What a great game Thursday! Sure, if you just look at the score you’d say “blowout” — but the Lions were in that game right until the pick 6 late in the 4th quarter. Personally, I found it a lot more entertaining (despite the Lions loss) than the snooze-fest that was the Dallas-Oakland game. Pick 6’s, fumbles from both teams, a safety, goal-line stands, long passes… As I said in the Fantasy Buffet podcast on Wednesday (check the archives at the link in the story — I’m about 3/4 of the way in) it’s not just about “marquee matchups” — that is what the playoffs are for. It is about tradition. This was by far a much more entertaining game than that clunker vs Tennessee last year. Casual fans with no horse in the race got to see an entertaining game to go along with their Turkey and Cranberries. The Lions may not have won, but they certainly made case that Detroit should keep the game. (Just the sheer fact that the NFL scheduled Oakland to play Dallas tells you it is about the Detroit-Dallas tradition, not matching up top teams. Besides, Browns-Lions was billed as a clunker and ended up one of the most dramatic games of the season. You just never know with the NFL and rotating the game will not guarantee a “great game” on Thanksgiving — just different teams playing for it.)
A healthy Stafford and CJ could have really made this even closer. Say what you will, but pain is distracting and makes you think just that little bit slower – maybe push for that big play a little bit more. Stafford learned more playing this game than he would have from the bench. There wasn’t any harm in him playing (medically) and it allowed him to really test his limits, and get him experience trying to stage a comeback when the cards are physically stacked against you. A couple of the INT’s were boneheaded throws, but the one on the sideline was just a spectacular play by the GB defender to get the ball and get both feet in. Despite a slow start, Pettigrew had really come on as a receiving threat and his loss was felt by the offense both there, and his blocking.
Mike McCarthy: You are a classless jerk. Throwing the challenge flag with 2:22 left and a 22 point lead? Why not go for 2 on your last TD? Onside kick after the last score? It was totally unnecessary; I also think that call was very close and could have gone either way – so why Mike? Why? Just to rub salt in the wounds of a close game where the dam burst at the end? The pick-6 clinched it, so why not let the Lions make a dramatic drive for some points? This isn’t the BCS you know. Mrs. DetFan1979 said McCarthy just felt sorry for Stafford out there in pain, and wanted to get the kid off the field. Hmm…maybe she was right. Guess I better revise that opening opinion to Micke McCarthy: You are a compassionate guy, thinking of your opponent’s health like that.
More thoughts from the game:
- The Lions have no secondary. Period. Delmas, that’s it. Despite that, the Pack came out running and were frustrated until they finally let Rodgers start airing it out. Even then, Guenther once again made something of nothing and kept the Lions in the game until late in the 4th.
- How bad a situation is Cunningham in? Seriously — his Dline can’t get pressure. As soon as he brings pressure, he can’t cover up deficiencies in the secondary and the DB’s get absolutely torched. So how did the Lions hold out so long and hang in the game? Give Gunny some talent and we could be looking at a seriously strong defense.
- The offense is young — and going through the roller-coaster that is developing players. The OG position is not good. People may have been a bit down on Peterman, but look at what it’s been like since he went on IR. That right side just isn’t the same.
- Timing was off all day on the screens and quick outs that worked so well against the Browns. The openings were there, but the passes were off, and a couple times dropped.
- How about Dizon – heads up on the special teams fumble recovery, and then the over-turned TD that became a safety (kudos to Delmas on that play as well.)
- Marvin White didn’t do too bad considering he was a guy off someone else’s practice squad making his first NFL Start.
- Unfortunately, he didn’t really do so good either. He was just kinda there. Hopefully having an ifseason with the team will help
- The Lions are right about where I thought they would be. The second half looked easier that it is turning out at the beginning of the season, but that is why I’m always hesitant to predict wins/losses.
- NetRat has a great take once again on where the Lions are at this season, and I suggest going back and reading his take on the Vikings and Browns games as well. You can see the parts the Lions “fixed” this ifseason via the draft are developing well.
- Kevin Smith is a solid all-around back. The OG play needs to improve. That was horrible luck tripping over Felton as he had nothing but air in front of him; it was just that kind of game.
- I’ve heard 34k referred to as a “poor man’s Brian Westbrook”, and that seems to be a good way to put it.
- I don’t get three throws at 1st and goal from the 3. Put Felton in there and punch it in. I think that was a real momentum changer to miss that, and end up with a Safety instead. Sure, the safety was nice, but bulling that in would have made a dent in GB’s swagger, and a boost to Detroit’s players — especially the O-line, who was struggling. I think the coaching staff got too cute for their own good. Let’s not forget Schwartz is a rookie too.
- Enjoyable day watching football with family. We had our Turkey early this year — on Saturday — with family who came into town to help out and be with us after losing my mother in law. So I made the leftover turkey into a spectacular home made cream of turkey broccoli soup, with swiss cheese. One of the best batches I’ve ever made. Very enjoyable with bread and Lions football.
- It was hard to hear the next few minutes after the excited sqeals of the Little Pink Lions when the Lions recovered the fumble and scored right away. That is what the Thanksgiving tradition is really about.
I hope that everyone had a great time watching the game, and got to spend time with family this Thanksgiving. Appreciate them while they are here, and enjoy them while you can. I’ll be traveling the next couple of days, but will be writing a few peices while I’m on vacation this coming week to attend my brother in law’s wedding. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!!