Oh so close.
The Lions win their first game of the season, a road game no less, with a score of 27-20, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the win the Lions don't have to worry about a repeat of 2008 (the last time the Lions won all 4 preseason games they went 0-16 in the regular season). This win makes it the 9th game in a row the Lions have won (4 to end last season, all 4 preseason this year, and then today's game). Of course the score makes it look like it was a close game... but was it?
No, it wasn't. At the end of the first quarter the Lions were losing 6-10, but that's only because of special teams and Tampa's defense. There was exactly 4 yards of offense by Tampa in the first quarter. That's total offense. Had Talib not intercepted Stafford's intended throw to Heller the Lions would've appeared to dominate on the scoreboard as much as they did in the stats... until the Lions went into prevent.
Did I ever mention how much I hate the prevent defense?
It was while being in prevent that the Bucs offense scored their first TD, with less then 2 minutes to go in the game. It was also in prevent that the Bucs could've tied it up and took the game to overtime. Luckily, that did not happen.
Stafford threw for 305 yards, 3 TDs, 1 Int and was 24 of 33. http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2011091106/2011/REG1/lions@buccaneers#menu=highlights&tab=recap
Those kinds of numbers will keep the team in any game. If the defense can keep playing like they did in the first 3 quarters of the Tampa game, the team will win most of those games... depending on how often they go to prevent.
Oh do I hate prevent. I understand you are draining the clock, but all too often it allows an opposing team to get back into the game. Anyway... it worked, this time.
So why did I start this blog entry with the words "oh so close"?
Because, I predicted the Lions would win this game, 27 to 21. One point off. Oh so close.