Losing in the final seconds at Detroit could have been another blow to the downtrodden St. Louis Rams and their beat-down fan base.
It was actually a huge step forward.
The Rams lost for the 66th time in their last 81 games. But it has not dimmed the Rams' newfound competitive fire under first-year coach Jeff Fisher.
In 11 of their 14 losses last year, the Rams faced double-digit point deficits entering the fourth quarter. On Sunday, they actually had a fourth-quarter lead against a 10-win playoff team last year.
No doubt it's a confidence-builder heading into the home opener Sunday against the Washington Redskins.