Here we are once more. Another week of Lions football has come and gone, and once more, it was a game of ‘what ifs.' This is week five of what we learned; and in this past game, Detroit travelled to Minnesota to battle the Vikings in what would conclude the first wave of divisional matchups. Funny enough, all three of our first divisional games have come on the road. In fact, every road game we've had thus far has been division opponents.
Admittedly, I was barely able to watch most of the game. I wasn't able to see exactly what happened, so I can only make some generalizations from what I saw. Because of this, this version will be shorter, though thankfully, it tells a familiar tale of what happened earlier this season.
Lions win battle of most cursed franchises
Okay, the Lions didn't exactly ‘win' the battle. But they did win something; the point that no team is more cursed than they are. It's a bit of a mind-bender, but consider how the game ended. The Lions were out to try and grab their first win after a crazy come-from-behind surge. The Vikings made it down into field goal range and yet we all know their fortune with kickers. The same guy who couldn't kick a game winning chip shot against Arizona a few weeks ago stepped up to try and give the Vikings the win.
Minnesota has always had a rough time with kickers. Some should know Gary Anderson and the legacy of the Vikings' 15-1 season. Most should know Blair Walsh and the failed kick. I don't need to say anything else about that. You know what I'm talking about. And yet, the Lions proved to the world that they and they alone are the most cursed franchise. For the second time in three weeks, the Lions would lose on a long field goal and the game would end 19-17.
Tucker breaks the record on one kick, and then Joseph drove the dagger into the heart of Lions fans yet again. Vikings conquer their curse before Detroit, which we all knew was the more likely scenario.
Well... we tried. Goff will not be Detroit's savior
This is just in case you need a cold reminder: the losses are piling up. The gut-punches are becoming unbearable. Jared Goff's turnovers are becoming ridiculous. After a couple games of relatively okay play, Goff has regressed back into what he was in LA; a game-manager, at best. The Vikings don't exactly have a spectacular defense, and they weren't at full strength either.
And yet, Goff barely posts a 66% completion percentage on 35 attempts, barely eclipses 200 yards and committed two turnovers. It should have been three, but thankfully, Harrison Smith couldn't capitalize on a horrible read from number 16. Goff's albatross contract is the reason he's kept right now. They tried their best to give Goff a fresh start. It failed badly. Sure, Goff wasn't in the best of situations, but wasn't he in a great one in LA and he still failed?
Some things aren't meant to be. With luck, next year will be a new quarterback in training. It may not happen because, again, that contract is brutal. It carries a lot of weight, and who knows how much it affects the Lions decisions moving forward.
Call me crazy, but today was one of the best case scenarios for Detroit
If you call me nuts, that's perfectly fine; I'm pretty pessimistic after all. But here's the thing: the Lions didn't deserve this win. The Vikings played poorly. We played poorly. We didn't score a touchdown until there was less than a minute left in the game. Does a team that plays that badly deserve a victory? I don't think so.
In the end, the Vikings proved that if they can barely keep up with a talent-depleted and injury-ravaged core like Detroit, that they'll likely be a 7 or 8-win team this year. Detroit fought well defensively, and they're missing arguably their most important player in Romeo Okwara. We all know this: Detroit is not contending this season. If you disagree, stop kidding yourself. So, why not tank for the number one pick? Let's go all in here; we kept it close and competitive.
The Vikings narrowly escape. The Lions fight until the bitter end. It was ugly, yes. But in the long run, we have to hope that when this team is healthy, free of all-Patricia style players and flush with talent, the scales will finally tip in our favor.
Stock Up: Dan Campbell
This all has to do with what happened after the game. Dan Campbell's postgame press conference was an emotional one. Rather than rip his players for giving up yet another last second field goal, he broke into tears, supporting his players and saying how crushed he was for them to lose in agonizing and heartbreaking fashion yet again.
This press conference has begun to go viral, with almost every fan and critic in the league supporting the Lions head coach. Since he's taken over at the helm, Detroit is 0-8, counting preseason. I honestly feel horribly for the guy and the players; it's not like they've been getting blown out every game. In fact, three of their five games they've played in they've lost by a single score. Those games came against the 49ers, Ravens and Vikings. All three of those teams were considered to be fairly solid to elite entering this season.
Campbell is the guy Detroit needs. Once the injuries leave, once the first rounders begin to make it happen, this team can be great. I have all the confidence in the world in him. Let's let the kneecaps come to us. This season is a stepping-stone. Don't lose focus of the big picture.
How many wins will the Lions have at the end of the season? Let me know!