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Lions vs Broncos: What Just Happened?

A collection of thoughts on the Lions Week 14 loss

NFL: Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

What did you expect? The Detroit Lions, who were already a patchwork team, became a super patchwork team on Sunday after a mix of COVID-19 and the flu hit Allen Park. With half the practice squad competing, it’s no surprise, the Lions would go on to lose this game 38-10.

As always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts:

The Replacements

The only bad thing about the Lions having to bring in replacement players is that they didn’t bring in Shane Falco to help them win this game. You hate to see situations like this happen to any team in any sport. It sucks to see players get sick. It sucks to see anyone get sick.

Still, it’s kind of cool to see players that don’t often get opportunities, get that opportunity. Some of those guys capitalized on that. Craig Reynolds may have won himself an active roster spot after having a pretty good game. Shane Zylstra put out some ok tape too. The rest of the guys didn’t do anything that noticeably harmed the team, but they didn’t jump off the page either.

Netflix

Speaking of Reynolds and earning a roster spot, this guy should have had one all along. The Lions shocked fans when they cut him after a pretty good preseason. Reynolds did not waste his shot on Sunday. He hit the ground running and generated 83 yards on 11 carries. That’s 7.5 yards per carry. Additionally, Reynolds also caught two balls for 16 yards. Pretty good. Godwin Igwebuike did him a solid by fumbling twice (losing one). This should probably be enough to help Reynolds get on the roster for next week's game against the Cardinals.

Second Quarter Lions

Something happens to this team in the second quarter. It’s like they walk through the Stargate portal, and get some sort of powers and then walk back through. That’s what happened on that show right? I don’t know. I’ve never seen it. I just know there’s a portal involved. Anyways, I digress.

The point is that the Lions are somehow good in just this quarter. Jared Goff is throwing the ball nicely, the Lions are playing good defense, they’re running the ball well, and then putting points on the board. Then those Stargate powers—again I have no idea what this show is about—wear off. Then the Lions become the worst version of themselves. Turnovers aplenty and hilarious falling quarterback moments.

This is the 2021 Lions in one video clip

Of course the Lions lost, but that’s good coaching

I’m sure there will be a segment of Lions fans that will wholeheartedly disagree with this sentiment, but they’re wrong, so I don’t care. The Lions went into this game with an outbreak of Covid-19 and the flu, and were without both their starting running backs as well as their pro bowl tight end. Then they lost their best corner and their best linebacker early in the game. Still, the Lions went into halftime down 17-10 and still very much in the game.

Things eventually went expectedly sour, but you have to give credit to this coaching staff for taking a turd sandwich of a situation and turning it into a grilled cheese. I say grilled cheese because it’s good, but there are a lot of sandwiches that get the job done better than grilled cheese.

Alim got his first sack!

Demaryius Thomas

I want to end this week's What Just Happened by talking a little bit about Demaryius Thomas. I didn’t get to see Thomas play too much because he played in Denver and most of the football I watch is the Lions. But, this one hit home because Thomas was so close to my age. It really makes you think about how life isn’t guaranteed and you need to live to the fullest while you’re here.

When you read about Thomas, you see a man that went through a lot in life and didn’t let it stop him from achieving his dreams and having a fulfilling life. It also didn’t stop Thomas from giving back and making sure he touched others. When you see that infectious smile it makes you smile too.

If you take anything from this loss of a beautiful life, it’s that you can overcome if you put your all into it. Also, be sure to hug your loved ones and your friends.

RIP Demaryius Thomas.

Detroit Lions v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images