With a crazy sports Sunday in Detroit, the Lions welcomed in the Seahawks while the Tigers are across the street playing in the World Series against the San Francisco Giants. Now The Lions are in somewhat of the same position as the Tigers in the sense that the Lions are trying to turn around a season that began with high hopes, much like the Tigers did en route to the World Series.
However with missed opportunities in recent weeks the Lions turned in one of their best offensive turnouts of the season beating the Seahawks 28-24 with yet another 4th quarter comeback. And speaking of fourth quarter comebacks it’s really becoming Matthew Stafford’s M.O. Stafford as he was sharp yet again even though he was let down by his favorite target Calvin Johnson a couple times. The Lions QB was 34/49 with 3 TD’s, 1 INT and also had a rushing TD to go with 352 yards in the air.
And with this performance can we put this myth to bed that something is wrong with Stafford?
There is nothing wrong with Stafford’s mechanics and he doesn’t have happy feet as this is all stuff he did last year. Did Stafford have a problem delivering a perfect throw to Titus Young to get a needed first down late in the 4th? Did Stafford have a problem backing up and throwing a laser to Pettigrew inside the 10 yd line to set up a score?
Stafford is fine.
I also have to point out the games Titus Young and Brandon Pettigrew had as both stepped up huge after being major let downs in the offense this year.
Titus Young who’s been criticized quite a big this year looks like a different player in Burleson’s role since he went down for the season last Monday. Young was everywhere in today’s game from a 46 yard touchdown bomb from Stafford, to a big first down then finally to catching the game winning touchdown with 20 seconds remaining in the fourth.
You could also say the Lions’ offense looks better with Young in Burleson’s role. Young is faster and could very well turn out into the player the Lions though he’d be when he was drafted given a little more development and maturity.
What was alarming though was this was the 3rd time in 4 games Calvin Johnson was a no show. Megatron endured another game with important would be catches dropped (3 drops by my count). This is all after this past offseason Johnson becoming what looks to be so far as the most expensive decoy in NFL history. Of course some fans may place some of the blame on Stafford given the chemistry these two had last season which in any case may be totally justified thus far.
But looking at the positives today this had to be offensive coordinator Scott Linehan’s best called game on the year. The offense was moving the football most of the day with only a few missed opportunities.
The defense again played a real solid football game minus the 77 yard run by Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch who without that play had only 11 carries for 18 yards. Quarterback Russell Wilson also connected on a beautiful pass to tight end Zac Miller who got one hand on the football and hauled it in to take the lead with 5:27 left in the 4th.
Detroit was plagued early by some bad penalties with a few offside calls (a stat in which they lead the league in) which negated a punt in the first quarter to the displeasure of defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham and head coach Jim Schwartz. The defense though was able to respond giving Wilson consistent pressure in the pocket forcing a interception to Richardo Silva which eventually turned into a touchdown and extra point for the Lions on the ensuring offensive possession.
Overall Detroit did a lot of things right this game as the special teams defense was once again solid with the return game still needing improvement.
Ultimately we can see what we have when the fundamentals are taken care of. Ball security, catching the football and keeping penalties at a minimum.
3-4 is huge with Jacksonville up next at home. Get to 4-4 next week and its new life.