This is the bottom, the endpoint, the nadir. The Lions, for the countlessth time this season, outplayed their opponent for much of the game. They controlled the tempo and momentum, and looked to be on the way to victory. Then, for the umpteenth time, a mixture of mistakes, freak occurrences, and out-and-out robbery by incompetent referees took the game away from them.
Once again, the Lions could have won but didn’t. Once again the Lions played hard but lost. Once again the Lions let opportunity slip through their grasp. Once again, the referees did their best to negate positive Lions plays. Once again, the Lions shot themselves in the foot by committing unforced presnap penalties. Once again, I’m sitting here trying to cope with another loss.
Though it’s my custom to write this post on Monday morning, after at least two cups of coffee—hence the title—I’m writing this immediately after the game ends, on a laptop with no Internet connection, with my smartphone “somewhere around here,” that is to say lost.
Without the Internet, without a microphone, and without you folks—my Fireside Chat participants—chiming in, you’re getting my reaction in a vacuum. Outside of the use of the “backspace” key, I’m essentially blogging on a typewriter. You’re getting my unvarnished, old-school post-loss opinion here; a rare treat to be sure.
Unfortunately, I've got nothing to say.
Don't misconstrue this: I’m not going to quit. I’m not going to abandon my friends at the fire. I’m not going to stop cheering my guts out for this team week after week after week. But, highlighting the positive aspects of this loss? Trying to convince you all—and myself—that a winning streak is surely just around the corner? Supporting your team is one thing; being delusional is another.
Whether it’s the Ineffable Will of the Football Gods, a vast NFL conspiracy, or just plain not being good enough yet, the Lions are not winning football games this season. They’re unquestionably—unquestionably—much, much better on both sides of the ball. Coming into this week, the Lions had the 11th-best scoring offense and 20th-best scoring defense in the NFL. Last year, they were 27th-best on O and 32nd-best (i.e., dead last) on D. They were getting outscored by 14.5 points per game, 31st in the NFL in points differential in 2009—and again, prior to this game they were outscoring their opponents by 1.4 ppg; 16th-best.
. . . but of course, none of that matters. What matters in this league is results, period—and so far, this year’s results are identical to last year’s. Until the Ws start flowing, we’ll have to endure the clawing emptiness in our stomachs for another week, or weeks, or (God forbid) months. I wish I had some nourishment for you, some little takeaway that’ll leave you smiling, or at least not tearing your hear out in chunks anymore. All I have to offer, though, is a spot by the fire, dwindling though it may be.
Looks like the log rack is almost empty. I’m going to put my gloves back on, and take up my axe and sled. I’ll see you folks in a little while; I need to go chop some wood.