Just as the prophecy foretold, the Detroit Lions would lose to the Carolina Panthers. They never stood a chance. It wasn’t because Dan Campbell didn’t have his team ready. It wasn’t because the run defense was as bad as its been all year long. It wasn’t even because of the fumbled exchange between Frank Ragnow and Jared Goff.
It was my turn in the rotation to choose the song of the game, and of that four person rotation, I’m the only one who hasn’t had the chance to write about a victory. Back during the 2016 season, the inaugural year for the ‘Song of the Game’ series, this was intended to be a fun exercise where we could meld together Lions football and music to help us get out what needed to be said.
As Craig Owens, lead singer of Chiodos, once said, “This is probably the best, not to mention the worst idea, that I have ever had.”
Detroit Lions Week 16 Song of the Game: “Baby, You Wouldn’t Last a Minute on the Creek” by Chiodos
Turn around and head in different directions
Like we never
It’s like we never knew each other at all
I swore this Lions defense could stop the run. I mean, there’s a ton of data to point to since Detroit turned their season around after the 1-6 start. Aaron Jones, Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Cook, all of them absolutely, positively shut down by this run defense. There wasn’t a chance the Panthers were going to be the team that bucked that trend.
Writing up last week’s scouting report, I couldn’t help but notice how hot and cold the Panthers running game had been since they moved on from Christian McCaffrey—and the games where the run game ran hot, it was against teams like the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks. Detroit wasn’t one of those defenses.
240 rushing yards allowed at the half. 320 rushing yards allowed against the Panthers in Week 16. The Lions had allowed 167 rushing yards in their last three games combined. Talk about turning around and heading in a completely different direction. Sort of like Ifeatu Melifonwu on that speed option by Sam Darnold.
Sam Darnold working the option to perfection— NFL (@NFL) December 24, 2022
: #DETvsCAR on FOX
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/aQ9rhBNPjo pic.twitter.com/NKZxZhSukW
Ignoring what we’ve felt
Overlooking what we’ve done
What do you say?
There’s not much left to say about last week’s game. It was Detroit’s worst effort in two months. The Lions had put themselves in the thick of the wild card hunt in the NFC, and this was the kind of loss that seemingly dried up any and all goodwill the team had built over a stretch that saw them win six out of seven games.
I had a good friend of mine text me after the game that the Lions didn’t look like a playoff team against the Panthers, and that they don’t deserve a playoff spot after that kind of performance. To that, I have to say, welcome to an NFL where the team that earns the third wild card spot probably doesn’t look like a playoff team each and every week. We can’t be so quick to forget that the 9-7-1 Pittsburgh Steelers earned a chance to get their teeth kicked in by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round last year, 42-21. The 9-8 Philadelphia Eagles got swatted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the other side of the bracket, 31-15.
Let’s just stop
Forget each other’s names
Can we please just walk away?
It could be...
It could be...
Like we never knew each other at all
This Panthers game could be lost to the ether if the Lions go out and win their final two games and make the playoffs. Nobody would think twice about this terrible, awful performance if Detroit earns a playoff berth this season. And if Detroit is going to make a final push for the playoffs, they’re going to need to have a short memory after this game.
Each week, we’ll be providing a Song of the Game to create a full-season playlist. You can listen to previous year’s soundtracks right here: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
You can find the 2022 playlist here (or below):