Lions beat Packers, but at what cost?
It had been 24 years since the Lions had last won at Lambeau field. Through the Brett Favre years, the game that won Matt Flynn millions in free agency, to last year’s pivotal matchup which determined the winner of the NFC North, the Lions had lost them all. It was an automatic loss which could be counted on even before the season started, and this year was no different. The season began dismally with a heartbreaking and seemingly impossible collapse in San Diego, and then another in Seattle three weeks later. Each week was more painful than the one before. Until Sunday.
The game was unlike anything I had ever watched as a Lions fan before. For once, the were Lions clicking and appeared to know what they were doing. Then the 4th quarter came. I swear the Lions are afraid of closing out other teams. It’s like they want to make their ratings go up so the games don’t get blacked out like they used to in the early 2000s. The Stafford pick, the second missed extra point, the overturned fumble call. They all were typical of Lions games. Even the dropped onside kick wasn’t all that shocking, just a reminder of who the Lions really were. What did surprise me was the great play in the endzone by Crezdon Butler, who was signed on Saturday prior to the game, and the missed field goal by Mason Crosby. The missed field goal was only shocking in that it may have been the worst kick in history, even if Masthay’s hand was in the way, and that it meant that the Lions actually won because another team made more critical mistakes than them.
Regardless, the win made me proud to be a Lions fan, even if for only a day. That said, let’s look at the pros and cons of this victory, because there are definitely cons.
- Yayyyy we won! Any time you break a 24-year old streak it’s a huge relief, even if it’s totally meaningless like it is this year. What’s up now Green Bay? Lost 3 straight and now go into Minnesota, who is shaping up to be a real contender.
- Matt Stafford played phenomenally, despite the one interception. He stood tall with pressure and delivered huge completions when the team needed it most. Assuming that the Packers finish above .500, this will be Stafford’s first road win against a winning team in his career. He was drafted in 2009.
- The Lions only have one team left on their schedule who is currently above .500 and this new found confidence could carry them somewhere. I say somewhere because I have no idea what that means when it comes to the Lions. The odds of them losing all of those games is just as high as them winning them all, so who knows. The last time the Lions won seven straight, it was over the course of two seasons, 2010 and 2011, and they made the playoffs. The time before that, it was 1995 and the Lions started 3-6.
- I seriously can’t believe I just suggested that the Lions win seven consecutive games and make the playoffs. Why do I do these things to myself when I know the Lions will carry a lead into the fourth quarter and subsequently lose it in all of those games.
- A winning streak for the Lions is maybe the worst thing that could happen. You haven’t fooled anyone into thinking that this team is competent enough to continue winning. This organization is in the midst of a huge overhaul and they really don’t need any wins to confuse management into thinking they are good. Which means…
- This game may have saved Jim Caldwell. I don’t think it should or that it will, but the Detroit Lions organization is excellent at making terrible decisions. For example, when the Lions fired Matt Millen, they replaced him with the guy WORKING DIRECTLY UNDER HIM. On Thursday, Martha Ford named Rod Wood as president of the Lions. This is yet another hire from within the Ford circle, as Wood was the president of Ford Estates, a company that helps the Ford family with investments. To make matters worse, Ford announced that the GM search team will include Martha, her 4 children, and Wood. Please someone take this team away from the Ford family.
- The Lions desperately need the best pick in the draft. You’re 2-7. Even if the Lions do win the rest of their games, they would need a collapse of epic proportions from the Vikings to win the division and an even bigger collapse from the NFC as a whole to make the playoffs. So just cut your losses. The Lions have 25 players still with the team from the last 16 drafts, none of whom are from the 2010 or 2011 drafts. Winning teams draft well and with the possible departures of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, this draft is the most crucial one in recent memory.
- This totally means the Red Wings aren’t making the playoffs. The Wings have made the playoffs a record 24 consecutive years. The first time they made it was the same year the Lions last won at Lambeau, prior to Sunday:1991. What a terrible win.