Lions Show Signs of Life in Win Over Browns

Thomas KnappContributor INovember 22, 2009

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 22: The Detroit Lions celebrate after the final play against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field on November 22, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions came from behind to defeat the Browns 38-37. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Okay, let's ignore the fact that it's the Cleveland Browns we're talking about here.

Because I know a lot of nay-sayers are going to point to that fact with every warm and fuzzy article that will be written about this game.

I'm just going to address that with this; yes, it was the Browns.  I get that.  The Browns are a very bad team. 

This doesn't really change much in the big picture.  The Lions are still a very poor squad with little NFL caliber talent.  They're still going to get absolutely run off of Ford Field Thursday, and the talk that the Lions should lose the automatic right to a Thanksgiving game will start anew.

No one should be fooled into thinking that this team is going anywhere anytime soon. I'm not excited with the win itself, and I'm certainly not expecting another win this season.

But, there is one notable difference that I think the Lions deserve some props for: this was a game they should have, and in the past would have lost.  Not just that, they would have lost this game badly .

Show of hands, folks.  How many of you looked up at the scoreboard, saw the score was 24-3, and turned off the TV set?  How many of you knew you'd see a recap of the game, and see a score of 40-10 or something?

This was the sort of game that the Lions would give up on, walk into the showers, collect their paycheck, and shrug it off with cliches.

This time, they wrote a different ending to that old story.

Yes, it was a last second win over a team that scored a total of five offensive touchdowns so far this season. 

Yes, they won it, literally, on the last play of the game after a Pass Interference call that is generally overlooked by officials.

But give the Lions their due.  At least this time, they didn't quit.  At least this time, they played through to the end of the game. 

At least this time, they finished strong.

This, I suspect, will be the Matt Stafford you remember when his career is said and done: He's going to make some poor decisions. He's going to be very spotty with his accuracy.  But when that final gun sounds, you'll add it up and realize that he made more good plays than bad.

To quote Arthur Hoggett, "That'll do, pig. That'll do."

I'll take five touchdowns to two interceptions every day. Even if one of those interceptions came off of a very ill-advised throw into triple coverage.  Look at Brett Favre.  He made himself into a NFL deity by making up for his bad plays with twice as many good ones.

Sure, the defense gave up three consecutive passing touchdowns to a QB that had all of one the entire season up to this game.  But when was the last time you remember this defense pulling itself up by the bootstraps and actually getting stronger as the game went on?

When was the last time you saw the Lions D make that critical stop that gave the offense that one final chance to win the game?

Put aside the opponent and take solace in the fact that the Lions finally showed some signs of life.  They showed that somewhere, deep down, they have some heart.

It might be the last good memory we get this season. But at least we have one.

Enjoy it, for Thursday, the Lions get killed.