Desperate to hold on to Stan Kroenke's coattails and ride that wild horse out for the coast, Jeff Fisher knew he had to satiate his dark lord. But the Werther's Originals were no longer doing the trick. No, he needed more desperate measures. While visiting Washington University in St. Louis he overhead tales of a terrible power buried deep in the heart of the Rub' al Khali, an ancient weapon raised in the crucible of Athens. It sounded familiar; in fact, maybe he had buried it there himself during one of his wild benders up around Lafayette Square.
He knew he had to find it. He hired a guide and a camel and three jugs of water and set out for the wastes. After thirteen days of endless wandering and five dead camels and one dead guide, he beheld a great edifice of angry faced demons rising out of the sand. Was this it? Yes. He entered the great hall and beheld it. The ancient Sumerian weapon of destruction that he had lost sometime around October. Todd Gurley.
Sunday. The Lions staggered into St. Louis, curious at first why they had been led to Busch Stadium when they asked to be taken to "the sports venue" although they quickly corrected the mistake. Jeff Fisher played his card close to the chest. After all, Case Keenum would be starting, and for as crazed and stupid as the notion might be, that kind of college throwing was right where it could hurt the Lions worst: right over the middle.
They also had Aaron Donald, and for three hours all Lions fans could do was sit and complain about how they had Eric Ebron instead. Quickly, Donald got right up and went after Matthew Stafford, and the moaning and insufferable bellyaching grew louder in Lionsland. It's a real place, look it up.
But as the Lions found their footing, a sweeping sandstorm rushed inside Edward Jones Dome. Stafford was befuddled quickly and chucked the ball into the waiting hands of Trumaine Johnson, who rushed the ball back for a the first score on the day.
For a while then, all was silent. The Lions shuffled into the locker room for halftime after the referees decided to call a chop block where there was none -- a boner that was surprising and shocking to no one given the nature of this season. Not to worry. The Lions came out roaring and Golden Tate grabbed a Stafford touchdown midway through the third quarter. It was tied; victory was back in sight.
Then he emerged. Gleaming and gold, an ancient conqueror lost in the sands of time. His herald had passed through earlier. Now, the true terror took the field. Todd Gurley took the ball and rammed it through the Lions defense again and again.
The Rams were back on top as the golem powered through. Then two scores as he battered again and again. The Lions had nothing. They were mere men up against a god. Nothing could be done. Despondence crept over the sidelines and the buses warmed up.
Somewhere lost in this was Matthew Stafford, hapless and confused. He had just beat Dan Marino to be the first to 25,000 yards in the fewest games (90 to Marino's 92). But it felt small and helpless against the power of the Todd and the strikes of Aaron Donald. Calvin Johnson was out there, somewhere, in that storm. He couldn't find him. Where was Megatron?
The storm was violent, malevolent. An onside kick could not save them as Aaron Donald emerged from the winds to attack Stafford again and again, and the Lions fans at home grew louder in their impotent rage at a long-gone GM. Sound, fury, rage, elements. The Lions were picked up and swept out of St. Louis by the storm's might. Kroenke looked on the field and huffed. If only that storm could carry his team out of Missouri.
The Lions dropped to 4-9.