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Sunday, November 10, 2013

2013 Game 9 - Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears


Wasn't Very Pretty

The 6-3 Detroit Lions won their 2nd game of the season against the 5-4 Chicago Bears 21-19. Since the Packers also lost today that puts the Lions in first place in the division all by themselves, a game ahead of the Packers and two games ahead of the Bears (due to tie-breaker rules). The Lions have never had a solo lead in the division this late in the year since they won the division in 1993. If I wanted to describe the game in 3 words or less, I'd have to simply say "it wasn't pretty".

Calvin Johnson broke Herman Moore's Lions TD record in the game after scoring two touchdowns to bring his total to 63 in 100 games, a full 2 years sooner then it took Herman Moore to get to 62. Matt Stafford was 18 of 35 for 219 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT. Like I said, it wasn't pretty.

The Lions defense held the Bears to 38 yards rushing, proving once again that they are a run defense to be reckoned with (no team is running wild on them this year, so far). They did allow 312 yards passing between the two Bears' quarterbacks though, there is still work to be done on the pass defense but they did tighten up when the team needed them to the most, and even if it isn't very pretty, at least it got the job done.

Once again my main complaint of the game would be Stafford's ball placement. The Lions nearly lost this one and if they had a lot of people would've come down much harder on Matt for his errant throws. However, at some point near the end of the 3rd quarter (as I was saying in chat once again) you could see the Lions quarterback get into a kind of groove (as they say). You could see his focus improving. Some call it clutch (big talks about that a couple weeks ago in my forum). That ability to focus despite the added pressure of needing to win the game as time runs down. Now the Lions weren't actually behind in the 4th quarter it just felt like they needed more points to win the game, but I could tell that the Lions were going to win at that point in time regardless of the past 3 quarters and regardless of the lead, simply because Stafford suddenly was placing the ball much better. He was focused. He was clutch. It wasn't a pretty game, but it was effective.

The defense was also clutch, as I said. They tightened up just when the team needed them to the most. Despite some mental errors earlier, which were made up for a little later on, the team put in that extra soul searching effort right at the end of the game to prevent a 2 point conversion and an on-sides kick to seal the deal. No, it shouldn't have had to come to that, the Bears were dealing with their own issues (some of which the Lions created)... so what can you say, it wasn't a pretty win, but it was a win, and it propels the Lions into first place in the division holding a crucial tie-breaker and momentum as they continue the 2nd half of the 2013 season.

The next game will be in Pittsburgh against the Steelers, a team who struggled earlier this year but have since starting playing a little better. I predict another close game until the 4th quarter then once again finding the Lions the winner with a score of 26-20. Fair warning, it's not likely to be very pretty either.

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