Objects in your rear view mirror might be closer then they appear.
Lions lose this one 32 to 35. Sounds like a close game and in many ways it was, but in others it was not. Lions went from being 2 scores ahead to being 3 scores behind but were able to come back with plays that include a 2 point conversion and an on-side kick.
Both teams had 13 passing first downs. Both teams averaged 7.3 yards per pass play. Both teams were 3 for 3 in the red zone. Both teams had 9 penalties. Even time of possession was close (29:08 to 30:52).
Lions had more total yardage but Hill also threw 2 interceptions while the Lions defense didn't have any (but did drop a couple that would've been).
I suppose the most interesting play (or couple plays) was when the Lions turned it over on downs instead of kicking a 49 yard field goal. Coach must not have the same trust in Hanson as previous coaches. They tried twice to get the yard they needed and they even added a new twist to things by playing Suh at fullback. Unfortunately the pile didn't move at all and neither the 3rd or 4th down gained an inch. If I had a chance to discuss this with coach Schwartz, I would say that first of all coach, if it's under 55 yards Hanson kicks (unless you need 7 and not 3) especially at home. Secondly coach, the problem never was the fullback. It's always been the center. If you want to use Suh on offense that's great... can he hike the ball? If so, THAT'S where you need to put him. Now I'm not saying that Raiola can't play center (in this scheme) but he does have one horribly obvious deficit, and that is he has zero power to move a pile. So you were close coach... putting Suh in the game to help move the LOS was a great idea, you just had him playing the wrong position.
The Bears killed the Cowboys today, so last week wasn't just the Lions playing poorly (though there was a lot to fix). A lot of the issues from last week were obviously worked on and some things were improved, but there is more to go even still. Next weeks game will probably not look pretty either, but at least the opponent is going to have to respect the Lions somewhat. Meanwhile the team can continue to fix what shows up, continue to learn and improve, and they should continue to entertain with some interesting plays throughout each game. They have talent, here and there, and the team itself is getting closer to a playoff team with every week of work they put in. That's what goes into building a team.
The results of this game certainly were closer then even I had expected. Possibly closer then most fans expected (especially during the 3rd quarter). Wins are what counts though... most fans don't want moral victories or to hear about improvement... just wins. The Lions will win games this year and games like this one show me they are closer to doing just that. It may not be next week exactly... but the Lions are indeed closer (to winning) then they appear.