By: Jeff Riger
Detroit had won the game, there was no question. The Lions were up 12 points on Indy with less than 9 minutes remaining and all in attendance in downtown Detroit had to be feeling pretty good. Sure, every one of those fans knew the Lions’ track record but when the Colts were left with less than four minutes to make up that deficit, fans had to have thought “even the Lions can’t blow this.” I did.
Oh, how wrong we were. The Lions proceeded to give up two touchdowns late in the game, the winning one with no time left on the clock to allow the Colts to steal one — as Detroit might as well have been officially eliminated from a playoff spot.
The whole scene was brutal.
Anybody who has grown up in these parts has experienced their fair share of heartbreaking losses, especially when it’s the Detroit Lions that are involved. The Lions have found every possible way to lose over the course of my lifetime. They get blown out, they miss a game winning field goal, they take the wind in overtime, and they let a no name dominate them. I know it is cliché and all, but the Lions truly do find new ways to lose on a weekly basis.
But none of those losses can compare to what we witnessed Sunday against the Colts.
After the game, as you can imagine, the locker room was somber with players explaining how yet another one got away. Below are some of the more interesting quotes from Lions players after a 35-33 miserable loss to the Colts.
Dom Raiola was asked about the Lions play calling and if a run play to Mikel Leshoure should have been called on 3rd and 2 late in the 4th quarter. If the Lions converted, they would have won the game for sure.
“Don’t ask me about play calling because I run what is called. I don’t call the plays. I am 100 percent behind Scott (Linehan) so don’t ask me about play calling, that’s bull (expletive)
Mikel Leshoure was asked about that 3rd and 2 play late in the 4th quarter and if he was surprised he got the ball?
“I’m not surprised by it. The offensive coordinator makes the calls, it’s our job is to go out and execute. It’s not about if it’s a good or bad call. It’s no blame on the offensive coordinator for the call, it’s our fault, we didn’t execute, we didn’t get the first down and we gave the offense another chance to score.”
Leshoure continued explaining that 3rd and 2 call that was not converted.
“You don’t lose sleep over it, I mean you wish, as a running back you could get the first down but it takes 11 people to execute a play. We just all were not there on that play where we needed that play and we got to have it. It just is no excuse, we need to get a first down and keep those chains moving.”
There was also a defensive breakdown that allowed the Colts to come to life late in the game. Cliff Avril describes the last play, an Indy touchdown pass from Andrew Luck to Donnie Avery with no time remaining.
“I was just trying to pass rush, get after him, He had a step up lane, dumped it off and he scored. I saw the same thing that everybody else saw.”
Chris Houston admitted that guys got complacent when the Lions went up 12 with less than 4 minutes to play.
“Guys were too relaxed instead of going out there and being focused. Just have to keep grinding. Once our offense scores than we give up a touchdown, we got to have that mentality that when the offense scores we got get another 3 and out and give out offense another chance to go out and put up points. We can’t win like that.”
Watch the videos below of Lions players on what had to be the most gut wrenching loss of the season.