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Lions put in their place by Drew Brees and the Saints, 31-17

Jeff Lewis/Icon SMI - Yeah that was the guy that ran over us...he wore number 9, I think...

Ndamukong Suh and the boys....sorry, Suh wasn't there...couldn't get any kind of consistent pressure on Drew Brees all day long. 

Once again, the Lions tried to make an incredible comeback after being down 24-7...this time, for the second time this season, they didn't really even come close.

The Lions have almost finished their transformation from upstart young team that nobody wants to play to "Same Old Lions."

On Sunday, every team the Lions are truly fighting with for a playoff spot lost.  The clouds opened up, the sun shone down and the path was clear to everyone who wanted to see.  If the Lions wanted to take the reigns of their own destiny and put a stranglehold on a playoff seed all they had to do was win.

And instead, the entire team tried as hard as they could to emulate the poorest of Ndamukong Suh's play--the penalties.  Four personal foul penalties? Four egregiously stupid plays.

The Lions are a young team that completely lacks composure...and it all trickles down from the head coach.  Schwartz needs to keep more control of his own emotions and he definitely needs to find a way to stop his players from completely losing control of their emotions.

Because, right now, the Lions are playing losing football.

Not that there isn't a lot to get frustrated about...I mean, I can understand...the Lions seem to have an open war going on with the entirety of "offialdom."  Seriously.  I am shocked at all of the non-calls that the Lions are smacked down with...or the ticky tack calls that they get called for.

 On Mark Ingram's 14 yard TD the replay...Robert Meacham gets a big hold of Eric Wright's jersey and gives him a yank back, clearing the way for Ingram to get the corner and  No call. Touchdown.  Saints 7-0.

Patrick Buchanon gets an incredible jump on the field goal and blocks it...why?  Because he jumped early.  He was offsides!  Call? No points...half time.

I really don't want to sound like a whiner...but COME ON!  The disparity in calls is outrageous and I'm completely shocked every week by how much more outrageous it becomes.

Nate Burleson got a 15 yard personal foul call for a facemask...he was the ball carrier!  How many times in all of your years of watching football have you ever seen that called?  It's called a "stiff arm" go back and watch Red Grange do it...because they've been doing it since the frickin' 1920's!  Technically, yes, it IS a facemask...but it is never, ever called...unless you wear Honolulu Blue.

I don't know how that stuff changes.  It is said that you could throw a flag for holding on every play of every game, but it's a judgement call.  Well, apparently, the refs have judged that if the Lions have a positive play, they must have been holding.

What changes that?  What does a young team have to do to start getting the benefit of the doubt?

Green Bay gets the benefit of the doubt.  The refs "missed" so many holding calls against the Lions it made Suh "stomping mad."

What person down at the league office has to write the memo and send it out? 

An NFL game is controlled--on so many levels--by the refs.  Maybe the Lions should quit shoving them.  Maybe they should quit whining at them and try to get on their good sides.  Maybe, that might change some things.

These are the Lions.  They may be getting better, but they can't beat an elite team, their own injuries, their own stupid mistakes AND the refs.

And there's too much at stake now.  The Lions are in the thick of a playoff race...whether they want to grow up and see it or not.

There are two spots open and the Lions can certainly get one...They have four games remaining--three overtly winnable games and a rematch with the Packers.  The Lions simply have to do better than a quarterback-less Bears team, a Jeckyl and Hyde Falcons team, and a faltering Giants team...all doable...but not if they're going to keep negating everything positive they do with stupid penalties.