Different week, same story. That's what Lions fans and players are thinking right now. For the second consecutive week, the Lions have blown a lead in the 4th quarter, and because of that, have lost their 5th straight game of the season. It was just one week ago in St. Louis when Detroit had the game in control and just gave up the lead late and lost. In week 5 at Minnesota, the same thing happened. The Vikings trailed 17-3 going into the final quarter of play, and via a few lucky breaks, were able to score 23 unanswered to pull off the comeback win.
Yes, I assume most fans are used to it by now. The constant promise at the start of every game and then the failure by the time things are all over. I'm definitely starting to get sick of it. So many times already this season Detroit had a great chance to win a game, and then let it slip through their fingers. Usually, teams that are 0-5 don't play as close as their record may seem. It's the opposite with the Lions. They've played pretty decent in every game except at Chicago, but came up short every time.
As stated earlier, things did start off very good for Detroit. In the 1st quarter there wasn't much at all that happened, but in the 2nd quarter, it was all Lions.
Detroit got their first points of the day on one of the coolest plays I've seen in quite some time by the Lions. Detroit had it 3rd and 7 from the Minnesota 8 yard line. Jon Kitna and center Dominic Raiola talked things over at the line of scrimmage, and just went off by themselves after the snap. As soon as the ball got into the hands of Jon Kitna, he ran right up the middle of the field with no one in position to make the tackle and got into the endzone. That made things 7-3 Lions.
Before the half ended, Detroit added a field goal. So, after the first 30 minutes of play, the Lions held a commanding 10-3 lead.
Onto the 3rd quarter, the Lions great play continued. Jon Kitna drove down the field and hooked up with tight end Dan Campbell from 12 yards out for the touchdown. Some controversy to who actually scored the TD could be raised as when Campbell was about to cross the goal line, he fumbled and Dominic Raiola fell on it. The ruling was that Campbell scored, but he clearly fumbled before breaking the plane. Nonetheless, Lions led 17-3 with one quarter to go.
Now, it was time for the team that plays well for the first 3 quarters to stop and go into that mode where nothing goes right. First, it was a 3 yard TD pass from Brad Johnson to Travis Taylor. The lead was down to just 7, and you could sense something bad was about to happen.
That bad thing was worse than anyone could've expected. Jon Kitna was hit down by his own endzone and fumbled the ball backwards. Almost immediately, Ben Leber picked it up and was in the endzone. Just like that things could be tied. Notice, I said could be. The extra point was blocked, so Minnesota still trailed 17-16. I thought to myself, maybe that's a good sign of things to come.
Well, apparently not. Detroit's offense couldn't get going and in turn, Minnesota was able to get the ball back and convert a 20 yard field goal. With that, the Vikings had a 19-17 lead with time quickly running down.
Nothing new to this Lions team would be having to come up with a late score to salvage a victory. So far, they haven't been successful yet this season, and would look to snap that streak. Only one problem: the Minnesota defense. The Vikings "D" stepped it up, I'll give them credit. Eventually on the key drive, they forced a 4th down for the game, and Jon Kitna just didn't have anywhere to go. Kitna had absolutely no one open, so he just threw it anywhere he could to try and hope for a miracle. He completed the pass, but to E.J. Henderson of the Vikings. 45 yards later and the ballgame was over. Vikings win 26-17.
I still don't know how this one got away, but I have some idea of it. One of the 1st things that comes to mind is injuries, injuries, and more injuries. On the 1st possession of this game alone, Roy Williams and Damien Woody were carted off the field in what became a day filled with banged up Lions. I've never seen a team with worse luck than this when it comes to starters getting knocked out of games.
The 2nd thing that comes to mind is the inability to close out a game. As I said, all the games have been close if you take out the blowout at Chicago. In every one the Lions had a chance to win it in the 4th quarter, but just made a dumb mistake somewhere down the road and couldn't rebound from it.
Although the record says 0-5, and the rest of the season looks bleak, I've seen plenty of good things from this team. The Lions will look to get that coveted first win next Sunday when Buffalo comes to town. The Bills defeated Detroit to end the preseason at Ford Field, so using that and the fact that 0-6 is nails on a chalk board to all of these players and coaches, I think Detroit has got a great chance in this one. Out of all the games so far on the schedule, this one presents the best chance for a victory. Same time, same place next week. Please, let Lions nation be at peace by getting a win Detroit. Eventually all of this bad luck has to end, right?