It would have been so much easier a few weeks ago against a winless Buffalo team. The snow had not really taken a spot in Western New York, and the Lions had looked eager to place a different team as the NFL’s worst. It was not to be for Detroit, and the losses began to pile up to the hefty total of 26. On Sunday, much like an early Christmas gift to the team, the Lions can no longer consider the road to be an ugly place. Lions 23, Buccaneers 20 in overtime.
This had the feel of the old NFC Central matchups that were dominated by Tampa in those final years.
While Mike Alstott wasn’t there to bust over the defensive line with one of his powerful runs, this game was destined to be close from the outset. Poetically, it took two clutch drives by Spartan Drew Stanton, and then the kicking cappers from another Spartan Dave Rayner to place the Lions at four wins on the season.
However, the real winners down in Tampa were the players and coaches and all of those who believed that this team is closer to 8-8 than 0-16. I must admit that hearing it week after week placed myself closer to the group that believed these were the same old Lions. While one win does not make a season, the fact that they accomplished what they did with a third string quarterback, a backup placekicker, a bad game from Jahvid Best, and against one of the NFC’s best teams, means that there is hope for this team for 2011. That is, if the team is healthy and forgets their troubled past quickly.