Well, that was fun. In the last game of the season and with everything that’s about to happen starting tomorrow, the Lions went out and gave the fans something to be happy about with a 35-11 win over the Packers. Even though it wasn’t what they wanted to be happy about.
As always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.
I’m going to miss Matthew Stafford
It’s going to be hard to not be able to watch Stafford play for nearly nine months. Matthew had another amazing game on Sunday. Even though it means nothing in the end, it was still a fun game to watch. Stafford went 20-29 for 323 yards and three touchdowns. And he even did this.
Which brings me to my next point
Where has stuff like this been all year? The Lions have been wildly vanilla and one-dimensional all year long and on Sunday they suddenly look like their running the Annexation of Puerto Rico on every play.
It’s both confusing and irritating. The Lions could have used plays like this, and some of the others they ran on Sunday in many games this season. The Steelers game, where they had trouble getting in the end zone, immediately comes to mind.
But that’s it. That’s all the complaining I’m going to do in this piece. I know what’s coming tomorrow, and I’m happy with it. But for now, I’m just going to enjoy this last Lions win of the year.
Tate and Jones both hit 1,000 yards
Having two receivers go for 1,000 yards is a big deal. The Lions now have that again for the first time since 2014. And the good news is that neither of these guys are going anywhere. With Kenny Golladay and Eric Ebron in tout, it’s going to be very exciting to see what the Lions’ new coaching staff will do with these guys in 2018.
Ziggy got three sacks
Seriously, though. The Lions have the money to sign this guy. Everyone just calm down. He’s not going to get overpaid either. Martin Mayhew does not work here anymore.
Darius Slay caps off an All-Pro* year the right way
It means nothing in the end. The record books don’t change and nobody will likely remember it, but Slay grabbing his eighth interception on the season was kind of like one last pat on the back of Lions fans. Yeah, the season sucks and the team is in limbo again, but the Lions have the best cornerback in the league and it’s time to start saying it now.
This team and their turnovers
The Lions couldn’t stop a pack of wild three-toed sloths from getting to the end zone in 2017. But for some reason they could force turnovers like it was going out of style. They showed that again on Sunday when they forced another four turnovers to go with the 28 that they already had coming into the game.
The reason I bring this up is because of all the hopey and wishy feelings it’s got to give some of you. It’s a good sign that the Lions defense needs pieces instead of a massive overhaul. We’ll see what the draft and free agency will bring this team soon enough.
No longer alone
As most of you already know. The Browns lost to the Steelers 28-24 shortly after the Lions game ended. With that loss, the Cleveland Browns join the Lions as the only other team to go 0-16 in NFL history.
I personally have mixed feelings. On one hand, I feel bad. On the other, I feel like it’s time for the Lions organization and its fans to finally move on from the 2008 season. It’s over. It’s something that can happen more than once, it was nine years ago. Breathe a sigh of relief, Lions fans. And if you’re a strange person who thinks there was a curse on the Lions attached to this, well the curse is lifted.
Another season in the books
That’s going to do it. It’s been a fun year talking Lions with all of you. This will do it for What Just Happened? this season. But fret not, if you want to keep a piece of WJH with you for the next eight months, here’s the What Just happened soundtrack for your listening pleasure.
Fret not again. We here at POD aren’t going anywhere. Keep following us all offseason for all the news and opinion you could ask for. But for now, everyone pop some bottles and get your PowerLine on.