Allen Park — Sunday’s painful loss evoked an eerily similar feeling for Lions offensive lineman Graham Glasgow.
After Golden Tate caught a quick pass from Matthew Stafford on a slant and appeared to score a 1-yard touchdown with eight seconds remaining, Glasgow and his teammates were on the cusp of celebrating the team’s first 3-0 start since 2011.
The moment of euphoria quickly turned to stunning disbelief, as the play was reviewed and Tate was ruled down short of the goal line, triggering a 10-second runoff and ending the game with the reigning NFC champion Falcons escaping with a 30-26 win.
Roughly two years ago, Glasgow experienced another moment of heartbreak on the game’s final play when Michigan held a 23-21 lead over rival Michigan State and was 10 seconds — and seemingly one punt — away from moving to 6-1.
But a nightmare soon unfolded at Michigan Stadium as punter Blake O’Neill mishandled the snap and fumbled the ball into the awaiting arms of Jalen Watts-Jackson, who returned it 38 yards for a touchdown as time expired to give the Spartans a miraculous 27-23 victory.
“Yeah, I felt like that,” Glasgow said Monday comparing the two gut-wrenching defeats. “That’s what my girlfriend said on the way home. That’s how she felt about it. I mean, it’s a bad feeling, but we’re trying to prepare to win this next week and that would wash that foul taste out.”
Glasgow and the Lions are hoping recover and bounce back, much like the Wolverines did in 2015. Michigan won five on its final six games, including a dominant 41-7 win over Florida in the Citrus Bowl.
Glasgow said there’s no tricks to mentally get past a disheartening loss and no time to dwell on it, especially with a divisional matchup against the Vikings waiting right around the corner.
“It seems like every week you’re going against a different challenge, another guy who is just as good as the last guy you played against,” he said. “It’s just the nature of the business.”
Still, Glasgow was pleased with the shuffled and shorthanded offensive line’s effort, and how it handled adversity against the Falcons.
The Lions were without starting center Travis Swanson (ankle) and backup guard Joe Dahl (leg), who were both sidelined with injuries. As a result, Zac Kerin, a Week 1 waiver claim, started at left guard and Glasgow shifted over to center, a switch he “took in stride” after a solid showing at guard against the Giants in Week 2.
“I can’t really remember somebody giving up on a play,” Glasgow said. “People were trying to finish and be physical and that’s something that kept us in it.
“I think that for Zac being here for three weeks, he did a really good job and he was asked to do a lot and asked to communicate quite a bit, but I think he did well. I think that the O-line as a whole played all right. There’s definitely some things that we can improve upon. That’s something we’re looking towards in the future.”