Now admittedly a fortnight is fourteen days and we’ve had fifteen with Monday Night Football but come along with me here. Back in the day, before Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, the Pepsi/Coke challenge for Tarantino movies was between Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Dogs generally won the art house vote with its low budget and cutting off ears to fantastic soundtracks, but I really liked Pulp Fiction as much, if not more. I think Pulp Fiction was edited better and it kept us forgetting that John Travolta was dead by having him in the last scene with Samuel L. Jackson and his wallet in the diner. We left on a high, like the first game against San Francisco. Well, at least I did. The Lions didn’t give up and we lost keeping our heads held high.
Imagine Pulp Fiction without that diner scene or as a flashback early in the movie? Well, that was Monday’s game against the Packers. We started the game well and went into the half ahead. Vincent and Jules were walking off in their horrendous borrowed t-shirts but it was only the start of the third quarter. And then we lost a very good rookie cornerback for a month at least. On the other side of the ball, the rain affected Jared Goff to the tune of two turnovers and one recovered fumble. We didn’t score anything in the second half.
The momentum shift (sorry Jeremy) came early during Green Bay’s first drive of the second half. Iffy tried to slap the ball away from Davante Adams and then clutched his thigh and went down. Adams completed that huge pass on a 3rd and 12, which stopped our defense from claiming a three and out. As good at on-the-fly game planning that Aaron Glenn has shown, losing their best cornerback after losing their previously best cornerback the week before was too much. He couldn’t run single high safety anymore and thus lost an extra man nearer the line of scrimmage, to help out with the middle. The middle really needed it too. The Packers scored and we got the ball back.
With Green Bay in the lead for the first time, Jared Goff starts off down the field. Joe Barry—the new Green Bay DC and former Lions DC during the 2008 winless season—had made a tweak to his system by letting Rashan Gary and Preston Smith come off the field during first and second downs, saving their energy for pass rushing on third downs. Anthony Lynn took advantage of that adjustment and let Goff make a huge throw to Trinity Benson in the end zone on a 1st and 10. Trinity was completely wide open. Unfortunately, just not in the place Jared thought he was meant to be and so a Packers safety almost picked him off. It was still only second down but Goff looked rattled. The Lions almost swiftly took the lead back and let’s face it, that’s definitely not how these games in Lambeau have played out. After a few shaky plays, the Lions managed to maintain the drive until Amon-Ra St Brown wasn’t able to catch Goff’s ball at 3rd and 8 and get to the other side of the sticks. So, at 4th and 1, Dan Campbell says go for it and we’re all glad that he did. Well at the time, I was at least.
Hindsight really is the worst. In imitating the Seattle Super Bowl contenders who had Beast Mode, I have no idea why we threw the ball rather than rush for that yard. For that matter, and as treasonous as it sounds, a field goal would have made the score 20-21… So the Packers’ first round pick in this year’s draft, corner back Eric Stokes, makes a truly excellent defensive play and breaksg up the pass to Cephus. The Packers have the ball back and Aaron Rodgers picks on next men up, Bobby Price and Jerry Jacobs, UDFAs who actually play pretty well under the circumstances. Its just that Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Davonte Adams and Bobby Tonyan are really, really good.
To wrap up, we did not give up but it was too much for us to get another kneecap. I still feel there were many positives from Lambeau, it just depends how you edit it and what you focus on. Go Lions!!!