When I knew that I’d have the Lions vs. Patriots Song of the Game in this year’s playlist, my mind wandered with all of the directions I could take this. To Lions fans, this was one of the most important games on the schedule, and with a win, I could’ve gone “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead” or with one of the biggest bangers since the turn of the millennium “Since U Been Gone.”
But then the game actually happened and everything has changed. Now, it’s time to go back to emo’s predecessor, grunge.
Detroit Lions Week 5 Song of the Game: “Comedown” by Bush
‘Cause I don’t want to come back down from this cloud
It’s taken me all this time to find out what I need again
I don’t want to come back down from this cloud
It’s taken me all this, all this time
I just want to go back to “Hard Knocks.”
Many will now point to that moment as when we got hoodwinked. I’ve already seen unnecessarily cruel posts in the comment section calling fans naive and gullible for ever believing in this regime. We all got caught up in what was essentially just one big promotional video for the Detroit Lions.
But screw that. You should never shame someone for having faith or trying to be optimistic about the future. And to act like there weren’t actual reasons to believe in this team, this season, this regime is whitewashing the past. This team finished 3-3 last year with one of those losses only coming because Tim Boyle was still learning how to read a defense in live NFL action.
Dan Campbell is a phenomenal leader. That doesn’t necessarily make him a good football coach, but it certainly gives him a leg up. He brought together some well-respected coaches along with some up-and-coming leaders who showed promise in their first season.
The offense was kicking ass in the first weeks, and there were people—REAL NON-DETROIT PEOPLE—calling the Lions “fun.” Can you believe that? For an entire month, the Lions were actually fun. Not the butt of any jokes. Not the team that “we’re forced to watch on Thanksgiving.” People were excited to watch Lions games and fascinated by how they were winning on offense.
Even after last week’s loss to the Seahawks, 86 percent of you believed this franchise was headed in the right direction.
However, Sunday shook that belief to its core for many, if not most, of you. Even if the game wasn’t as bad as it looked—and it wasn’t—the fact of the matter is the Detroit Lions are 4-17-1 under Campbell, and that isn’t good enough no matter where you are in the rebuild. Injuries have hurt. No one would confuse this defensive roster as a superstar-filled set of players. But it’s hard to look at the last two weeks specifically and not believe this team is also at a coaching disadvantage.
And that’s where this all hurts. That’s what makes it so hard to let go of that optimism. I don’t want want to come down from this cloud, because so much of what this regime is doing is the right way to do things. They know how to relate to today’s players. They don’t wait long when things are going wrong to change things up. The general manager already has some serious hits in his first two drafts. That’s certainly more than what we got from the previous regime.
Sleep the day, let it fade
Who was there, take your place
Speaking of which, this was supposed to be a game about Matt Patricia. Either him taking revenge against the team that fired him and essentially turned him into a villain (though Patricia did plenty on his own to build that case), or for the Lions and their fans to take a shot back at the coach that dragged this team back to the bottom after they had worked so hard to pry themselves out of 0-16.
But the truth of the matter is that Patricia was just a sideshow to this game. I expected him to dominate the FOX coverage, and they showed him less than a handful of times.
All of the Lions players who had beef with Patricia are gone, injured, or not interested in opening old wounds. Any of the lingering anger and spite was coming solely from the fans, and Sunday left them understandably unsatisfied.
However, Patricia had little to do with the game. He didn’t come up with some brilliant scheme to take down Detroit. New England put up 22 points against one of the worst defenses in the league. They went 0-for-4 in the red zone. Bailey Zappe didn’t tear apart the Lions defense. He completed just two passes beyond 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, and one of those was a touchdown between two Lions defenders who have likely never taken a first-team rep in practice in their careers. No, this was a game about the Lions imploding and the Patriots just kinda standing there watching it happen.
In a way, it’s just a relief to have this game—and the Patricia era—finally behind us. It would’ve been nice to go out slaying the demon and letting fans taste the blood of a sacrifice, but I’ll honestly take just letting this one fade away. See you in four years when it’s Patriots head coach Matt Patricia (if you make it that long).
Sorry, had to get one more parting shot in there.
You can find the 2022 playlist here (or below):