Sunday, November 20, 2016

Game 10 2016 - Detroit Lions vs the Jacksonville Jaguars @ Home

Slow Start

The 6-4 Division Leading Detroit Lions beat the 2-8 Jacksonville Jaguars 26-19 with the Lions' sixth 4th quarter come-from-behind victory. The game was tied 9-9 at half time in a contest that was off to a very slow start. The Lions scored a touchdown ala a punt return and via an interception (pick 6) to go along with Eric Ebron's first run (from a hand off) for a score in the NFL and a couple of Matt Prater field goals.

Matthew Stafford was 24 of 33 (72.73%) for 278 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. The Lions netted a whopping 14 yards rushing and 7 different players had at least one reception. Bortles was never sacked but he did give away two interceptions. Fumbles were lost by both teams, one by the Jaguars and two by the Lions. It wasn't a great game, but it was a win, keeping the Lions in the lead in the NFC North.

The Lions continue to be overly cautious in their play and their play calling. Doing enough to win (well, 6 out of 10 times anyway) and all ten games so far were either won or lost by no more then one score (8 points or less). I'm uncertain if this kind of constant conservative play calling will produce a playoff team or not... but it has produced a lead... so it's hard to criticize things too much, especially when they win. You'd think they could do more then win by less then one score and you'd think they wouldn't have to come back from behind every single fourth quarter, but when you play to keep it close that's what you get, a close game.

The next game is only 4 days away, the traditional Thanksgiving Day game. This year it's against the Minnesota Vikings who also won today. In fact, the Vikings are also 6-4 but the Lions have already won their first game against the Vikings this year which breaks the tie in their favor... so the winner of this turkey day game will become the sole leader of the division and will have control over their destiny during the final 5 games of the regular season. With a Vikings win the Lions will fall one game behind and the head-to-head tie breaker will remain a tie making the divisional record the tie breaker going forward. With a Lions win the Vikings will have to win 2 games more then the Lions in the remaining 5 games of the season for the Lions will lead in any tie from then on. It's a critical game in the playoff hunt, and whether the game also has a slow start or not, the Lions need to somehow find a way to win the day. At least they are used to that sort of thing this year, even if we fans aren't used to it.

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