All things considered, this might have been one of the Detroit Lions' worst games all year. But in crunch time, they pulled out huge pass after clutch play and crawled back after what should have been a back-breaking fumble for a touchdown with just over seven minutes left in the game.
But it wasn't. The Lions drove back and systematically picked apart the Oakland secondary twice in the latter half of the fourth quarter, with Calvin Johnson spearheading the comeback.
And that brings to mind a lesson from a couple of months ago...
Down six points in the later half of the fourth quarter, Matthew Stafford attempted to bring his team back from the shadow of his own goalpost.
Stafford surveyed the field, then was stripped of the ball. Oakland recovered for a touchdown.
It's not that I didn't think the Lions could come back, it's that they were playing so poorly it didn't seem like they would. It seemed like a back-breaking turnover.
But the Lions' frustrating/exhilarating trend of not playing 60 minutes continued, and the Lions charged back from 13 down to win.
So never again will I give up on a Lions game. If they're down 24 to the Packers in the second half, I will keep hope alive.
The Lions won't be faced with a losing record this season. That much we can say for sure.
With two games to go in the season, the Lions have reached nine wins for the first time since 2000.
They've won two straight for the first time since their 5-0 start, and they hold a commanding advantage in the playoff hunt (they're "win and in" against the Chargers next week).
Now, I don't think you'll find anyone jumping on the Super Bowl bandwagon just yet, but for a long-suffering franchise and its fans, it just has to feel good knowing that the team is going to finish over .500 for the first time in a decade.
But this is no time for the Lions to sit back and enjoy the win. They've got work to do securing a playoff spot next week. And if they can do that, they'll go from playing meaningful games in December to playing meaningful games in January.
It's not just discipline, it wasn't just missing Suh and it's not just injuries.
The Lions were gashed on the ground all game long today, giving up six yards per carry. Carson Palmer completed 75 percent of his passes for 367 yards and no interceptions.
A good portion of the Raiders' big plays were a result of blown assignments and missed tackles.
The Lions defense is vulnerable, without question. Even though the Lions pulled out the win today, the Raiders provided perhaps the most efficient blueprint for how to neutralize the Lions aggressive defense.
Hue Jackson had an incredible gameplan for the Lions, and this game was really just a couple of bounces from going the other way entirely.
Calvin Johnson may not be the most consistently dominant player out there, but nine catches for 214 yards and two touchdowns (including the game winner) certainly says "dominant" to me.
Johnson has basically shown two things this year.
One is that he can be taken out of the game with consistent double-teams.
The other is that if teams don't commit to taking him out, he will dominate the entire game.
The single-season touchdown record talk surrounding Johnson has subsided. His pace has gone from record-setting to just plain old incredible (14 touchdowns in 14 games).
But why don't you ask Johnson, one of the only holdovers from 0-16, if he cares about the touchdown record now that he's in the midst of his first winning season as a professional?
All together now: WHAT?!
Week 15 has been a microcosm of what the NFL is all about. The undefeated lose, the winless win and the left for dead come back from the dead.
And 13-point leads evaporate in five minutes. And teams go from 19-game losing streaks to playoff position in less than three seasons.
The NFL is crazy. There is no such thing as a sure bet, and parity is king. Which is why I'm not willing to call the Lions a playoff lock just yet, even as they lead the field by two games with two games to go.
I'll level with you. Up to now, I would have been the first guy to chalk up the Lions-Packers game at Lambeau Field as an unavoidable loss.
Maybe it still is. But if nothing else, it has taken on a fair amount of intrigue.
The Green Bay Packers are no longer playing for perfection. They're in the playoffs and have an incredibly good shot at wrapping up home field advantage next week against Chicago. Which means in all likelihood, they don't have to leave their home field again this season, save for maybe February 5.
Which means that the Packers are likely to come up against the Lions in Week 17 with absolutely nothing to play for. Not playoff position, not a perfect season, maybe not even the chance to knock the Lions out of the playoffs (several scenarios could see the Lions clinch in Week 16).
Better yet, they'll be up against the team that gave Aaron Rodgers a concussion last year, in cold weather, with only a long-standing home winning streak left to defend.
Frankly, the Lions could come up in that game with nothing to play for, either. But you have to wonder if the Lions would play harder to eliminate the 20-year Lambeau losing streak than the Packers would to keep it.
After all, the Packers are thinking title defense. The Lions are thinking, "win the next game."
So do the Packers play their starters in Week 17 to keep a streak alive against a bitter division rival?
And now that the Packers have been proven vulnerable, is playing their starters even enough to guarantee a win?