Only those who honestly believed the Lions were on a roll, and finally improving, were shocked Sunday.
The realists out there not only assumed the Lions would lose to the Seattle Seahawks, but also expected it. Granted, they might not have expected the rout that occurred. Still, Seattle's 35-14 victory at cold and rainy Seahawks Stadium was par for the course.
Sadly, the Lions are as predictable as the weather out here. They have a chance to beat bad NFL teams. But they have just about no chance to beat a solid opponent such as the 7-3 Seahawks.
"It's crazy, it's crazy," linebacker Barrett Green said. "We have to find a way to win games like this.
"For us to make some progress, we have to beat some good teams."
Forget about those back-to-back victories over the Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears at home. Some fans actually got excited about them because it was the first time the Lions had put two victories together since 2000.
But those were nothing more than fraud victories -- they count in the standings, but they don't give you an honest assessment of where you stand as a football team.
The ugly truth about the Lions (3-7) is that things have not progressed at all in the last three seasons.
Things easily could have been different if the Lions had won. Not only would they have been 4-6 and riding a three-game winning streak, they also would have had a chance to beat the Vikings in Minnesota next Sunday and put themselves in playoff contention in the NFC North.
"It was a great opportunity for us to move up in our division," cornerback Dre Bly said. "We definitely could have gained ground in our division with getting this win today and then go to Minnesota."
Instead, Lions fans have to watch the Cincinnati Bengals, NFL laughingstocks for the last decade, make that kind of franchise-moving leap. Under new coach Marvin Lewis, the Bengals beat previously unbeaten Kansas City on Sunday. Cincinnati is 5-5 and tied with Baltimore for first place in the AFC North.
That's real improvement, real progress. Even if the Bengals don't make the playoffs this season, there's hope. That's what Lions fans should have honestly expected this season, that they would see some signs, any signs, that the past two horrible seasons were behind them.
Instead, the cold reality is things are worse. The defense, which made some plays the last couple of weeks, gave up touchdown drives of 80, 87 and 76 yards on the Seahawks' first three possessions.
"The first half was awful," Lions Coach Steve Mariucci said.
Easily, Mooch could have been talking about the last three seasons combined. The Lions have beaten one team with a record of .500 or better. The Saints were 3-0 when the Lions beat them, 26-21, at Ford Field last season.
"Still, we have to go out and win every game we play," linebacker Boss Bailey said. "Whether it's a winning-record team or a losing-record team, you just got to get wins."
If you aren't truly mad at what has become of your team, you should be. The numbers are too gaudy to ignore anymore. The Lions are 8-34 the last three seasons and have lost 21 straight road games. In this man's NFL, filled with parity, it's nearly impossible to lose so much.
Sadly, this team has done it with relative ease, signaling false hope and no progress worth talking about. Better yet, believing in.
The traveling nightmare that is the Detroit Lions made its latest stop at Seahawks Stadium.
Matt Hasselbeck led four first-half scoring drives as the Seattle Seahawks posted a 35-14 triumph over the Lions, whose road losing streak reached 21 games.
The Lions' run of futility away from home dates to a 10-7 victory over the New York Jets on December 17, 2000. The road skid in the third longest in NFL history behind Buffalo (22) and the Houston Oilers (23).
Hasselbeck completed 21-of-28 passes for 207 yards as Seattle improved to 6-0 at home. Most of the damage was done in the first half when he completed 14-of-19 passes for 166 yards.
"We'll win on the road when we play better than the other team," Lions coach Steve Mariucci said. "We did that today for a quarter or two. We're very inconsistent right now, that's who we are."
The Seahawks took advantage of the Lions' poor play in the first half, totaling 300 yards as they built a 35-14 lead. They held a 14-7 lead after the first quarter, then turned the game into a rout by scoring 21 points in just over 10 minutes in the second period.
"One of the goals this week was to start the game with a lot of enthusiasm," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "We came out and took some of the starch out of the Lions."
"We talked about opening up this game and Mike had us fired up because we knew the plays he was going to call," Hasselbeck said. "It was exciting and I think we felt like we in that rhythm we were last year. Maybe we can keep up the style of play."
After wide receiver Koren Robinson recovered Hasselbeck's fumble in the end zone for a score, Bobby Engram hauled in a 34-yard TD pass and returned a punt 83 yards for a TD to make it 35-7.
The Seahawks (7-3) remained tied with St. Louis for first place in the NFC West. But they play three of their next four games on the road, where they are 1-3.
Seattle had virtually everything go its way. The Seahawks scored on four of their first five possessions and stopped the Lions twice on fourth down inside the 20 in the second half.
The loss spoiled the return of Detroit's Joey Harrington to the Pacific Northwest. Harrington, who starred University of Oregon, completed 11-of-17 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. He had a career-high 72-yard TD pass to Scotty Anderson in the second quarter.
"I had a lot of emotions with coming back this week," Harrington said. "You see all of these people coming out to support you and it would have been nice to give them a win."
Scott's Game Commentary:
Defense: --- F. Giving up 35 points in the 1st half is just pathetic. But, is anyone surprised? I wasn't! Same old story when the "D" plays on the road. Its going to be really scary when they play KC next month!
Special Teams: --- F. Stupid penalities and giving up a return for a touchdown! Special teams have been struggling lately, with the exception of Jason Hanson.
Coaching: --- F. Team was not ready to play. No excuses whatsoever!
Overall: --- F-. Six games left till the 3rd straight miserable season comes to a conclusion. With all the parity in the NFL these days, its sick how consistant the Lions have been losing. All you got to do is look at Houston, Cincinnati and Carolina and see that someone is not doing their job. If Matt Millen is back for a 4th year, expect the same old crap as we've seen the past three years with him as the GM.
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