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Nate Caminata - LionsFans.com
Prior to Sunday's matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, local media outlets joined the remainder of the world when it was decided the Detroit Lions would attain their first victory of the regular season.
After all, the Lions were the only remaining winless NFL squad, facing a suspect Bengals squad with problems of their own, at the friendly confines of the Pontiac Silverdome.
The oddsmakers even favored Detroit by a field goal.
1-5 was almost inevitable. Then reality hit. The Lions proved, despite the eerie confidence they've displayed the past month, that they are only as good as their record ... which explains Sunday's 31-27 loss to the Bengals.
Detroit dropped ... no wait ... plummeted ... to 0-6, and into the depths of the NFL cellar. The six game skid ties the ball club's worst start since 1955.
It started with Bengals' running back Corey Dillon's 96-yard touchdown scamper in the first quarter ... on the first play of the game. Symbolic to their season, the Lions -- via Dillon's run -- had removed themselves from a contest before they were even in it.
And it ended in familiar fashion; a late Lions' rally that succumbed to another unfriendly game clock. Along with more silly errors.
Dillon, deciding early to punish the Lions' defensive line and injury-riddled secondary, ran for 184 yards on 27 carries. Dillon was also responsible for Cincinnati's first two touchdowns, scoring three total in the contest.
The Lions, in spite of Dillon's record-shattering run, took a 27-24 lead late in the third quarter on a 1-yard David Sloan touchdown reception. That lead would be short-lived, however, when Cincy quarterback John Kitna engineered a 13-play, 83-yard drive culminating in Dillon's final touchdown of the contest.
Lions' quarterback Charlie Batch, who had thrown for consecutive 300-yard games the past two weeks, tossed two touchdown passes but also lost one fumble and threw two interceptions.
Batch missed the majority of practice during the week due to a sore shoulder, but seemed to be the reason behind an upbeat Lions' team that -- despite 5 consecutive losses -- had found their groove. Following the loss, that tone changed dramatically.
"This is the worst I've ever felt in my football career," said Lions' safety Ron Rice "I feel like there's nothing we can do right."
Lions' cornerback Todd Lyght echoed those sentiments: "Everybody feels miserable."
As does every individual that predicted -- and hoped -- for Detroit's first win.
Safety Kurt Schulz returned to Lions after missing the past five contests. Schulz tallied an interception during the contest.
Kick return specialist Desmond Howard, starting at wide receiver, had his career-best 229 yard performance negated by the loss, which included a 91-yard kickoff return.