What appeared to be a Cinderella, story-book like season for the Detroit Lions has sadly come to an end. The 2023/2024 Detroit Lions team was primed and ready to go to the Super Bowl with just one more victory over the number one seed San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately for the Lions, the third-quarter curse took effect, and once again, the Lions were unable to obtain the one thing they had never done before, and it was bittersweet.

This is a very different Detroit Lions team than we saw in the early 90s blow a game to the Washington Redskins. The Detroit Lions hit the field and we’re playing like they wanted to go to the Super Bowl. But historically this team has been terrible in the third quarter and a lot of mishaps led to them blowing this game, one possession at a time.

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As much of an inspiration and a difference maker as he has made in the locker room, head coach, Dan Campbell’s decision to go for it on fourth down, instead of trying for a field goal to put the Lions up by three scores, was one of many questionable plays that started a downhill spiral. I’ve heard people who are saying we’re not allowed to be critical of a particular play just because during the regular season, those types of decisions were made regularly, and at times when they worked and were celebrated.

This game is different for the fact that the Lions had a 14-point lead at the time against the number one team in the conference who had been very charitable with the game up until that point. It didn’t help that during two crucial plays Josh Reynolds had frying pan hands when counted on to get the Lions closer to another touchdown.

Trouble With The Hands

Then there is the very lions-like interception with the ball, bouncing off our player's mask, and into the hands of the 49ers wide receiver leading to a touchdown. There isn’t one person to blame for Lion's loss, but the gamble to attempt the ability to go by three touchdowns as opposed to three scores was an unnecessary gamble.

The 49ers came out of the third quarter, and the defense held them to only if field goal. Attempting a field goal and getting those points back would have been crucial but instead, they missed the fourth down got the crowd worked up, and then the 49ers proceeded to get the crowd back in the game and shift the entire momentum.

SOL Is Dead, But Prepare To Gamble With Future Games

The sad part is they should and could have won that game and the way they were playing at the start proved it. As far as coaching is concerned, Dan Campbell is probably one of the best Lions coaches there have ever been. He stated that he stood by his 4th Down decisions from the NFC Championship game, which paints a very clear picture.

As long as he is at the helm, continue to cheer for the Detroit Lions with the understanding that with him in charge, the team will continue to live and die by the gamble.

Highlights From the Lions NFC Divisional Game against the Bucs

Gallery Credit: Getty Images

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