Monday, November 21, 2011

I Don't Know What's Going On

I don't know what's going on. The Lions are 7-3. They're currently the fifth seed in the playoffs. Their quarterback has six games with a passer rating over 100. They just replaced their injured running back with a failed experiment from 2009. He only gained 200 yards from scrimmage and hit paydirt three times against the Panthers. The defense is second in the league in interceptions and yards per passing attempt allowed.

But this is also the team that has fallen behind by 17 points or more in four of ten games. They lost a crucial game to the Falcons and layed the biggest of eggs in Chicago. Their quarterback has thrown six interceptions in two games and has yet to turn in a good performance against a great defense. The offense ranks in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards and yards per carry. Their defense ranks 28th in run defense and ranks 30th in yards per carry allowed. The Lions have yet to turn in a full, four-quarter, quality performance.

And the Carolina game just made everything more confusing.

For the first 20 minutes, it felt like I was back in Vegas watching the Bears game all over again, except the colors in my TV were all off and fans in the stands were a lot more angry. Matthew Stafford was continuing his run of unexcellence. The special teams unit continued to be haunted by the ghost of Stan Kwan. Everything was horrible.

But then something happened. The second half started, and the sepia-hued, horrorland that we were all living in dissolved into the brightly colored world where the offense was as elite as we all thought they could be and the defense was a turnover factory. The Lions came out in the second half and put an absolutely undeniable beatdown on the Panthers, outscoring them 35-8.

Here's how the offense started:
Drive 1: INT
Drive 2: INT
Drive 3: Fumble
Drive 4: TD
Drive 5: 3 and out

And here's how they finished:
Drive 6: TD
Drive 7: TD
Drive 8: TD
Drive 9: Punt
Drive 10: TD
DRive 11: TD
Drive 12: TD
Drive 13: Ballgame.

And here's how the defense started:
Drive 1: INT
Drive 2: FG
Drive 3: TD
Drive 4: TD
Drive 5: FG

And their finish...
Drive 6: Punt
Drive 7 : Punt
Drive 8: INT
Drive 9: Punt
Drive 10: TD
Drive 11: INT
Drive 12: INT

It's all incredibly frustrating, terrifying, awful, awesome, excruciating, exhausting and a lot, lot of fun. This team has made me feel feelings again. And not just excitement and joy, but every feeling possible. I have no idea where it's all leading to, but it is so much more enjoyable than the alternative that was the past ten years. Playoffs are in the discussion but nowhere close to guaranteed at this point. If the Lions manage to squeak their way into the postseason this year, I cannot even imagine what new emotions will come to life. Horruberence? Jubippointment? Who knows.

But this ride is too much fun to not take a step back and realize what a crazy, magical season it has already been. I think Ty, writer at The Lions In Winter and blog-crush of mine, said it best:
Me too, man. Me too.

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