Tag Archives: Detroit Lions

Lions and Cardinals victorious in Monday Night Football's opening night

New York Giants v Detroit Lions

For those who didn’t get enough football on Sunday, last night provided a big helping of dessert with two games on ESPN for their first edition of Monday Night Football. I’ve always enjoyed having a second game on the opening night, even if it is a pretty late start for the second game. Not just because it’s more NFL but also because the second game always seems to be worth (remember this game?) staying up for. Last night was no different as the game, after a very slow start, came down to the final quarter. But first, we have to take care of discussion the lopsided game between the Lions and Giants.

For a second there, I thought that Calvin Johnson (164 yds, 2 TDs) would end up with something like 400 yards and 5 touchdowns after what we saw in the first quarter last night. The Lions struck early against the Giants who, for whatever reason, decided to leave Johnson open for two scores. Megatron is actually the last receiver on the planet that one would want to give space to. That’s just the way the night went for the Giants. Because they fell into an early deficit, the Giants were trying to fix their mistakes and at the same time, make some sort of comeback. The Giants managed to hang around after a good 2nd quarter but after the third quarter was dominated by the Lions, the game was out of reach. My favorite play of the night goes to Matt Stafford and his 5-yard run for the score in the 3rd quarter. The play essentially put the game out of reach and Detroit was on their way to getting their first victory of the season. New York has plenty to work on after yesterday’s game. Eli Manning couldn’t avoid getting another multi-interception game, and now the questions about his status as a Giant begin early. On thing is for sure after this weekend: the NFC East can officially be named as the worst division in the league. Detroit, on the other hand, finds itself in tied for first place along with the Vikings in the North. Crazy!

Another Monday night game and another 4th quarter meltdown by the Chargers. Maybe San Diego should just say “no” to all games that feature them in front of a national audience. But in all honesty, the Chargers were a bit fortunate to be ahead in this game when the 4th quarter rolled around. They had some nice plays here and there, but when one looks back at the game a little bit, one can clearly see that “fortunate bounces” went their way. Every team has those nights and the luck stopped in the 4th quarter. The Chargers were mounting a nice drive, with at least a field goal in their pocket (to put them up by 8) but a botched snapped forced them to punt. Arizona gets the ball back, mounts an impressive drive from their own 9-yard line, and eventually scores with only a few minutes left. San Diego was charging to try and win the game but fell short on a 4th down attempt. Props to the Cardinals defense. They weren’t great by any means last night but made some nice plays when they needed it. It was a sloppy, but entertaining game. The early win for Arizona is key if they want to compete with the rest of the NFC West. And meanwhile, San Diego stumbles in their opening game before they get the Seahawks at home next week.

2014 NFL season preview: NFC North


Along with the NFC West, I think this will be the best division in football this year. Just having a healthy Aaron Rodgers on the Packers boosts the stock of any team and the games that they’re participating in. Lots of history with these teams and the rivalries seem to brood more hate than most around the league. But despite this being one of the better divisions in the league, there are still plenty of questions lingering for each of the teams. Can the Packers offense have more balance to offset their questionable defense? The Bears have lived off defense in years past but now with two big weapons on the outside, can the Bears make a return to the playoffs? Can the Lions, with a new head coach, turn their fortunes around and actually close out games when they need it most? I’m a bit hesitant to agree but I can certainly see why many think that the Vikings are a threat to challenge for the division title.

Green Bay Packers: This season is going to depend on the team’s health and more specifically, the health of all-pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Because Rodgers missed so much of last season due to a broken collarbone, I think people have forgotten how good #12 on the Packers really is. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to draft him for any of my fantasy teams this season but I was able to get Eddy Lacy, who will look to continue to carry Green Bay’s running game. With Rodgers and Lacy leading the way, the offense looks set to do very well and potentially be the best in the league. So that leaves the big question marks on the defense. Julius Peppers should help the defense but it’s still going to take the effort (and health) of the entire defensive unit. If the defense can hold it’s own, the Packers will win the division and possibly compete for NFC’s best record.

