Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Groundhog Day

Just like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, it seemed we were going to keep re-living the same game over and over and over again with the Lions this year.  I left the same game summary up for three games -- and it fit every single one. 

This week, however, we finally woke up to something other than Sonny and Cher.  The Lions have another victory -- one we haven't seen anything like in...well...too long to remember, that's how long.

How crazy was it?

  • The Lions won a low-scoring defensive struggle
  • The Lions defense made a defensive stop to allow the Lions to preserve a lead and win
  • The Lions had almost 200 yards rushing
  • The Lions knocked the OTHER team's QB out of the game for once. 
  • The Lions only had 6 penalties
  • Drew Stanton was the best rated passer in the game - with about a -10
  • The Lions defensive line utterly dominated the Packers
  • The Lions beat a playoff caliber team -- and in doing so, may have knocked them out of the playoffs.
That's right.  Green Bay goes to New England while the Bears get to face reeling Vikings.  If the Bears win, and Green Bay loses the Bears have clinched the North thanks to tie breakers.  This loss also puts Green Bay needing help to get in even if they win out thanks to other wildcard teams also holding tiebreakers over Green Bay.  Thanks in part to that one Lions win the Packers could have ten wins and be on the outside looking in come playoff time.

The Lions beat a team - finally - that they weren't supposed.  And they did it almost as ugly as you can get offensively with the defense carrying the game.

One Thanksgiving note -- Looking at the last 3 games the Patriots have played, they are back in "perfect season" form.  Know what's scarier?  The Lions put up the best fight of all 3 of those teams -- the other two who are (or were) playoff bound, keeping the Thanksgiving matchup competitive into end of the 3rd quarter.    From Don Banks:

• A 45-24 defeat of the Lions in Detroit on Thanksgiving, in which the Patriots, playing on three days' rest, rallied past their plucky opponent by outscoring it 35-7 after halftime.
• The 45-3 destruction of the Jets last Monday night, in the much-ballyhooed showdown that swung the AFC East almost irreversibly to New England's advantage.
• And finally, Sunday's eye-popping 29-point win in the wintry elements, with the Patriots storming to a 33-0 halftime lead and making the tough-guy Bears (9-4) look like mere cubs in search of a warm place to lie down. Once again, it was New England that faced both a short week of work and a road trip to the Midwest. No matter.
Do the math. That's a five-game onslaught in which the Patriots have overwhelmed their opponents by a combined 196-88 (or 39-18 per game), with only one game having any drama by the fourth quarter. To slice it even a little thinner, since trailing at the half in Week 12 at Detroit, New England has outscored the Lions, Jets and Bears (oh, my!) 116-17 over the course of its last 10 quarters.

In other words, the last team to hold a lead over the Patriots was...the Lions. 

All of that being said fellows, I'm still thinking the Lions get one more win at most this season.  They are very injured, and where the backups have stepped in well (Landon Johnson, Turk McBride) they have even less depth than they did to begin the season -- which was about a half a napkin deep. 

So put your booties on folks because it's cold out there, real cold.  But it'll be warmer soon...say the 2011 season. 

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