The bad news is the Detroit Lions lost on a safety and two VERY bad calls -- especially the phantom "pass interference" call to put Minnesota in FG range. I rewound and watched that play about a dozen times and I couldn't see it. Period. If that was pass interference, then there were a whole lot of uncalled penalties on both sides.
The good news? The Detroit Lions lost on a safety and two very bad calls!! They were FINALLY in a game down to the final seconds of the game -- versus being out of the game by halftime. Or the first quarter.
I'll have to go back and watch the game again (although heart breaking, there was a lot to this one.)
Some initial thoughts:
Orlvosky didn't look bad. He didn't look great, but his decision making was much better than what Kitna has been showing so far this season. Bonehead play on the safety -- but that type of awareness only come with time. I need to go back and look to see who didn't pick up the blitzer -- which was a problem all game long. In particular, I think I noticed it when Rudi was in at RB, but I'll have to go back and see.
Nice runs by Kevin Smith -- especially the run where he launched himself out of the pile and into the clear picking up an extra 4 yards or so. That was amazing. Also - the long run that set up the FG was great blocking and finishing by Ramierez especially, but the Oline in general and an all around great run by Smith making great use of his blockers to pick up the extra yards.
This is the defense we saw in the preseason - getting aggressive, hitting hard, swarming to the ball, moving fast. The game that Barry called was more reminiscent of J. Johnson -- the Eagles defensive coordinator. While they did stay in their 4-3 base defense a lot, he was playing man in the secondary and bringing a variety of blitzes -- very effectively -- from different positions. I thought Barry by far called his best game as a DC. Let's hope the Lions allow him to continue and develop this more aggressive style of D -- because it is working.
The game, touted as an offensive point-fest by Minnesota, turned into a gritty defensive battle where every yard on offense was painfully ground out by both sides. It was awesome to see.
Maybe that Coach Rod hasn't quite lost this entire team yet after all. They do need to do something about that offense though.
With Orlovsky really doing almost enough to win it on offense (barely) I was reminded of another team - Chicago - with a similar type of situation. I would say Orton and Orlovsky are about on par at this point. They aren't going to be glamorous, but they aren't going to throw three picks in the final quarter when you are only down by two. Incompletions, yes. Picks, not as likely. I would like to see them stick, initially, with Dan O at QB for now.
Special teams did do qutie well for the most part, although I still want to see Middleton back there instead of Furrey. How can they get less yards??
Overall, great game that gives hope this season isn't over til it's over. A win next week, or at least another close game on the road, and who knows -- I may not even be blacked out for the Washington game...
Stranger things have happened. Just look at the game today...