The title of this article says it all: It ain’t easy being a Lions fan.
After Monday night’s game, where yet the Lions snatched victory from the jaws of defeat yet again, I questioned my own sanity as to why I am so loyal this this team.
Can’t be because of the four NFL Championship games they won, they all occurred before I was a twinkle in my Daddy’s eye.
Prior to the game, I was pondering which jersey to wear. Should I honor my hometown team and wear my number 15 Golden Tate III or should I wear my number 31 Kam Chancellor to honor the team I have watched since I moved here in 1989.
The pull was to great, I wore the Golden Tate III jersey. Because I wanted to see my Lions come to Seattle, the league’s loudest stadium with the most loyal fans and do something great.
The Seahawks were plumb for the taking, having started out with road losses against the St. Louis Rams and the Green Bay Packers. The game against the Chicago Bears was a great effort by the Seahawks and as much as I love the Lions is about as much as I dislike the Bears. After the 26-0 shutout, I felt that it couldn’t have happen to a better team.
But being a Lions fan is to suffer strange losses and heartbreak. The loss to the Seahawks wasn’t the strangest…forget the batted ball rule…Kam Chancellor made one helluva play to knock that ball lose. And Calvin Johnson himself said that “bottom line, I have got to hang on to the ball.”
As for the no call on KJ Wright for batting the ball out of bounds, it really is a non-issue…if Johnson had hung on to the ball, the defense, which really played great in this game, would have had to stop the Hawks with 1:51 left in the game.
Now despite the Lions recovering three fumbles and sacking Seattle’s Russell Wilson 6 times, the Lions were still having a very hard time containing him. There were scrambles that Wilson made that looked like he was coached by Twyla Tharp.
But here’s the thing: The Detroit Lions did play a very good defensive game. Despite the fact the Seahawks didn’t have Marshawn Lynch, they contained that offense pretty well…and to hold a team that had averaged 24 points a game over the last three games to only 13 is saying something.
But now we get to the crux of the issue, the Detroit Lions offense. After dropping 21 points in the first half on the San Diego Chargers in the opening game of the season, the Lions became predictable. Golden Tate came out and said that opposing teams knew what was coming.
And watching the game against the Seahawks, in the first three quarters, I was about 75% correct on what they were going to do…and I’m no expert at reading offenses.
But in the fourth quarter, the Lions offense suddenly came awake. With 6:24 left in the game, the Lions put together a masterful 91-yard drive that could have driven the Seahawks into panic mode until the fumble in the end zone.
During that drive, the Seahawks didn’t know what hit them. Stafford was masterful with pin-point precision, hitting four different receivers driving them to the 11 yard line, setting up the fateful play.
And it’s at this time you want to go to your best players. Stafford drifted back, looked for the best wide receiver on the planet and connected. And Calvin did what every bone in his body said to do: Fight to get over the goal line…and a special play by a special player in Kam Chancellor put the Lions at 0-4.
Here’s what gets me about Matthew Stafford. During that drive, he got what Golden Tate called “that look in his eye” that would give him the focus to put the Lions on his back and drive them to victory. It’s one of the reasons Tate said he wanted to come to the Lions.
If there is any hope for this season, Matt Stafford has to get that “look in his eye” from the opening kick-off until the final gun. It’s his team, he needs to own it.
And Joe Lombardi, quit being an old lady and take the shackles off. Convince Jim Caldwell that the current ball-control offense isn’t working and start taking some chances early in the game instead of always in desperation mode.
It’s time to awaken the Lion.