Eric Thomas: The Lambeau Leap
Losing always stinks, but some losses hurt. File the final game of the Lions regular season under the “hurts” category. It was a gut shot. The Lions were jobbed, beaten, and embarrassed several times at Lambeau. The feeling, for Lions fans, should be comfy as your favorite hoody with the hole in the front. But when you mix in another virtuoso performance by the offense with a pathetic disorganized disgrace by the feckless defense you wind up with a viscous sludge of ignominy.
Just one stop. One. That’s all the regressing Lions defense needed to come up with. The once vaunted defensive line has been exposed, not even able to muster a ghost of a pass rush against a banged up offensive line that will prove to be the Pack’s weakness down the stretch. Last week, someone asked Ndamukong Suh if he was surprised that he wasn’t selected for the Pro Bowl. I am surprised that someone considered him. The only disruption that he has provided this year has been to the Lions. His encroachment penalty on the game winning drive provided a spark of life usually reserved for frescoes painted by Michelangelo.
My cup of seething rage runs over, but none of it should drip onto any member of the offense. Yes there were drops, but Stafford and Johnson were magical again. The only reason Stafford threw a pick to end the game was desperation. Stafford had already tied a bow on what should have been the game winning touchdown until the defense took the game from Stafford and walked it to the opposing sideline.
That crew of officials should have been dragged out onto Oneida St and fired while live on camera. How is it that a group of people can blow that many calls? The NFL limit of 2 challenges has to go. Maybe now, before the playoffs. In now TWO games against the Packers this year, the Lions have been relentlessly jobbed. They denied Titus Young an OBVIOUS TOUCHDOWN! What did the end zone judge see?! So they NFL is going to review every scoring play to take points off the board, but they are going to allow awful calls like that to go un-contested. Still, shame on Jim Schwartz for calling a timeout there just to yell at the official. But I can still bet that many of my fellow Lions fans would have run to Green Bay, Braveheart style, just to give a piece of our collective minds.
I would like to use this blog to publicly apologize to everyone who contacted me after the Lions game. My dad called and I wanted to scream at him for being overly optimistic. He said, “If we only had a running game…” and I wanted to call him Judas Iscariot. I called about 10 people idiots on Facebook yesterday. I called one guy a disgusting sports nerd pig. I am sorry about all that, but I was really raw. I haven’t had one hurt like that in a while.
I sure am excited to take this defense down to New Orleans. Drew Brees has 7 consecutive 300 yard games. The Lions defensive line that people panted over has been a joke in the second half of the season. Many Lions fans were opining since April about how Nick Fairley would absorb the example of the D-Line. He sure has. He underachieves like the rest of them. We were so excited about the defense going into the season but it has proven to be a mirage. We dove into the oasis with enthusiasm only to find out we were shoving sand into our parched mouths.
I might still be a little angry about that loss.