Mar. 06, 2019
Lions Fail to fall short in week one
The Detroit Lions have left an awful taste in my mouth. That game felt like a Nigerian scam email: you start out thinking you can receive $25 Million by giving up $100,000, but then they steal that one hundred thousand, but this game ended in the money defaulting to the bank. It was that bad. A week one tie is the most pathetic deflated balloon of a start, like a sad fart.
The game started out slow for the Lions, with a scoreless first quarter but quickly picked up in the second with 17 points. It looked like smooth sailing from there, and with 14:45 left in the fourth quarter and the Lions having a comfortable 24-6 lead, my family, feeling confident of the eventual outcome of the game, left the bar we where watching the game at. My uncle cautiously warned that the Lions were going to fumble away the game and not close the fourth quarter, but I waved aside this cynicism, feeling confident of the coaching and closing ability of our team.
When I came home I was greeted to the horror of the Cardinals with the ball, driving down the field, down 24-16, with three minutes left, and Kyler Murray looking like a completely different man than the first half of the game. I watched in dismay as they made first down after first down and eventually scored and then capped it off with a two point conversion.
In overtime, the Lions lost the coin toss and immediately gave up a 60 yard bomb to Larry Fitzgerald, setting up the Cardinals in the red zone. I thought the game was lost, but the defense made an excellent stop and forced the field goal. The Lions then drove down the field, looking like their second quarter selves, but then met the same fate they had enforced upon the Cards a drive earlier, and were forced to settle for a field goal.
The Lions then stopped the Cardinals on their next drive and with a minute left in overtime, couldn’t manage anything to get anything going except almost throwing the game away on an errant throw that almost resulted in an interception.
The game ended in a tie, the stupidest, most pathetic way any sporting event can end in. It leaves a disgusting taste of dissatisfaction in our mouths from the lack of an outcome of the game you had just been watching for three hours. There's a reason no other major sports in the US can end in a tie, because it’s a terrible, ugly and sickly way to end a game.
The silver lining from this game: the Lions’ rookies played valiantly, as T.J Hockenson had the most receiving yards for a tight end in his debut game in NFL history, with 131 yards and a touchdown to cap it all off. On the other side of the ball, Jahlani Tavai wreaked havoc all day coming off blitzes into the Cardinals backfield and even recorded a sack, exactly what the Lions wanted to see from him.
The Lions fatal flaw in this game, however, was the lack of an ability to adjust to the new offense looks that the Cardinals offense gave them in the fourth quarter as well as the fatigue from defending against Kyler Murray’s 54 pass attempts set in, they let the W slip away from their yearning fingertips. The ability to adjust and close games will be improved upon as the season goes on, and I believe Mathew Stafford can reignite the comeback spark from three years ago with new pieces and a new offense to work with.
Despite the less than desirable outcome, the Lions looked ready to surprise people this season. The offense is starting to click and the new acquisitions from this offseason look ready to compete in a big way. Don’t be surprised if these team winds up in the playoff hunt later this year.