On Sunday, the Detroit Lions visited the Minnesota Vikings to end the season. Neither team had much to play for. Maybe the Lions would finish 8-8, and that's something, I suppose. It's not much, but it may qualify as a thing to play for. There was not much enthusiasm about this game, especially after it came out that neither Calvin Johnson nor Adrian Peterson would play. So it was just a bunch of other dudes playing football, trying to score a relatively meaningless win. Good times.
The Vikings struck first, as wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson rushed for a 50-yard score. He is an exciting, big play guy, but that still isn't good. There would be no more scoring the rest of the first half. In the third quarter, the Lions tied the game, as Matthew Stafford hit Reggie Bush for a 19-yard score. Those two guys have been the source of scorn recently, and rightfully so, but here they managed to do some good for once.
In the fourth quarter, David Akers kicked two field goals to make it 13-7. The Lions were leading in the fourth quarter, so you can probably guess what happened. Matt Cassel hit Patterson for an 8-yard touchdown, and the Lions could not score one more single, solitary point. Detroit lost, once again, falling to 7-9 on the year with a 14-13 defeat.
The Lions had 245 yards of offense, while the Vikings had 345. Really exciting stuff, as you can imagine. At least Detroit managed to avoid turning the ball over. Stafford went 22-for-33 for 217 yards with his touchdown. Bush and Joique Bell combined for 63 yards rushing on 22 carries. Kevin Ogletree stepped in for Megatron to catch five passes for 75 yards. However, Detroit had problems stopping the pass rush, as the Lions gave up five sacks.
On the flip side, Detroit got three sacks, one interception, and a fumble recovery, and yet they only scored 13 points. They also gave up 115 yards rushing to Matt Asiata on 14 carries. That is, needless to say, awful. All year, the Lions excelled at pass protection and rush defense. Then that all fell apart in the season finale. Of course.
The Lions finish 7-9, as I predicted before the year. They will pick 10th in the 2014 NFL Draft, which is nice. They will likely have a new head coach for next offseason. By the time you read this, Jim Schwartz may already be gone. For now, however, we can close the book on Detroit's 2013 season. They teased us with the playoffs, and then they killed our souls.