Chicago Bears: Much like the Packers, a lot of the success they’re hoping to see this season will depend on whether or not their quarterback can stay healthy to coincide with better production on defense. Seems pretty simple, no? Can Jay Cutler, with two big weapons to throw to and a great running back behind him, be the type of QB that Chicago hopes for? The offense will put up big numbers but i’m waiting to see how much the defense will improve. Chicago recognized their problems on that side of the ball and went out during the offseason to aggressively fix things. I’m still worried about what is going on with their defensive backs and how they’re going to be able to stop the big-time receivers that they’re going to face in their divisional games. I can see them being very good but several reasons keep from picking anything but slightly over a .500 record.

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings have been getting some attention in the weeks prior to the start of the season as candidates to potentially crash the division’s party. I see it, and I don’t. Minnesota has some big weapons to try and compliment as much as possible. Of course, we’re talking about Adrian Peterson, who is still the best running back (slightly over McCoy) in the NFL. But do people realize how good Cordarrelle Patterson can be? I’m all-in with him with my fantasy teams. Anyways, these are the biggest questions for the Vikings this season: 1. Can their secondary continue to improve? Yes, they were bad last season but were even worse the season before that! Baby steps everyone. 2. When will we see Teddy Bridgewater? I loved him coming out of college and I love him to come in during the season and make an impact. In the end, Not enough complementary pieces for success this season.

Detroit Lions: I left the Lions last for a reason. They’re such a mystery to me. Possibly the hardest to figure out of any of the NFL teams. Let’s not forget that this team had the NFC North in complete control last season before having a meltdown of massive proportions, losing six of their last seven games. Most of those games were close and the losses came because of some bonehead errors. How will new coach Jim Caldwell fix their discipline issues and make the team better in crunch time? Can Matthew Stafford bounce back from a disappointing season? He only has Megatron, the league’s best receiver, to throw to. Their defensive front will always pose a threat to other team’s quarterbacks but again, it comes to down the “intangibles” or whatever one would like to call them. Biggest potential, but a bigger mystery. Slightly above .500 until proven otherwise.

Ravens edge out the Lions; ranking the top 5 teams in the NFL

Lions vs. Ravens

Who says that you need touchdowns to win a game in the NFL? On the road and trying to stay in the driver’s seat for a wild card spot, along with an outside shot at the division, Baltimore was able to do so. The Ravens jumped on Justin Tucker’s back (leg) as he made six field goals, including a 61-yard for the go-ahead score in the final minute. Is there any doubt that he swung thousands of fantasy leagues last night and the few weeks past? Tucker has been on fire lately and John Harbaugh’s decision to let his kicker attempt from 61 yards was the right call. The Ravens offense looked very stale at certain points but they did enough to get in range for field goal after field goal. The first quarter was all Detroit, getting an early touchdown but from there, things just didn’t click on offense. Weird to say that when the Lions have the kinds of weapons that they do. Stafford’s three interceptions are glaring on the stat sheet but the Lions shot themselves in foot multiple times in the game. A dropped pass here, a bad penalty given up there. Joe Flacco was quite opposite of that, not dominating the stat sheet but instead limiting his mistakes while doing just enough for Baltimore to get into field goal range. It was a very important victory for Baltimore, needing to win against the Lions because their next two games will both be tough. With a bit of luck this coming weekend, they could be in position to play for the division title against Cincy when week 17 rolls around. The Lions loss gives the division back to the Bears but with a favorable schedule, they could be back on top as soon as this coming weekend. It’s just the silver lining because losing four of your last five is not the way a team wants to head into the final two weeks with the playoff hopes on the line.

Interesting weekend for some of the top teams in the NFL. Five division leaders (Broncos, Patriots, Bengals, Saints and Eagles) all lost their games this weekend. The stakes were a bit higher in the AFC, where none of the teams just mentioned were able to take advantage of the results. But despite those losses, are the Broncos and Patriots BOTH among the best five teams in the league. Unfortunately for Brady and co, their injury plagued team doesn’t make the cut this time around. Seattle is the clear #1 once again, dominating on the road this past Sunday en route to securing the top seed in the conference. After the Seahawks, it gets a bit complicated because the argument is how to rank established record versus positive momentum in the past few weeks. Denver is coming off a loss but because they hold the tie breaker over the Chiefs (the hottest team in the conference), the Broncos get the edge there. The same goes for the Saints, coming off a puzzling loss and going into Carolina this weekend. I’m giving the edge to the Panthers as the second best team in the conference because despite not owning the tie breaker over New Orleans, they still control their own destiny. The winner of that massive game this weekend will all but seal their spot for a second seed in the conference along with a first round bye. Right, in order, i’d say it’s: Seahawks, Broncos, Panthers, Chiefs and Saints. That does leave out the 49ers, a team firing on all cylinders but because they lose tie breakers to both the Saints and Panthers, they don’t make the cut this time. It’s going to be crazy watching all of the best teams in the league sort each other out in the last couple of weeks. The only downside to that previous sentence is that, as stated, there are only two weeks left in the regular season. Let’s just enjoy these last two precious weeks as much as we can.

