Sunday, October 27, 2013
2013 Game 8 - Dallas Cowboys @ Home
The (now) 5-3 Detroit Lions won at home against the (now) 4-4 Dallas Cowboys by a score of 31 to 30. While that line sounds impressive, it doesn't do any justice for describing the actual game that was played. Every week members of my Lions Forum go into the chat-room during the game as we watch it from various locations throughout the world, at the end of the chat this week I pronounced today's game the "Game of the Decade". I've been watching the Lions for 2 1/2 decades and I'm sorry, but these types of games don't happen that often.
I'm also sorry I predicted the Lions would lose this game last week, but as I posted repeatedly in my forum all this last week, the Lions aren't going to win unless certain things happened. One was that Matthew Stafford needed to cut in half his miss-throws. Bad ball placement is (in my opinion) why the Lions are losing the close games (not that other aspects of the team are innocent, not by a long shot). Well, Stafford did indeed cut in half his accuracy issues in this game, and that gave him the one stat he was deficit in, a greater then 62% completion percentage. (I'm not talking the drops, in this or any other game, those happen and Stafford can not control that). Stafford was 33 of 48 for 488 yards 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions (only one of which was on him). Now THOSE are franchise QB numbers!
Calvin Johnson set an NFL regulation yardage record, boasting a total of 329 yards to go along with his TD. I'm sorry Mr. Bryant, but there is now no doubt who is the better WR in this league (as if there were any before).
Another key to the game I was harping on this last week was the lack of balance between run plays and the passing game. Linehan and the Lions did a great job at that in this game, with 143 total yards on the ground (and 3 TDs) run by 4 different players. Including a fake spike as time was ticking down when Stafford went over the top instead for his rushing TD. I'm sorry, but that was just one sweet play (and not called as far as I can tell, Stafford did that one on his own).
The last key to the game was turnovers, I stated that the Lions had to win that particular stat by 1 or more to win the game. Well, the Lions gave up 4 turnovers and got none. If I recall correctly, only 1 time in 55 games has a team in the NFL won the game after giving up 4 or more turnovers. The Lions are the 2nd team in 56 to do so. No, I didn't see that one coming.
What I did see coming was the win. No, not last week when I predicted a loss. No, not during the week leading up to the game as I reiterated my prediction of a loss. No, not even during half time when the Lions were losing 7-10. It was during the 3rd quarter after the 4th turnover when the Lions were still only down 3 and just before the score went to 7-13, I stated more then once as fellow fans were giving up on the game and the season that I first posted that I thought the Lions would win this game. Play after play I simply became more and more confident that the Lions were going to win. I almost gave up shortly after the 2 minute warning at the end of the 4th quarter until I realized that the Cowboys weren't trying super hard to get a first down and the Lions had 2 timeouts remaining. With a minute to go the Lions drove the field for the game winning TD. Why did I believe with all my heart the Lions would win the game when they were pretty much giving the game away? Because they turned over the ball 4 times but were only down 3 points and CJ was ticked off when he fumbled the ball away. I'm sorry, but you don't want to get the Hulk nor Megatron mad. The focus in his eyes and the way the rest of the team had been playing gave me the premonition, the feeling, the Lions would win the game.
I'm sorry for all those fans who left the game early, because you missed one fantastic game, one you would gladly pay to go to again at any time in your life. You'd even be willing to pay more then you did.
I'm sorry for Mr Spurlock who (it would appear) has lost permanently his return job today. I do not believe he will be on the Lions roster come Wednesday.
I'm really sorry for Mr Broyles. Today's injury probably means the end of his NFL career.
Last, I'm sorry for the other teams in the league. The Lions almost went into the bye week having lost a game they would've known they could've won, especially after giving up 4 turnovers. Their mental state after the bye week might have put the team in the basement. Instead, the team has got 2 weeks to let this confidence sink into their systems, the team is going to be very confident going forward and very difficult to stop now.
I think my future predictions will be based more on health then on history. The Lions now know what they are capable of, this is the kind of thing that propels teams into the playoffs. It really does. They are going to annihilate the Bears after the bye week. Sorry Bears fans, but the Lions will win this next game by 3 scores at a minimum.
Posted by NetRat's Lions Blog at 7:57 PM