EDITOR’S NOTE: Former NFL player, radio and TV analyst and author Ray Bentley has written his first blog for the Michigan Sports Network.
We have a little normalcy in the ill-fated year of 2020.
Thank you, Matt Patricia and the Detroit Lions.
When everything else is flipped upside down amidst a major “Plandemic,” against the backdrop of social unrest, mostly peaceful protests (i.e. rioting & looting), political mayhem, with Hurricanes everywhere, wild fires burning down the Left Coast – with literally all hell breaking loose around us – at least, there is one constant.
There is still one thing we can count on to hold strong against any and all forces.
The Detroit Lions know how to lose. They’re the best at it. Hands down.
The fourth quarter collapse in the home opener against the hibernating Chicago Bears was another instant classic. Did you buy into it when they led the sleepy Bears 23-6 heading into the fourth quarter? Did you feel the swell in your heart that this year was the year the Lions would break through? Did you Believe?
LIONS KNOW HOW TO LOSE
Shame on you.
You know better.
As the fourth quarter began, I commented to nobody in particular, “The Bears are out-Lioning the Lions, so far. But this is the fourth quarter. Stand back and behold. You gotta believe!”
You could feel the rise of the imminent collapse as you watched Matt Patricia tug at his useless Corona mask and look deeply at his laminated call sheet. He turned the page to “fourth quarter conservative game losing measures” and dialed it in.
The word quickly spread throughout the team. You could see any flames of intensity immediately squelched. Throats and sphincters tightened on cue. It’s our time now – Lion Time, baby!
Lyin’down time, more like.
Matt Stafford knew it was on him to get this one done. Sure, there were others who could finish the job, most notably rookie running back DeAndre Swift, but Stafford knew he must put his stamp on this home opener. He did not disappoint.
First, he took an awful sack that knocked the Lions out of field goal range. But that didn’t stop Coach Patricia from trying an ill-fated 55-yarder that, in Lion-like fashion, doinked off the uprights.
STAFFORD PUTS HIS STAMP ON IT
This gave the Bears their best field position of the game and they answered! But Stafford wasn’t finished. On the next series he forced a late throw over the middle to a double-covered Marvin Jones. The predictable and ensuing deflection was intercepted by da Bears. They scored again but left the Lions plenty of time to drive down the field and break hearts.
Which they did.
Some rookies catch on slowly, some do so in a “swift” manner. The final kick in the craw came from rookie running back DeAndre Swift. On the next to last play of the game he was quick to drop what would have been the game-winning TD pass from Stafford completing the Lions comeback.
It’s a fine thing in this ever-changing world we live in, to have some consistency. Something you can lay hold of that is solid as a rock. It may not be much, but at least it’s something.
We can rest assured, despite all the turmoil, our beloved Lions will never let us down.
Photos: Top, The Detroit News; Bentley, ESPN