I'm interested in what everyone has to say regarding Sunday's game with the 49ers, and I would guess that very few of us here are sure that we SHOULD have beaten San Francisco. I do think that we all believe that Detroit COULD have beaten the 49ers. What follows is an examination of the thinking about the game, attempting to use some logical principles and reasoning.
First, the fact that we did not win the game does NOT imply that the strategy that we adopted was the incorrect one. For example, if an unfair coin lands heads 75% of the time, and you bet on it to land heads and lose, this doesn't make your bet a bad one. Similarly, if you bet on tails and it lands tails, you did NOT make the correct bet. Due to some randomness, we don't know if the strategy used by the coaches was the best one available.
Next, it is easy to imagine a story in your head where the coaches aired the ball out 50 times and Calvin being Calvin resulted in a spectacular win bringing glory on Lions nation and the tears of our cowardly enemies, especially since we have seen exactly that same thing a hundred times. It is a picture that comes to mind easily, isn't it?
Now, I will ask you to conjure a more difficult picture. Try to think of a time when an offensively-minded opponent went TO San Francisco, threw the ball 40+ times on a windy afternoon and won in the fashion you were just imagining the Lions doing. I would bet that this is a SIGNIFICANTLY more difficult thing to do. Maybe imagining a scenario where that high-powered team comes in and get sacked, battered, intercepted, and humiliated is easier?
I am not writing this to defend the Lions' coaches' decisions on Sunday, nor to single out the arguments of any individuals here on this wonderful website. I am only writing this to point out how easy it is for us to say "We could have won if we did something differently. Throwing the ball more is something different. Therefore, we could have won if we threw the ball more." True or not, this is a logical fallacy.