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Opinion: Detroit Lions give fans reason to believe, show they can play with the…

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Opinion: Detroit Lions give fans reason to believe, show they can play with the...

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One of these days, they will win a game like this. One of these days will all be over, and will you wake up from this half-century nightmare?

Well, that's not quite it.

Not after what happened to his Detroit Lions hosted the most exciting team in football and almost won. Maybe you should beat them. An inch here or there and they absolutely beat them.

That's how close it was at the Ford Field Sunday where Kansas City won, 34-30. In fact, it was closer than that.

This was such a bizarrely fun game that it took two attempts from Hail Mary.

Two?

Sure, why not? It had almost everything else. Except, of course, a Lions win. But that's fine for now. Because in defeat, the Lions only gave him one reason to believe.

Oh really. A real reason. Maybe several of them.

Because everything we learn on Sunday, we learn the following:

They can play with anyone. That should be clear now, after Lions got the most explosive team in the NFL.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and center Frank Ragnow celebrate wide receiver touchdown Kenny Golladay (not pictured) during the third quarter against Kansas City Chiefs at Ford Field on Sunday, September 29, 2019 (Photo: Tim Fuller USA TODAY Sports)

Patrick Mahomes? Yes, he's good, and probably this season's MVP. But Matthew Stafford was not far behind.

Not even Kenny Golladay, the third-year Lions recipient who is becoming as dangerous an offensive force as any other city in Kansas City.

Stafford and Golladay and, running back, Kerryon Johnson led the Lions to 30 points, which should have been enough for the defense, giving up yards but stopping when necessary.

Well, except for the end of the game, when Kansas City scored the winning touchdown with 20 seconds to play.

Still, Matt Patricia's defense was smarter and more sneaky for most of the day and legitimately slowed Mahomes and his group of skill players. The Chiefs attack scored 27 points – the other seven came from a defensive scoreboard.

It was a good enough performance to win. In a game good enough to remember. And you should.

By the kind of statement the Lions made and the game itself.

Heck, only the third trimester performed a novel of plot twists. Five fumbles. A 100-yard touchdown returns after one of them. A touchdown overridden by repetition. An obstacle attempt that led to a fall led to a head crash on the grass.

That cost Lions Tight Rookie, T.J. Hockenson, which was quiet for several minutes after the leak and had to be removed from the field.

Twice, the Lions had first and goal and failed to score. Once on the return of 100 yards – Kerryon Johnson was tucked into a pile before squirting. And once when Stafford was released from his pocket and fumbled trying to play before he was hit.

After the long comeback, and the Chiefs took the lead, 20-13, and the crowd fell silent, the Lions rallied, fluffed away the remains and … kept playing.

If you are looking for the essence of what Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia are trying to bring from New England, here it is.

And there it was.

Not just in the end, but before, when the game started moving to Kansas City, and the Lions didn't let that happen. The proof was in the details. Like when Matt Prater mounted for a 58-yard attempt and the starter led the Chiefs to jump offside at a difficult count.

Who does this?

In the next move, Prater booted 53 yards, reducing the lead to four.

The Lions stopped Kansas City again – forcing another fumble – and moved the ball 45 yards to a touchdown when Stafford thrust a heater into traffic and into Kenny Golladay's arms.

By the way, it was Golladay, whose near touchdown had been knocked down at the replay booth earlier in the quarter. And it was Golladay who got a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to give the Lions their final lead.

It just wasn't enough.

Yes, this is a familiar refrain around these parts. And maybe an excuse if it were most other Sundays.

But don't lean on it now, right now. The Lions are building something here. It was easy to see, even if the loss was heartbreaking.

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