Losing in the playoffs often leads to delusions and ignoring what actually happened. The Detroit Lions seem to pin all the blame on the officials and that pass interference that wasn’t called, but in truth, they were simply outplayed in the second half and especially the fourth quarter by the Dallas Cowboys.
Even before going into the fumbles, the interception, the lapses in pass coverage and the difficulty of getting the same amount of pressure on Tony Romo as they managed to do in the first half, there’s that simple number that makes it all so easy to digest: The Lions scored 3 points in the entire second half. One field goal. That’s it. While the Cowboys? They didn’t exactly run all over the Lions, but they got enough done, scoring 17 points, including that late touchdown from Romo to Terrance Williams.
The officials, when you start cancelling out all that happened on that play and shortly after it, got it wrong. It should have been a repeat of the third down, not the fourth down. But to pin the entire game on that when the Lions had plenty of other opportunities to score but got stuck in the middle of the field, when knowing fully well that they had a lot of calls going their way in the first half and in the third quarter is simply lying to the media, fans and themselves about why they actually lost.
Maybe it’s not that surprising. Players don’t get to see it from the same angle as we do. They were inside the action, and didn’t get an all encompassing view of the field. No replays (at least not right away) and obviously a lot of emotion invested into every snap and play. Jameis Winston said after Florida State got blown out by 39 points in the college football playoff that their game with Oregon could have gone either way. Delusion comes in many forms.
The media isn’t helping. Instead of analyzing the mistakes made by the Lions on offense, how the Cowboys’ defense adjusted and stepped up like that huge sack and fumble recovery by DeMarcus Lawrence to end the game, or how the offensive line started stopping Suh and the blitzes that kept Tony Romo confused and the offensive line grasping for air in the first half and some parts of the second one as well, they keep going to the simple answer: The Lions lost because of a call, which is being blown out of proportion.
There were mistakes before that one in that game, most of them in the Lions’ favor, but no one is mentioning that. Every little decision and play has an effect on the final result, but to make the entire Wild Card playoff game in which Tony Romo didn’t throw an interception and stepped up big time in the fourth quarter while the much criticized defense was able to get to Matthew Stafford on multiple occasions about an official mistake on a pass interference call is simply putting a smoke screen that hides the real reasons behind the loss, which is being outplayed and outcoached by the Dallas Cowboys.