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It's too bad that this is the high point of the season, when it could have been last weekend. Or next weekend. Or Super Bowl weekend.
But the Lions were not that team this year, not yet. They got beat by a better team playing better football.
Of course, the same could be said about the San Diego Chargers in Week 16. The Chargers were on their traditional December winning streak, and trying to steal a late playoff spot. The Lions needed a win to lock up theirs.
The Chargers were scoring about five hundred points a game, and the Lions had just required a miracle comeback to beat the Raiders.
And it turned out to be the perhaps the most complete, lopsided game the Lions played all season. The Lions took three penalties for eight yards, moved the ball at will and were basically able to coast to a playoff berth after taking all the wind out of the Chargers' sails.
It was the biggest win of the season on all counts. The Lions beat a team on a roll, with a total team effort, to earn a playoff spot.
It was win-and-in, and the Lions took control of their destiny in a big way.
Sadly, it was the last win of the season for the Lions, but unlike the last win in most seasons, this one meant something other than a moral victory. You could argue that it ushered in a new era for the Lions.
Even though the Lions lost in the wild-card round, that just means they're one of 31 other teams that aren't going to win the Super Bowl this year. But they've improved year over year under this regime, and there is no reason to believe that improvement won't continue.
The big hump for the Lions to get over this year was making the playoffs. They did that in this game.
The big one for next year? Getting there and winning.