How about another heartbreaking loss? The Detroit Lions went to Minnesota on a four-game losing streak and dropped another one in a fashion that makes you want to rip your eyeballs out of your own head. This time, they lost 19-17 in possibly their worst offensive performance of the year.
As always, here are my thoughts on this game.
The football gods looked down on the Lions and said “beat the Vikings’ and the Lions screamed back “no!”
The Vikings committed dumb penalties, turned the ball over, and just generally ran a terrible offensive game plan all day long. They gave the Lions at least four chances to take control of the game, but the Lions predictably responded with short passes and short runs. The Lions threw underneath on third down multiple times and consistently came up short. This team just can’t get it done. Forget finishing games, this team is struggling to finish a drive. It’s going to be a long season.
It’s not the Bobby Layne curse, it’s the 19-17 curse
Don’t adjust your TV Lions fans. This was not a re-run. The Lions lost 19-17 to the Ravens on a big field goal just two weeks ago. On Sunday they did the same exact thing again. The Lions grabbed the lead late in the game and then lost on a long field goal yet again.
Lions’ fans will probably wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and scream “19-17!” at some point this week.
The patchwork offensive line sort of worked
The Vikings usually rack up the sacks against the Lions, so naturally, with the Lions losing Frank Ragnow to IR, Penei Sewell being banged up, and Taylor Decker not quite ready to return, it felt like the Vikings turf management team would be picking up pieces of Jared Goff well into Monday afternoon. But this line held strong. They did allow a few sacks, but they also allowed Jared Goff time to make five-yard throws and the running backs to have some decent runs. Good on these guys for showing up on Sunday.
The Lions defense did everything they could
I’m not the guy that typically hands out the game balls here at Pride Of Detroit, but I’m going to hand one out today. This defense is super young and inexperienced, but they hung in there with the Vikings all game long and gave the Lions' offense a chance to get back into the game. They didn’t shoot themselves in the foot with dumb penalties and for the most part, they didn’t allow the big plays to overcome them. They even forced a couple turnovers, including a major fumble late in the fourth quarter. The Lions are far away from their desired destination, but performances like this certainly point towards a brighter future.
Wait. I almost forgot something.
The Lions got sacks
Do the Lions win this game without Goff?
A lot of Lions fans were asking this question on Twitter on Sunday. It’s not hard to argue that the Lions probably win this game with Matthew Stafford at the helm. Jared Goff just isn’t it and he’s not going to be it.
At one point in time, this former number one overall pick was next in line to be a great quarterback in the NFL. Today he looks like a shell of that guy. Not just a shell though, like a shell that’s cracked. Like Goff is Humpty Dumpty and I don’t think all the king's horses and all the king's men can put him back together again.
So yeah, I think they win with a different quarterback.
As if things couldn't get any worse on the injury front, the Lions lost a few more players in Sunday’s game. Most notably Quintez Cephus, who has shown that he can be the Lions only consistent deep threats, went down early in the game with an apparent shoulder injury. He did not return. The Lions also lost two more players from their secondary when Corey Ballentine and Jerry Jacobs left the game. Not much is known about those injuries. I’m sure we’ll find out soon though.
Will this team win a game?
You know I just don’t know anymore. I’ve often told people that it’s really hard to have a winless season and it really is. It’s tough to go an entire season without even accidentally winning a game. With injuries, heartbreaking losses, and the occasional blowout all combined with how bad this team is on offense, it’s not hard to believe that the Lions could go winless... again.
I certainly hope this doesn't happen.