Leftovers from Thanksgiving Day’s slate of NFL games

Oakland Raiders v Dallas Cowboys

It’s always a good day when we can enjoy lots of Thanksgiving food (whatever time every person does it) while having football on the TV for the entire time. I don’t know if we hit the 12 hour mark last night but football fans were pretty close to have 12 straight hours of football. Minus the hour or so of pre-game and halftime shows. The day started off with the Lions and Packers, an NFC North rivalry that goes back a long time but just doesn’t have the same impact without Aaron Rodgers. Back up Matt Flynn was over matched the entire game, sacked 7 times while only throwing 139 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Credit to the Lions defense as well because they had as big of an impact on this game as some of the best defenses in the league. On offense everything was clicking with Detroit, from top to bottom. Matt Stafford had a couple of turnovers to begin the game (one going back for a score) but towards the end of the second quarter, everything was smooth sailing for the Lions. Megatron was Megatron and their combo running game of Reggie Bush and Joique Bell really brought the offense to another level, much more balanced. Not that anyone felt different but every week confirms that Aaron Rodgers means more to the Packers success than probably any other team in the league. Right now it’s uncertain if he’ll return next week. Now the Lions are back in the driver’s seat for the division as they await this Sunday’s results.

Our second helping of the day featured an odd game between the Cowboys and Raiders. It’s odd because on the very first play of the game the Raiders caused a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. So we’re 12 seconds into the game and the Raiders are up by a touchdown. Things continued to favor the Raiders for rest of the half, doing all the right things on offense. Sure, the Cowboys defense is among the worst of the league but it’s not like the Raiders offense had been lighting it up. At halftime the teams completely switched and the Cowboys nearly dominated the second half from start to finish. The Raiders made things interesting late in the game by getting within one score but without any of their timeouts, it was difficult for Oakland to get the plays they needed. DeMarco Murray led the way in terms of stats (3 rush TDs) but it was a combination of different players on the Cowboys offense that engineered their drives. The Raiders on the other hand didn’t do well against the Cowboys halftime adjustments, showing little signs of what they had done in the first half. Another bad season for the Raiders as they look at making changes and the coming draft. The Cowboys, like the Lions, take hold of the division lead as they await results. Quick shout out to Selena Gomez for looking good during the halftime show.

Things wrapped up in Baltimore with the heated rival Pittsburgh Steelers in town. Normally this is a must watch for any football fan but this season the teams aren’t doing as well as we’re used to. Did they still provide from of the same hard-hitting entertainment? There were some big hits to go with a few scuffles but there were also a lot of odd occurrences. The game came down to an unsuccessful two-point conversion but from the botched field goal to Mike Tomlin’s on the field interference, it was a weird game. But a win is a win and for Baltimore, it keeps them alive in the heated race for the second wild card spot in the conference. All the white keeping the pressure on the Bengals, who are in San Diego this weekend, for the division lead. It was maddening to watch how long it took Pittsburgh to get some offense going, not being able to find the scoreboard until halfway through the 3rd quarter. An offense that looked so good the past couple of weeks sputtered out of the gate and played catch up the entire game. It’s not the type of game that the Steelers want to play when they’re fighting to stay alive for a spot in the postseason. On a side note, the league is looking into Tomlin’s interference on that kick return.

Anyone else riding the Buccaneers (-8) in Carolina this weekend? The Panthers are on a big streak right now but it’s not a streak where they blow teams out as of late. This is a completely different Bucs team from the one the Panthers beat handily about a month ago. The Bucs are playing solid football and I see them keeping it close in Carolina on Sunday.

