The Lions WIN !!!
And I'm not just talking the coin flip either. They took the lead, kept it, and managed to hold on until time expired. Since the last win was in December of 2007, I almost forgot how to spell w-i-n.
Would this be a good time to point out that I predicted this win... in August?! Probably not, since I also predicted the next win wouldn't happen until after the bye week, against the Rams. I also don't plan on changing that prediction. 1-5 before the bye, 5-5 after. 13th pick in the 2010 draft.
Anyway, back to game #3. There was some very good things that happened in this game. Not so much in specific plays, though there were some of those, but in general, team-wise and individual-wise.
Stafford was having fun (unlike the first two games) and it showed. He also showed he is able to learn, both from past games when he intentionally threw the ball away in this game instead of forcing a ball into a bad spot, to later in the same game when he put some touch on a pass that previously he tried to rifle in without success. That doesn't mean he has permanently learned and will never repeat the mistakes again, he will, but it's the start that counts.
Kevin Smith (who I hope is okay) was doing some good things in the run game, as was the OLine. Just like rookie QBs, OLines need time together to improve, and this group is doing some of that. They will be limited to the weakest link on the line, but at least these coaches are getting the most out of them instead of making it worse. As for pass protection, at times it was okay, at others it was still bad. When the $100 million man (Haynesworth) sacked Stafford I was expecting a cart to have to come onto the field to haul our QB away... instead, somehow, our QB gets up okay and Haynesworth needs medical attention. One could say that maybe some of the bad luck has turned... happy players could make some more of their own good luck, and we're sure to see some of that yet later this year.
The wide receivers and tight ends as a group played a decent game, hopefully that's a sign they are all starting to "get it". Let the ups and downs commence... just be there more ups then downs (along with fewer and fewer downs as the year goes along).
The players on defense also showed a little talent here and there. Nothing earth shattering, nothing 100% perfect, just a hint of individual ability smattered in with team play. The accolades they are sure to get for this game won't hurt their confidence, that's for sure.
The team won this game despite individual errors, and they will win more, when the various elements align again. I suspect the team will be a little more competitive from now on, but the losses will still occur, simply due to how far behind the Lions were compared to the other teams in the league after Millen's fabulous assistance.
Oh, the Lions now have a better record then the Titans... does anyone think they miss coach Schwartz yet? I'm thinking they do. I know a lot of people were worried on those last two drives when the Lions went to prevent (I hate prevent as most of you know) but at least our new coaching staff actually knows how to run it, and when to run it. Unlike the previous coaching staff who ran it for the entire game (I'm sure those last two drives looked VERY familiar, except for the outcome .. to those who watched all the games last year).
So take it from me, this is not the last w-i-n of the season, the team will still lose more games then they win but will improve as the year progresses while being competitive in nearly all of them, and we have a really good coaching staff that knows how to bring a team up from the depths of despair. I would add that the rookie QB is progressing exactly as I suspected, as is the OLine, receivers, special teams and defense. Just do me a favor, after each of the next 3 losses, don't get all down, but rather look forward to the better games that are coming in the 2nd half of the season. Tonight feel free to bask in the glow of the word W-I-N.