Thursday, November 28, 2013

2013 Game 12 - Green Bay Packers @ home on Thanksgiving Day

What a difference.

The (now) 7-5 Detroit Lions tromped on the (now) 5-6-1 Green Bay Packers with a score of 40-10. After repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot for a quarter and and half the Lions got their collective heads out of their collective backsides and played like everyone knew they could. The Lions went on a rampage scoring 37 unanswered points after getting behind 3-10, what a difference a short week makes.

Matthew Stafford went 22 of 35 for 330 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs. The defense held Flynn to 10 of 20 for only 139 yards 0 TDs and 1 INT. Not only that, the defense also held the Packers to 24 yards rushing. The Packers only TD was a fumble recovery for 6 in the 2nd quarter just before Stafford and company woke up and started focusing on playing the game correctly.

The Lions defense even managed to get their first safety of the year. Did I mention the Lions forced two fumbles and recovered them both? No, I probably didn't. I would mention how the Lions blitzed more then I've seen them do all season but I don't want to get anyone's hopes up that that will continue into the future (though I truly hope it does). What a difference it makes.

Lions had 2 fumbles and 2 interceptions before they finally (FINALLY) stopped the bleeding and truly focused in on the game. I have no idea what switch got flipped or by who, but I'm terribly glad it happened. Hopefully whoever responsible can remember how to flip that switch in the future in case it's needed again.

There were many things that made a difference this game, I shall simply list some of them:

1. The Fans didn't sleep through the game, they actually made some noise and tried to be a proper 12th man.
2. The coaching staff actually called more run plays then pass plays, over 40 run plays to 35 passes.
3. The coaching staff actually blitzed the opponent, and the blitz actually got to the QB.
4. Matt Stafford actually completed more then 60% of his passes. Most of them were on target as well.
5. Most passes that could be caught were caught, the number of drops was severally reduced.
6. The officiating was fairly accurate, fair, and didn't interfere with the games outcome.
7. Every member of the team played as if they were totally focused on the game sometime soon AFTER the fumble for a TD in the second quarter.

What a difference every one of the 7 listed items made. The Lions are now alone in 1st place in the division, own the tie breaker with the Bears, and by splitting with the Packers this year no one owns the head-to-head tie breaker there (where as the Packers owned it before this game). When it comes time to determine the division winner at the end of the season these facts could make quite a difference.

The Lions now have 10 long days until they go take on the Philadelphia Eagles, hopefully the momentum from the 2nd half of the Packers game carries over into the Eagles game. Hopefully the Lions do not lose the focus they displayed today, or if they do lose focus I truly hope they are able to find it before it's too late and eek out another road win. Every road game is challenging, and the Lions haven't shown they are consistent yet this year, but it's just possible they can win this game to maintain their lead in the division. My prediction is once again hard to make, but I'll go with a 24-23 score and cross my fingers and toes. Hmmm... I appear to have some kind of optimism again, what a difference a win makes.

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