“This may have been a loss. Even a lopsided loss. But it was nothing to be ashamed of.”
There’s no doubt that the 45-28 thumping the Lions received at the hands of the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night was a tough reality check for Lions fans hopeful that the team had reached a new level. The internet fairly exploded with criticism of the Lions and a defensive scheme that was unable to force a punt, and then Lions players exploded back, demonstrating frustration and something of a lack of maturity.
To those tempted to hang their heads too low, let’s remember that there are 32 teams in the NFL, and only 12 make the playoffs. Our Lions were one of these. The Detroit News has a look at strengths and weaknesses for 2012, and Michael Rosenberg of the Freep shows us that despite the “one and done” performance this year, these Lions do not have the problems of the 1999 Detroit Lions who lost Barry Sanders to retirement in mid-season and started Charlie Batch and Greg Hill and trailed 27-0 at the half in their playoff game.
Mitch Albom’s column about the game and what it means offers further hope. He notes that while the final score was embarrassing, this team started the game tough and strong and is far from an embarrassment. Albom’s advice?:
So you can weep, or you can put it in perspective. This was a dramatic Lions season. A 5-0 start. A postgame handshake that turned into mayhem. A mega-season from a Megatron. All those come-from-behind victories. A playoff berth. A Saturday night in the Superdome.
Pretty hot stuff for a perennially cold franchise. Remember, there were years when finding a parking space was the highlight of going to a Lions game.
Believe. Belong. You take your steps in the NFL. The defense needs big help, but by all signs, the Lions are a team stepping up. Even if their last image of the season was a stumble.
Indeed. Here’s looking forward to next season … and your comments. We’ll close with a link to the highlights of the post-game conference and this 5 minute recap of the game which doesn’t include a look at the Touchdown That Wasn’t But Should Have Been (which would have given the Lions a 20-7 lead).