This one stings for the Lions: "We let everybody down"


After another big day for the Lions offense in another loss to the Seahawks, Detroit's third in as many years, Josh Reynolds was fighting back emotions in front of his locker.

"That’s just a tough one, man," said Reynolds. "Especially after last year, definitely was a payback game, but we couldn’t finish it out. We just kept stopping ourselves."

Ultimately, the Lions couldn't stop the Seahawks. Their defense, hellbent on revenge after getting stomped by Seattle two games in a row, got stomped again with the game on the line. The Seahawks got the ball first in overtime and went 75 yards in nine plays to turn a madhouse into a mausoleum. On a day Ford Field may never have been louder, it watched in silence as the Seahawks celebrated in the end zone.

Both Aidan Hutchinson and Kerby Joseph called it a "wake-up call" for the Lions. Perhaps they had been lulled into complacency after an offseason of hype crested in a statement win in Week 1. Perhaps they were overconfident. Their defense wasn't nearly good enough Sunday, and their offense had two killer turnovers in the second half. Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith was barely grazed while completing 32 of 41 passes behind an offensive line missing both its starting tackles.

"We just gotta know, man, this burns," said Joseph. "We just gotta soak the feeling in and learn from it. The mistakes. Can’t have mistakes."

The mistakes in the secondary were mostly miscommunications. Relying on hand signals in a cauldron of noise, the Lions were too often on different wavelengths. That led to wide-open receivers all over the field, which was exacerbated by a pass-rush that couldn't get home. A fired-up fanbase was ready to explode Sunday, and it nearly did when the Lions clawed their way back from a 10-point deficit in the dying minutes. It ended with a fizzle, like a fireworks show without a finale.

"To be honest, I feel like it was a letdown," said Joseph. "We let the fans down, we just let everybody down."

"Detroit’s very excited for what we’re building here and you have a game like that, it’s just a shot in the leg," said Hutchinson, who should have been heard from more playing against backup tackles.

"We’re sorry," said Jerry Jacobs, who was turned around in coverage more than once. "That sh*t was loud. Just keep bearing with us. We got you."

They all added the obligatory "buts," that the defense will grow from this, that it's only game two, that there's so much football yet to be played. But the Lions missed an opportunity Sunday to validate their own ambitions, on their own turf. They could have jumped out to an early lead in the division they're favored to win. They also could have rewarded a crowd that was so loud it nearly broke the decibel record at Ford Field during player introductions.

They reminded everyone, instead, that this is the hardest part of the climb. The Lions were leading at home entering the fourth, only to leave with a loss. If this roster is ready to win, this team has some catching-up to do.

"You would like to get the first one in front of the fans," said Jared Goff, whose near-record streak of passes without an interception was snapped in the worst possible way, on a pick-six in the fourth quarter. "I think that makes it sting a little bit more."

Dan Campbell, for his part, called the loss a slice of "humble pie." The Lions have no choice but to eat it. They are a good team, but "not good enough," as Campbell said, to "turn the ball over" twice in enemy territory. After living up to their own expectations in the opener, the Lions learned Sunday that they're still growing up.

"Sometimes you don’t know exactly where you’re at until you’re in it," said Campbell. "We come off a big win and you can always preach certain things, but this is the NFL and these guys came in and took that win. They earned it over there, and we made the mistakes that cost us."

C.J. Gardner-Johnson wanted the fans to wear ski masks Sunday, and a lot of them did. All of them turned up the volume in Ford Field. The silence at the end wasn't deafening. It was defeated. So it sounds to get out over your skis.

Featured Image Photo Credit: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK