For almost three quarters, these were the same Old (losing) Lions.
Then the New Lions showed up.
The Lions that have everyone buzzing. The not-so-cowardly Lions who don’t know and don’t care if they’re too young and inexperienced to come back from 20 points down twice in two weeks.
Or win 12 games in a season. Or win a playoff game. Or…more?
The New Lions feasted on turnovers in their comeback against the Vikings. And against Dallas, the same formula worked again.
LB Bobby Carpenter changed the game with his interception of a lazy Romo pass (Fear disclosure: It’s easy to see Cutler making the same mistake.). Detroit returned it for a touchdown and sparked a momentum shift.
That defensive score was followed by another on Dallas’ next possession. And it was a legitimately good play (see video).
Lions DB Chris Houston, who could only be fooled seven times, gambled the Cowboys would throw to Laurent Robinson again. He fought off the Dallas receiver to stay underneath a slant route and took a Tony Romo pass to the endzone while Cowboys fans were still grumbling about the first pick six.
Suddenly, it was 27-17.
The Cowboys put together a strong drive on their next possession, but the Lions defensive line finally began to pressure Romo, who twice threw earlier than he wanted. Dallas got to the five yard line but was held to a field goal, increasing their lead to 30-17.
Stafford and the offense moved into hurry up mode—something they’ve done more effectively each week. The Dallas defense gave them the middle of the field and Stafford took it, hitting Brandon Pettigrew and Titus Young before tossing it up to Calvin Johnson in the end zone.
Calvin made a great catch, leaping over good coverage to haul in the TD, making it 30-24.
To be clear: The Bears do not have a receiver who can do that, either.
The Cowboys would go three and out on two straight possessions and convert just one more first down in the rest of the game.
Meanwhile, the Lions motored up and down the field with Pettigrew and Johnson. Despite trying to stall their own comeback with unnecessary penalties, Detroit didn’t slow down.
A field goal, another interception by the defense and another great catch by Calvin Johnson, and the Lions roared home with an unlikely 4-0 record.
Those Detroit Lions are something new. And they’re good.