Sunday, November 6, 2016

Game 9 2016 - Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings

At present.

The 5-4 Detroit Lions defeat the 5-3 Minnesota Vikings 22-16 in overtime. Since the Lions win the tie breaker (at present) they lead the division, right? Well no, the Vikings have already had their bye week so they have a half game lead, but next week, when the Lions are on their bye week, should the Vikings lose at the Washington Redskins, the Lions then would have a half game lead over the Vikings, and depending on how the Packers do, either a one game or two game lead over them, making the Lions the division leaders.

Matthew Stafford was 23 of 36 (63.889) for 219 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception, in one of his worst games of the year so far. Yet, he was the guy, he lead the team to field goal range in the final seconds of the game to give Prater a chance to tie things up, and he led the first (and final) drive in overtime to score the game winning touchdown. The running game produced 97 yards on 25 attempts, led by Riddick for 70 of those. The leading receiver was none other then Eric Ebron for 92 yards on 7 receptions. Riddick had but 1 reception for 6 yards. The defense allowed Bradford to get 31 of 40 (77.5%) for 273 yards and a TD with no INTs (or any other turnovers for that matter). The defense helped with a few key stops, and special teams definitely helped as well, but even though Stafford had some issues with true accuracy and touch he was definitely the MVP of the game via putting together a couple of drives at the end of the game when it mattered the most.

The Lions have some issues still with coaching, and with keeping their composure, and even with consistency, but when it comes to focusing and driving in the final moments of a game, Matthew Stafford and his offense are able to get the job done, even against a top NFL defense.

Next week nearly every Lions fan will reluctantly root for the Redskins to beat the Vikings while hopefully the Lions get healthier, do some self evaluation, and even more hopefully, get better, as they prepare to either gain or maintain their lead in the NFC North. It's not like they are a power team, but they do have just as much a chance of making noise this year as any other team, not only in the NFC North but in the NFC period. Not every fan is "there" yet, not many fans are willing to get their hopes up, and they have some very good reasons for that, but despite it all, at present the Lions are among the top teams in the NFC, and in fact, in the NFL. So get ready for an interesting ride.

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