.  Twice, they stopped the Bucs in the fourth quarter and the kicker missed two FGs.  This game was theirs to lose, and they did just that.

I just wrote an article criticizing Same Ol' Lions Fans (SOLFs), and there I was, minutes after they lost their second straight, put in the proverbial submission hold by my brother-in-law demanding me to say it: Same Ol' Lions.  I kept enough composure not to say it.

Still, I hate being undermined and having to eat my own words.  What looked like an easy path to the NFC North title now looks more like a hard slog, but it's yet to be seen if this is another epic collapse.

The Lions are still on top of the division at 6-5.  The Bears have the same record, but the Lions have the tie-breaker by virtue of the season sweep.  The Packers tied the Vikings, keeping them a half-game back of the Lions at 5-5-1.

With five games left, the Lions can still do this.  Key word: "can."  It's not going to be as easy as I originally thought.  Tampa Bay decided to start their season nine weeks after everyone else did.  Mostly the same can be said for Pittsburgh.

Regardless, there's no excuses.  The Lions have to win on Thanksgiving.  Earlier when I talked about getting monkeys off their back, they need to beat Green Bay and win the Thanksgiving classic.  They haven't beaten the Packers in three years and haven't won on turkey day since 2003.

Aaron Rodgers isn't playing, and everyone remembers what Matt Flynn did to them two years ago at Lambeau.  Give them credit: they're still hungry.  But they can't afford anymore slip ups the rest of the way.  10-6 will win the division, but you won't win anything playing like this.

It's time for Detroit to cut the mental mistakes and get on with playing.  It ain't over til it's over.

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