Why was this fun? Seriously, the Lions lost 51-29, and in any other season, this would be a disappointing loss. But in 2022, this was a loss that somehow managed to be fun and inspire hope for the future. Who could have seen this coming when it was 38-7?
As always, I have thoughts on this game, these are those thoughts:
They didn’t give up again
I know there is a section of Lions fans that absolutely hate this, because it doesn’t always turn into wins. But it still says a lot that a team down 38-7 didn’t give up on this game. Even after the super ugly Tim Boyle interception to start the half, the Lions didn’t mope and they didn’t go into their shells. They kept fighting and fighting and while it didn’t turn into a win, the Lions gave the Seahawks all they could handle late in the game and probably scared some Seahawks fans in the process.
Most importantly, the Lions young players continued to develop their confidence and continued to buy into the team culture. This stuff matters a lot. It might even matter as much as wins when you’re this early into a rebuild with super young guys.
The Lions are fun
Every time you’re sure this team is going to lose and there’s no point in watching, they go out a do fun stuff like score back-to-back touchdowns and recover an onside kick. They do other things like showcase Amon-Ra St. Brown’s ability to be star, and most of all, they make you think for second that anything is possible.
Plus they do fun stuff on offense. Every week, this team is introducing new wrinkles on offense and it’s been super fun to watch. From St. Brown’s rushing touchdown to Taylor Decker’s receiving touchdown, the Lions have been very creative lately, and it’s been fun to watch in a season that’s been full of losses.
It really makes you wonder about the future of this offensive play calling. Would Anthony Lynn consider sticking around as offensive coordinator if Dan Campbell keeps the play-calling duties. Maybe tight ends coach Ben Johnson, who’s name has been dropped every week when talking about creative plays, takes over as OC. Either way it goes, the Lions should continue to be fun going forward.
Tim Boyle is not long for this team
Maybe I’m being too negative, but after Boyle’s college career, in which he threw one touchdown and 13 interceptions over the course of three seasons at Connecticut, I don’t know how he even got into the league. Is he Roger Goodell’s nephew or something? Did he witness a crime and this is keeping him quiet?
After Sunday’s game, where Boyle completed just seven passes in the first half and then opened the second half with an ugly interception, I don’t think the Lions have Boyle back next season. Honestly, I’m not sure where Boyle will wind up after this season. It might not be in the NFL.
I will give Boyle some credit thought. He did bounce back back after that interception and throw two touchdown passes, but he also threw two more interceptions after that and the damage is done.
The Sun God did Sun God things
Ja’Marr Chase was the big rookie of the day on Sunday. He had 266 yards and three touchdowns. That’s pretty good.
In Detroit, there’s another receiver doing big things lately, and he also happens to be the god of sun. Amon-Ra St. Brown has been a delight to watch this season, and while this game was super bad and the Lions got beat like they stole something, St. Brown was a shining light that deserved to get some recognition this week, too.
St. Brown did it all on Sunday. He scored a rushing touchdown, a passing touchdown and scored on a two-point conversion. All told, St. Brown finished the day with eight catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions have something special here.
The Lions patchwork defense just couldn’t hold up anymore
I’m not saying this group was ever really that great, but more often than not, the Lions defense has kept this team in games all season long. On Sunday, the Seahawks exploited the Lions defense for all four quarters. Russell Wilson was picking on Detroit’s beat up secondary, and the Seahawks offensive line pushed the Lions’ young and inexperienced defensive line around for Rashaad Penny.
Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn deserves all the props he’s received for what he’s been able to do with what’s been given to him, but there’s only so much that could have been done on Sunday. The Seahawks out-coached the Lions on Sunday, and that’s probably something that should be expected from a group that has as many championships and playoff appearances as this group does—even if the Seahawks haven’t been that good this season.
There was some good news on Sunday, Lions fans. The Lions’ loss guaranteed the team a top-two draft pick in April’s draft. That essentially means that after the Lions shocked the Packers with a win (they probably won’t) in Week 18, they will still have a top two draft pick. The Lions still have a shot at the first pick if they lose to the Packers and the Jaguars find a way to beat the Colts. There is some good news, though. Check out the parenthetical:
Essentially, it’s a win-and-in scenario for the Colts in Week 18. Beat the Jags, and they’re in the playoffs.
(Subtle reminder: Colts haven’t won in Jacksonville since 2014.)
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) January 2, 2022
The Jags will totally lose this game, by the way. The second pick is still good.