Mr. Dave Rayner, can you please show the readers exactly how ecstatic I am that the Lions won their 5th game of the season--their third in a row (first time they've won three in a row since 2007) and second in a row on the road (first time they've won two in a row on the road since 2004)?
[after changing into a clean pair of shorts]
Now, Mr. Jim Schwartz, will you please display to the world how the Lions and their fanbase got down tonight?
With the Lions down 10, and seven-plus minutes remaining in the game, I all but wrote the Lions off when Schwartz opted to punt on 4th down in Dolphins territory. I was angry. The Dolphins fans I was watching the game with in Florida were even starting to feel good about themselves at this point, which seemed like the real kiss of death considering they spent the better portion of the game assuring me that the Dolphins would find a way to lose (as I rolled my eyes and thought, "don't even start with me on knowing your team will find a way to lose...").
However, somehow, the Lions managed a defensive stop; only losing a couple minutes and one FOX Christmas light bulb. The Dolphins fans I was with started to recant on their short-lived confidence and nervously reassured me that the Dolphins would indeed find a way to lose. I being the seasoned Lions fan that I am, of course, expected one of only three things to happen: 1) 3-and-out, which would consist of two failed runs and an incomplete pass; 2) interception; 3) lost fumble after a somewhat hope-inducing gain.
A 53-yard touchdown pass to Jahvid Best was probably expectation number 16 on the list of three expectations.
Feelings from last week's win in Tampa Bay started to creep back up on me and I was suddenly (and delusionally) certain the Lions would actually find a way to do something they haven't done three times in a row in three years and twice in a row on the road in six -- WIN!
The clock suggested there was only 4:37 left in the game, but it felt like a lifetime for the Lions to get another stop and drive down the field to score a game-winning touchdown. Not in all of the Bobby Layne cursed years could I've thought the Lions defense would come up with two interceptions, the second of which was taken back to the house to take a 34-27 lead.
As it turned out, the interception returned for a touchdown actually gave the Dolphins enough time to drive and score a TD to send the game into overtime (assuming the always dreadful, game-tying extra point was successfully tagged on). For once, in as many years as I can remember, I surprised myself by not thinking, "the Lions will find a way to lose this game." Again, that's what the Dolphins fans were telling me about their own team, and it all seemed so incredibly ass-backwards.
I didn't complain, though, as I gleefully watched the mostly cynical Dolphins fans reluctantly hold on to a string of hope as Henne marched the Miami offense down to the Lions' 28-yard line with under 30 seconds left. Then, when Henne inexplicably threw a screen pass to his running back in the middle of the field with no timeouts remaining, their hope expired with the seconds on the clock.
"I told you they'd find a way to lose -- the Dolphins are the new Lions," a Dolphins fan sadly boasted.
I understand what he meant, it's cute and all, but I'd like to think he was very wrong -- "the new Lions" have discovered how to win.