From the opening day of the 2010 season, four things that have plagued this entire season has happened, major injuries, bad luck, bad officiating (not using it as an excuse, but c'mon it's beyond true) and the bad timing for a large amount of stupid, game changing penalties. Our starting QB goes down with another injury and all of a sudden, the momentum swings towards the Bears. From a 14-3 lead to a 17-14 trailing in a matter of less than 2 minutes going into the half. Major injury and bad luck.
I know that everybody just seems to keep writing this team off as the same old Lions and as of right now they are looking more and more like that. Thing is though, with everything going completely wrong from the first game of the season, how could they possibly overcome that stigma of another losing season?
Then, we get into position to win the game with seconds to go, without Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson's apparent game winning TD catch was called incomplete. A rule now known as "The Calvin Johnson Rule" and now officials are calling that same catch a complete pass despite blowing it for the Lions. Bad luck and bad officiating.
We go on to lose the next few games by a TD or less without QB Matthew Stafford or MLB DeAndre Levy and with no depth they can't overcome close games. Jahvid Best get's turf toe on both feet in the worst loss of the season at Minnesota and it lingers all season after that. Even though the Lions seem to be better despite losing 4 in a row and gain respect though the injuries and losses seem to keep mounting. They blow the Rams out 44-6 at home and everybody seems pretty happy about it. They played flawlessly and it showed. The following week, the starting QB at the time Shaun Hill goes out with a broken forearm and lose to the Giants by a TD. Bad luck and major injuries.
Matthew Stafford comes back after the bye week, beats the Redskins and throws a gem though missing 5 1/2 games. He throws 4 TDs with only 1 interception and looks like the franchise QB that he is. The following week against the Jets, Stafford has the Lions in position to win the game with a 10 point lead and just 3:30 to go on the clock. He then injuries his shoulder once again and every bit of momentum the Lions had was sucked completely out of them. They lose the game and their starting QB once again. Major injuries and bad luck.
They lose both games after that on the road when they lost to Buffalo with Shaun Hill looking every bit the injured back-up and the Bills get their first win against the Lions. They never recovered from the Jets game and it showed in this loss. They looked uninspired and lethargic and just completely out of it after the fact. The Dallas game had it's fair share of controversy too with 3 blown calls by the officials. The Suh "horsecollar tackle" was him pulling Barber's hair was a bad one giving them excellent field position. The Julian Peterson "horsecollar tackle" was blown because he grabbed the side of the shoulder pad and dragged him down, not the back of the neck. The punt return for a TD wasn't a TD because the returner stepped out of bounds at the Dallas 45, but the refs never caught it and the Cowboys never replayed it afterwards so that the Lions could've seen it to throw the red flag. Lions lose again in dramatic fashion. Bad luck and major bad officiating.
Bottom line, this season has been a disaster from the beginning. The injuries, bad calls, and bad officiating are the main reasons for this 2-8 record they posses. The stupid penalties just seem to add to everything, they have shot themselves in the foot over and over again at the worst times. I believe this team has improved, but they are still one good draft/offseason and a healthy Matthew Stafford/Jahvid Best away from a winning season.
Hopefully next year, the stars will align and the Lions will get their first winning season since 1999. I'm hoping that will happen, because this season was over before it even started. Go Lions!