Leftovers after a crazy Thanksgiving day in the NFL


Depending on how your team performed yesterday, you were either thankful they played or thankful that they were finally off your TV screen. Unfortunately I was part of the latter as my Cowboys decided to participate in their game until after halftime but we’ll get to that. First things first:

What was Jim Schwartz thinking when he threw the challenge flag? I understand that emotions sometimes make you do things that aren’t entirely logical but everyone knows that every scoring play in the NFL is reviewed. Even plays that are clearly TDs are looked at a couple of times over. The Texans took advantage of the break and rallied to tie the game late and take the victory 34-31 in OT against the Lions. The controversial scoring play didn’t doom the Lions, they actually scored another TD after that but it still lingered throughout the rest of the game and was one those obvious “what if?” plays. This loss essentially eliminates any realistic chances of the Lions participating in the postseason and it puts Houston one step closer to securing  the best record in the AFC.

The second game brought forth another classic NFC East rivalry game between the Redskins and Cowboys (isn’t that kind of ironic considering the holiday? Redskins against America’s Team?) but it can only be considered a game if both teams play in the first half. RG3 was spectacular (20-28, 311 yds, 4 TDs, 1 int, 29 rush yds) to lead the Redskins in beating the Cowboys 38-31 and suddenly put them in the running to win the NFC East. The Cowboys looked like a different team in the second half and rallied within one score but once again it was too big a hole that they’d dug themselves into. Both teams are now looking at Sunday night’s game, hoping for a Giants loss.

The final game on Thanksgiving between the Patriots and Jets was one-sided to say the least. How did the night go for the Jets? Well if Mark Sanchez getting tackled and fumbling because of his lineman’s ass (pictured above) doesn’t tell you, I don’t know what can. The game was over by halftime but particularly in the 2nd quarter when the Patriots scored 35 points, including 3 TDs in a span of 53 seconds. Tom Brady was crisp and the Patriots offense didn’t miss a beat even though they’re without Gronkowski, easily the best tight end in the league. As the Patriots finished the 49-19 victory many Tebow chants were heard from the crowd but once again, number 15 was not seen taking a snap.

Rehashing the 7th week of this NFL season

I decided to take a different approach as to what I write on here. Normally i’d just recap whatever happened over the weekend, giving a few opinions here and there but that seemed to bland. That sort of thing can be found anywhere online and even though there are hundreds of thousand of sports blogs, i’d like to be as original as possible. I’m just going to go through a few main questions, trying to post about the same topics but with a slightly different view.

Performances of the week: Take into account what Chris Johnson has done prior to week 7. For him to go from THAT to this week’s performance (195 yds, 2 TDs) gives him the crown for this week. Dare we say, is CJ2K back to normal form? Let’s not too excited because he was facing the Bills who are in a close battle with the Saints for the worst defense in the league. Speaking of the Saints, they traded shots during a shootout with the Buccaneers. As a result, their QBs Freeman (420 yds, 3 TDs) and Brees (377 tds, 4 TDs) both had a great games. Yes, I know Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson, who is on my fantasy team, had an insane game (216 yds, 1 TD) but he was run down by a guy who was about 50 yards away on a 95 yard run. Let’s get a little most hustle next time Jackson. Last player I have to mention is RG3 because he’s so incredible to watch. This past Sunday Griffin almost out-Eli’d Eli Manning on the road! As a Cowboys fan it makes me very nervous looking forward to the games against the Redskins.

Who are the top 5 teams in the league? For obvious reasons the Falcons lead the way (until they get beat, they’re going to be on top) the Bears are a close second (that defense makes teams work for every single yard that they gain) with a similar team, the Texans (destroying the Ravens was a statement to prove they’re a the best in the AFC) and even though both teams are 5-2, i’m putting the Giants slightly ahead of the 49ers because of their head-to-head match up they just completed a couple of weeks ago. The Ravens (5-2) still lead their division but they look absolutely lost after the injuries they faced on their defense. I still need to see more from the Vikings (5-2) before I put them among the elite and they can do that on Thursday when they face the Buccaneers. 

The NFL is visiting Europe this Sunday: This weekend the New England Patriots will square off against the St. Louis Rams inside the historic Wembley Stadium located in London, England. Am I the only one what sees the irony in sending the Patriots to play in England? Anyways, it should be an interesting game because the Patriots are coming off a performance where they almost blew a double-digit lead at home to a divisional rival. The Rams are a frisky team that always keeps games close as seen last week against a Packers team that seems to be on fire now.