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Colts Shock Lions: Good, Bad and Ugly
The Detroit Lions lost their fourth consecutive game on Sunday, this time 35-33 to the Indianapolis Colts. To remain consistent with 2012's theme of close, heart-breaking losses, the Lions watched a 12-point lead evaporate in just over eight minutes. The Colts scored the winning points with 0 seconds left on the clock. With the loss, the Lions fall to 4-8 and douse even the most optimistically burning flame of post-season hope. Here's a look at the good, bad and ugly. The Good – Calvin Johnson Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson has been a shinning bright spot throughout the team's four-game skid. With his 13 catch, 171-yard performance, Johnson has now registered at least 120 receiving yards in five straight games. He also has a touchdown catch in four consecutive games. Johnson is on pace to break Jerry Rice's single-season mark for receiving yards (1,848), a record that has stood since 1995. With the way the season has unfolded, cheering for Johnson to shatter that record may be one of the only things Lions fans have left to root for. The Bad – The Collapse The Lions led at the end of the first quarter as well as half time. They carried a nine point lead into the fourth and had the Colts down by 12 with less than nine minutes to play. After scoring on five of their first seven drives, the Lions punted on five of their last seven, including the last two of the game, when they had the chance to ice the victory. The defense forced a punt or a turnover on 11 of the Colts first 14 drives but surrendered touchdowns on the last two drives of the game. The Lions had the chance to make interceptions, tackles or simply not give up huge chunks of yardage to preserve the victory and they couldn't. They also could have ensured a win by simply moving the chains one more time on offense. They put themselves in a strong position to win and ended up watching the Colts celebrate a last-second comeback on their home field. The Ugly – The Last 3:29 of the Game For Lions fans, the most painful moments of the game occurred over the course of the last three and a half minutes. It all started with the Colts facing a fourth and two on their own 28-yard line. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was able to convert by scrambling for eight yards and the Lions gave up another 15 yards due to a horse collar penalty on defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Three plays later, the Colts converted on a third and five, extending the drive once again. On the next play, Luck hit receiver LaVon Brazill – who got behind veteran cornerback Drayton Florence – for a 42-yard touchdown. The Colts kicked the ball back to the Lions and the team's offense had the opportunity to end the game. They got one first-down after a pass interference penalty was called against the Colts then ran three times for six yards and had to punt. Still, an outstanding opportunity presented itself to pin the Colts against their own end zone, instead Lions punter Nick Harris rattled off a 25-yard kick and the Colts took over at their own 25. The Colts were allowed to convert plays of 14, 16 and 24 yards on the drive and – despite having no timeouts and just over a minute on the clock to start the drive – had a chance from the 14-yard line with three seconds left. With all that, the Lions simply needed to avoid allowing 14 yards on the game's last play and all the bad leading up to that moment would have been forgotten. Luck hit receiver Donnie Avery on a shallow crossing route and Avery ran the ball into the end zone for the win. The Lions had a handful of chances to stop this loss from occurring and they failed. Another week, another tough loss.
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