As PRO FOOTBALL TALK noted earlier, today’s game against the Minnesota Vikings represented the Detroit Lions’ last, best hope for a win this season. And it’s true; Minnesota lost starting QB Gus Frerotte midway through the game, and Detroit led at the ends of the first, second, and third quarters.
But it’s who leads at the end of four quarters that truly matters, of course, and you can imagine how that turned out. Detroit couldn’t answer Minnesota’s last touchdown, a Tarvaris Jackson pass to Visanthe Shiancoe, and Minnesota hung on for a 20-16 victory, running Detroit’s record to 0-13.
Once again, nobody has gone winless over the course of a 16-game season. Only Tampa Bay, still in the throes of expansion infancy, managed the “feat” on a 14-game schedule back in 1976. But despite probably not being the worst team in the league this season (Cincinnati, Oakland seen whistling innocently), Detroit is on course to finish off the worst season in history.
Detroit’s futility comes at the expense of decent seasons from some of their players, including second-year human freakshow Calvin Johnson, whose 70-yard touchdown in the third quarter pushed him over 1,000 yards for the season. They’re also hosting the improbable return of Daunte Culpepper, who looked surprisingly competent for most of today’s contest and ended up with 220 yards, the aforementioned touchdown, and no picks.
As for the rest of the slate, Detroit travels next to Indianapolis, which is about as automatic a loss can get. There might be blood. Their last home game comes next against New Orleans, who just finished off a win against Atlanta to run their record to 7-6 on the year. Probably losing by 21 there. And the cherry on top of the sh*t sundae will be a road date with Green Bay, and if Green Bay loses that one I will eat a whole jar of olives. I hate olives.
I wonder if the 1974 Dolphins will invite the Lions to party with them. They totally should.