Nobody knows what's going to happen on any given Sunday in the NFL. Sure, the very knowledgeable Vegas wise-guys can set their point spreads, but I doubt any of them predicted after the first 5 weeks of the season both the Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills would be undefeated. And honestly, who would have ever thought, Peyton or no Peyton, that the Indy Colts would be 0-13? Since then, the Bills have taken a hard left into Lake Erie, and the Lions, while barely hanging on to a playoff possibility, have gone from being a national Cinderella team, to being despised by all but their hard-core local fans, and under a microscope, all through their own antics. Their motto seems to be -- the bigger the stage -- the more we goon it up. While that may be a recipe for success in the various venues of mixed-martial arts and caged octagons, it does not bode well in the NFL, let alone the court of public opinion.
At that, look at what the Lions have become. On their own home field against the Minnesota Vikings, a team that was 2-10 coming in, down to 2nd and 3rd string quarterbacks, and without their star running back, Adrian Petersen, they almost lost the game at the end. If the refs had seen the obvious face mask penalty against the Minnesota QB on the final play of the game -- front and center on internet pix right about now -- they might very well have lost it. Gunther Cunningham, the Lions' defensive coordinator, a few weeks ago hailed as some sort of genius, was reduced to muttering and mumbling throughout most of the second half. He didn't seem to have a clue. Maybe Lions fans have forgotten there's a reason this guy has been bounced around the league for decades, never having achieved much success. It's the good ole boys network. Once you're in, you STAY in. How else to explain some of the colossal failures that have been fired by one team only to go elsewhere for another high paying gig?
Thing is, the Oakland Raiders, still very much in the playoff hunt themselves, just got a severe beatdown on national TV by the Packers at Lambeau Field. Yours truly thinks there's a pretty good chance that embarrassment will very shortly turn into being pissed. Next Sunday, they play at home in front of their beloved "Raider Nation", all the black and silver maniacs, likely with their playoff lives on the line. And guess who's coming to town? Matthew, Calvin, and a boy named Suh, fresh off his suspension.
If the Lions want to goon it up in Oakland -- well -- good luck with that.
I think they're going down. Maybe they beat the Chargers at home the following week. Maybe. Depends if Philip Rivers is having a good day or not.
The last week at Lambeau?
If Lions' fans are counting on that one, they should ditch the Kool-Aid and start pounding down shots of tequila. It won't change the outcome of the game, but at least they won't care.