I’m not going to lie: I was feeling a little uninspired this week when trying to think of a song to perfectly describe Sunday’s letdown game between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings. So based on Detroit’s embarrassing defensive performance, I simply typed the words “Can’t stop” into Spotify and waited for the algorithm to spit out some manufactured inspiration for me.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a song I had never heard of by Tom Morello, famously of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. “Can’t Stop The Bleeding” provided the perfect title, so I gave it a listen, and here we are.
Detroit Lions - Minnesota Vikings Week 7 Song of the Game: “Can’t Stop The Bleeding” by Tom Morello (feat. Gary Clark Jr. & Gramatik)
The song kicks off as a typical-sounding Morello song with a strong electric guitar lead but with a bluesy twang and melancholy lyrics. It’s by no means a flashy song, but it nicely fits Morello’s strengths and brings enough genre blending to bring some intrigue without annoying over-the-top poppiness like, say, “Old Town Road.”
The Lions entered Week 7 with a similar identity. They weren’t killing teams, like the 49ers and Patriots, but their offense looked just interesting enough to think their star quarterback could lead this team on a streak, especially after an emotional loss on Monday night. The Lions looked like a decent, but unspectacular team.
Defensively, we knew the team had its flaws, but the secondary was playing so damn well, it didn’t seem to matter at all. This team was different.
Sound like this,
every fool bought it
Last Thursday, we asked Lions fans if they were still confident in the direction of the team, despite their mediocre 2-2-1 start. 80 percent of you said yes. The Lions were still on the right track, and the Vikings were the unfortunate souls that had to face the furious anger of a snakebitten Lions team.
The Vikings had other plans.
Frayed like myth
Every fool caught it
Kirk Cousins completed passes to seven different receivers, including five to each of his tight ends and four to someone named Bisi Johnson. By passer rating, it was Cousins’ seventh-best game of his entire career, and it came against a Lions pass defense that was understandably being named one of the best in the league through six weeks.
But as we all chanted and roared about almost-wins and officiating malpractice, we missed the part where we were hemorrhaging from our underbelly. The problems that were “exposed” on Sunday afternoon were the same that had been draining this team from the beginning. No pass rush. No ability to stop the run.
Can’t stop the bleeding, calling
Can’t stop the bleeding, oh
About halfway through “Can’t Stop The Bleeding,” the song inexplicably turns into some kind of EDM/trap song. It’s basically unrecognizable from any other Tom Morello song in existence, and it just doesn’t work. It’s weird, it’s awkward, and it doesn’t make any sense.
Last year, Damon Harrison Sr. came to Detroit and gave the Lions a key piece missing in Matt Patricia’s defense: a run-stuffing nose tackle. Immediately, we saw the results. In the final eight games of the season, the Lions allowed just 3.43 yards per carry and 77.6 rushing yards per game.
In 2019—around the halfway point of Snacks’ Lions career thus far—Detroit’s run defense has turned into an unrecognizable mess. 139.2 yards per game allowed. 4.9 yards per carry. Harrison puts the blame on himself, and knows he has to turn it around and turn it around quick.
“I just got to get better and get better fast.”
But with Saquon Barkley coming to town and a trip to visit the Oakland Raiders’ top-10 rushing attack the following week, I’m not sure the Lions can stop the bleeding.
Song of the Game is an opportunity for our staff to express their weekly feelings of being a Lions fan, but through the art of song. Each week, we’ll provide a song that perfectly encapsulates the Lions’ game and how we experienced it. By the end of the year, we’ll have a full Spotify playlist telling the story of the 2019 Detroit Lions season.
You can listen to previous year’s soundtracks right here: 2016, 2017, 2018
You can catch up on all of our Song of the Week choices right here. And our season-long Spotify list is embedded below (if you can’t see it, click here)