This was supposed to be different.
These were the sort of games that were supposed to prove that things were changing.
This was supposed to be a game the Lions were supposed to win.
But once again, the Lions have proven they are the worst team in the NFL, the laughingstock of the league and it doesn't look like it is going to get better anytime soon.
Chad Ocho Cinco joked on Letterman that he was glad he didn't have to play for the Lions.
This was their chance, if not to stop the jokes, to put the league on notice that they wouldn't be able to laugh much longer.
Instead, they proved they deserved all the Leno wisecracks, all the Letterman Top Ten snarks, and to be the butt of jokes like, "A Detroit Lions fan walked into a bar, the Packers fan ducked."
This was the Lions chance, and they blew it in spectacular fashion: by making the same mistakes, the same ill-timed penalties, the same lack of execution, and the same uninspired coaching that has plagued the Lions since the turn of the century.
This loss was inexcusable in every sense of the word. The Rams walked into the game 0-7. Their best player had yet to score a rushing touchdown. Their defense was one of the worst in the league. They were probably the only team more prone to catastrophic lapses in execution than the Lions.
The Lions were coming off the bye week. The Lions had two weeks to prepare for this game. It might as well have been two hours.
Not having Calvin Johnson in the lineup was no excuse. No excuse for the horrible drops, no excuse for the false starts, the holding calls, the lack of hustle or the lack of urgency.
Calvin Johnson would not have made the defense learn to tackle or be in the right position. Calvin Johnson would not have been on the field and made the tackle on one of the most obvious fake field goals ever in the history of the NFL.
I knew the fake was coming. Every single person in the stadium knew it was coming. Every person watching the game (and I do feel for every one of you) knew it was coming.
The only person who didn't was Stan Kwan, and the touchdown that resulted from that lapse of good sense was arguably the biggest reason the Rams walked away from Ford Field free of the worry that they might become the the 2009 version of the 2008 Detroit Lions.
I honestly believe the Lions need to make a statement Monday morning and fire Stan Kwan, even if they can't find anyone else to replace him. An empty spot on the sidelines would make for a better Special Teams coach.
But even then, the coaching failures extended far beyond Stan Kwan. This game was a clinic in how not to manage and call a game.
Mr. Schwartz, Lions fans have seen this "coach not to lose" crap before. They didn't like it then, and they don't like it now.
This game, and the loss therein, is 100 percent on your shoulders. This game was here for the taking if you hadn't resorted to the Rod Marinelli "Three and Out" offense.
Draw, Draw, Pass, Punt.
If this is the sort of innovation you're going to bring to Detroit, why were you even hired in the first place? Ford could have kept Marinelli as the coach if that's what he's going to get from you.
It was supposed to be different this Sunday; instead, once again, the only people who were fooled were the fans of the Detroit Lions.
Nothing has changed, it's still the "Same Ol' Lions."