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Lions vs. Ravens: What just happened?

A collection of thoughts on the Lions’ heartbreaking loss

Baltimore Ravens v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

It has to be a curse, right? It just has to be. Of all the ways to lose a game, that one has to hurt the worse. The Detroit Lions put forth, by far, their best effort all season and at the end of the day, it was an NFL record 66-yard field goal that beat them 19-17. Just heartbreaking stuff.

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

It’s okay to cry

The Lions were on the verge. They were almost there. All they had to do was hope a man couldn’t do something that no other man has ever done. Sadly, that man did that thing. Justin Tucker’s 66-yard field goal for the win just encapsulates what it’s like to be a Lions fan more than anything in the world. Nobody has ever kicked that far before. It was 3 yards beyond the previous NFL record.

Of course it went in, but it didn’t just go in. First it had to bounce off the goal post just to give Lions fans one more glimmer of hope before the football gods reached into their chests and tore out their still-beating hearts. If you’re not hurt, you’re a robot.

Wait, is the Lions defense alright?

This was supposed to be a bloodbath. I had the Baltimore Ravens winning 42-17 in our staff picks this week. Instead, the Lions defense played a very competent game out there. They were able to shut down the Ravens run game, and at times they were able to keep Lamar Jackson from having his way with his feet and they even forced a key turnover late in the game.

Even on the game’s final drive, the defense came alive and swarmed Lamar Jackson. Sadly, they got lackadaisical when it came to the fourth down play and it ultimately killed them.

Regardless of the outcome, this is kind of performance you want to see from a very young group. These are the things that give hope for the future. These are thing things you build on. Also, thank you to Hollywood Brown for dropping three touchdowns.

Chef Swift

The biggest phenomenon for the Lions this season is this crazy new fad called a run game. It’s a European way of playing the game and I’m not sure I’m pronouncing it right. I think it’s Run-Ja-mey. I’m not sure.

Either way, Swift is leading the charge for this team, and on Sunday he had himself a game. Swift really turned it on in the third quarter and never slowed down. The former Georgia Bulldog ended the game with 47 rushing yards (and 60 receiving yards) and a touchdown. The Lions must continue to let Swift get in the kitchen and cook his menu. By the way, Jamaal Williams is great sous chef. He chipped in 42 yards and a touchdown himself.

Also Swift can fly.

Alex Anzalone

Dude, where has this been? Anzalone had a 29.7 PFF grade coming into this game. It felt like a matter of time before he found himself on the bench in favor of younger players. He must have heard PFF, because he had himself a comeback game on Sunday and capped it off with a gigantic sack in the fourth quarter one play before Lamar Jackson threw a pick to Amani Oruwariye. Here’s hoping Anzalone shows more of this going forward.

Speaking of sacks,

The Lions got sacks!

Look at the stones on Santoso

Ryan Santoso has had a crazy couple weeks. He got released by the Titans four days ago and signed to the Lions practice squad. This week he got moved up to the active roster when Austin Seibert went on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He came in with a career high of 29 yards and lined up for what looked like a potential game-winning field goal. After standing there for like 20 minutes while the officials fooled around with the clock, he nailed the kick and gave the Lions their first lead of the day. That’s just a good story.


You ever see that movie “Click?” Adam Sandler gets a remote control that allows him to skip forward in time to the time in his life when everything works out for him. Sometimes I wish I had something like that for the Lions. It would be nice to fast forward to when the Lions are about to win the Super Bowl. The only issue with that fast forward function is that once he got to that time when everything was great, everything else was really bad and it didn’t work out after all. I fear that if I fast forwarded to the Lions Super Bowl, I might fast forward to my death. Losses like Sunday’s make you think about stuff like that.

I guess at the end Sandler learned that living each moment is what you have to do. Even the bad ones. I think that relates to building a good football team too. I think the Lions have been trying to fast forward to the good part for a long time and maybe that’s the reason it hasn’t worked out. Games like today are the type of moments that you need to live through as a team. You have to learn from it and keep going. You have to slow burn this thing. It’s the only way.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.