Entering into Sunday’s game between the Detroit Lions and the New York Jets, would you have told me that the Lions would lose by three points in overtime, I wouldn’t have been too disappointed in that result. Afterall, the Jets are a really good team, and Detroit being able to play them so close would be another example of how far they’ve come this season. However, the way that said scenario played out on Sunday certainly did not elicit that reaction for me. It was a terribly disappointing defeat.
Things started off well for the Lions. They took a 7-0 lead off of a Matthew Stafford touchdown pass to Brandon Pettigrew. They continued to lead until late in the second quarter when Braylon Edwards caught a 74-yard touchdown. Suddenly, it was 10-7 Jets and that’s what the score was leading into halftime.
Then, in the third quarter the Lions caught a break when on a Jason Hanson field goal attempt a roughing the kicker penalty was called. This would be the last thing that went the Lions way in this game. Stafford rushed in a touchdown, but Hanson was not ready to take the PAT attempt, so in stepped Ndamukong Suh. Yes, Ndamukong Suh. While his kick attempt was pretty good, it hit the upright leaving the game 13-10 Lions. A Nate Burleson touchdown made it 20-10, and it really looked like the Lions were going to win this game.
Then, once again Matthew Stafford got injured. Once again, he fell on his shoulder and once again he had to be pulled from the game. There was no Shaun Hill to come to the rescue, so in stepped Drew Stanton.
Stanton could not do anything under center. The Jets got the ball back and scored a touchdown on a Mark Sanchez run. However, there was so little time left all the Lions had to do was run out the clock. They could not. On a third down, Stanton threw an awful pass that led to a stoppage of the clock, giving the Jets a lot more time to work with. Then, the defense proceeded to be terrible. This was best exemplified by Julian Peterson taking a 15-yard penalty for hitting a player out of bounds. Nick Folk made a 36-yard field goal to tie the game at 20 apiece as time expired. Keep in mind, the Lions only had 20 because of the PAT miss.
Unsurprisingly at this point, the Jets won the game 23-20 in one of the more fortuitous wins in recent memory. The Jets fumbled five times, but only lost the ball that way once. Fumble recoveries are almost entirely a matter of luck. They also were playing a team that missed a extra point that was kicked by a defensive tackle and was down to their third string quarterback late in the game. The Jets will take the win, but this is a really disappointing loss for the Lions.
Stafford played well while he was in the game, throwing for 240 yards and accounting for three touchdowns. Jahvid Best was pretty good, rushing for 48 yards (against a tough run defense) and catching five passes for 40 yards. While Calvin Johnson was kept in check, Nate Burleson was excellent, catching seven passes for 113 yards and a score.
While losing to the Jets for a team like the Lions isn’t that bad of an outcome, the way they lost was rather unfortunate. What’s worse is the Stafford injury. Next week, they play a winless Buffalo Bills team. With Stafford, or even Hill, it would look like a great chance at victory. Now, with the spectre of Drew Stanton looming over us, it could easily be Buffalo’s first win of the season.