No one could have expected more of the Detroit Lions of Friday when they tore through the lowly Cincinnati Bengals. In less than six minutes, the Lions had already accomplished the following:
- A 67-yard touchdown drive
- A fumble recovery on special teams
- Another passing touchdown on a 4th-down conversion
- An interception of rookie Andy Dalton
Watching that first six minutes was as surreal of a moment as it gets for Lions fans. I rocked back-and-forth, like a recovering drug-addict muttering to myself, "It's only the preseason. It's only the preseason." But, in the end, I couldn't help myself. This moment was too much fun to repress. Friends among me argued whether this was real or not, until we all realized why not just sit back and enjoy watching the Lions on the other side of a beat-down. Nothing could kill my ear-to-ear grin for the next 3 hours.
The rest of the game was pretty much a blur as the Bengals suffered a slow and painful death. At times, the typical Lions fan in me slipped out: "Ugh, Peterman is going to have another terrible year." "How is a front-seven this talented giving up so many yards on the ground?" It was impossible not to. The 2008 preseason has left a permanent scar on the mentality of a Lions fan, and it's no longer possible to fully enjoy a preseason win. But just as I am giving little credence to the long-term validity of our successes, I must bury my worries of the problematic play by the run offense and defense.
The game may have been "meaningless", but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy witnessing the slaughter of a Bengal. You can dissect the game all you want afterwards, but don't forget to savor the moment. Take Friday for what it was: A fight between two NFL teams, where, on that day, one team was clearly better than the other. And, for once, that team was the Detroit Lions.