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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Game 7 - Washington Redskins @ Home on Halloween Day

S.W.A.K.

The Lions put the SWAK on the Redskins (Suh Williams Avril KVB) bigtime for an "easy" 37 to 25 win. Even after throwing an INT in the end zone early in the game and even after Burleson turning the ball over again after being stripped of the ball during another great drive. There were 3 TDs by CJ, lots of great runs by both Smith and Best, the 4th INT in 4 games for Smith, and some other great plays by various members of the team on various plays... but it would be hard to deny that the reason the Lions won the game was due to the SWAK, the defensive line.

There are a lot of fans who didn't get to see the SWAK though, since the game wasn't sold out and therefor blacked out. But for those of us who did see the game, what a great entertaining way to spend a part of Halloween day.

Stafford was a little rusty at first then started to get back into the grove eventually. Some of the other players tried to do the normal lions screw-ups in an attempt to give the game away, including allowing a kick return for a touchdown and various untimely penalties. The refs were a little more even in blowing the calls (which actually was nice to see, not the blown calls or non-calls, but that they spread around the horrible calls to both teams fairly evenly). But mostly each of the position groups started playing as a group, as a team. There is talent spread throughout the Lions roster and when they play as a team they are VERY hard to beat.

You won't be seeing any late night Lions jokes the rest of this year I do not believe. That honor will go to the Bills, the Cowboys, and even to the Vikings (ala Brett Favre). No, the Lions are now (so I do declare) a team to be reckoned with. As long as they do not hurt themselves too much, they can play toe to toe with any team in the league. Note: I did say "As Long As". For they can be beat by any team in the league as well if they do not play together.

Next week the Lions plays the Jets, at home. The Jets just lost 9-0 to Greenbay (yeah, 3 field foals to no points) and are going to be anxious to rectify that feeling. The Lions will need to really pull together to beat them. The Jets defense is top of the line, there will be a ton of frustration by the Lions offense when drives are hard to come by. Luckily, there is more to the team then just offense. Despite the perceived poor secondary, the Lions are proving to be a match for most teams and I don't think the Sanchez led offense will find the going any easier. Granted, the Lions defensive line is helping the linebackers and the secondary look good, but there can be no denying that the players currently on the roster are playing tough when they play together. The Redskins found out today just how tough the Lions defense is, now it's the Jets turn to be meet the SWAK.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Game 6 - 2010 @ New York Giants

Mental Errors.

Boy did I make a mental error. I sat Maclin and played Nicks in FFL at the last moment and now it looks like I will be losing that match in that one FFL game. Of course, that is NOTHING compared to the mental errors the various Detroit Lions players made. Between fumbles, penalties, and just about every stupid thing in the book that you can do to screw up a game, the Lions managed to eek out a close loss of 20-28.

I'm not saying the Lions could've won this game had they played a disciplined game... actually, yes I am saying that. If not for the sheer number and stupidity level of the mental errors the Lions would've ended their road game losing streak.

The only thing that looked worse then the Lions was the removing of Follett from the field on a stretcher (word is he has feeling in his extremities). Even the injury that ended up breaking Shaun Hill's left forearm didn't look as bad as the team played. I wonder what stewing over all these mental lapses will do now that the Lions are on their bye week. Will thinking about it for two weeks help or hinder? I guess that is up to the coaches and the players, to each their own, so to speak.

Lions will probably be looking for a QB and Stanton will probably be the #2 starting after the bye week. The Lions will also be a little thinner yet at LB it would seem. The front office doesn't get the bye week off, that much is for sure.

As for the players, they need to learn focus. Somehow, some way, they must learn how to remain focused. They've learned to shake off the problems that come up during the game and to keep playing hard, but they haven't learned how to focus and take advantage of that first step.

It should be interesting to see all the analysis that will be done for the next 13 days... but it will always come back to one thing. Mental errors.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Game 5 - St Louis Rams @ home

10-10-10

Not even the refs could give this game to the Rams. Lions 44-6 win was the widest margin of victory since 1995... this being the Lions first "official" win of the 2010 season. The game was won by a combination of defense, offense and special teams and the current Lions losing streak ends on 10-10-10.

You could argue that each facet of the team got a 10 as well.

Special teams? Yeah, they get a 10. They (Logan) tied the 105 yard return for a TD set in 1998 by Fair. All field goal attempts were perfect. Coverage units were great. No need to argue, the Lions special teams score a 10.

Defense? Holding the Rams to two field goals, holding Stephen Jackson from getting any major yards, not getting as many holding calls, and generally creating havoc for the NFL's new media darling, Bradford. The interceptions and fumbles along with recoveries were enough to make any fantasy football player wish they had played the Lions defense (and I did in a couple of my leagues). Were they 100% perfect? No. But in football you can score a 10 without being perfect on every single play. So I give the Lions defense a 10 in this game.

Offense? The running yards weren't quite as high as I would've wished, but the backup QB (Hill) played a very good controlled game despite not going to CJ much in the first half of the game. There are still things the team can work on, but when you win such a convincing game as this, you just plain old fashion deserve a 10 as well.

The team played a complete game. The score reflected the play on the field. The refs had no bearing on the results. It was all in the Lions hands from beginning to end and they all deserve a 10 for not just winning the game they were supposed to win, but for doing so quite decisively.

Next week the Lions have some momentum but the injury situation isn't quite known yet, so it's kind of hard to tell what is going to happen with that road losing streak... I can at least predict another hard fought game is on the schedule, and if this team can play this well next week... that road game losing streak can also become a thing of the past. Now, can the team play this well two weeks in a row? We are about to find out.

Meanwhile, we all get to celebrate a score of 10 on 10-10-10.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Game 4 - 2010 @ Green Bay Packers

Getting Closer.

The Lions did not embarrass themselves in this game, nope, not at all. Yes they lost 26-28 but I was expecting them to lose by 3 scores. I'm sure some will say it would not have been as close had the Packers not made so many mistakes but the Lions made mistakes too and neither team made as many mistakes as they both did last week. No, what happened is the team is starting to play hard together and everyone is starting to work together. When they play as a team they stay in the game... even with the lack of talent at certain positions. Yep, the TEAM is getting closer.

The officials are getting closer to calling a fair game as well. They still blew a few calls but they are getting closer.

The coaches are calling plays a little better. Closer to what the fans expected.

All in all I believe this game, even though it was a loss, will make some fans feel a little bit better about the future of the team. The Lions are getting closer, now it's time for some wins.