Sunday, September 30, 2007

34 points the 4th quarter! Final thoughts on Lions - Bears

Here's the links to my live blogging of today's exciting, ugly, bizarre, and record breaking win...

The Bears offense is putrid: 1st quarter Lions - Bears thoughts

So what do you know, Griese actually is better than Grossman: 2nd quarter Lions - Bears thoughts

Where's the Lions' offense? 3rd quarter Lions - Bears thoughts

The Lions find a running game: 4th quarter Lions - Bears thoughts

1. For the Lions, today was 3 quarters of mediocrity, and 1 quarter of pure awesomeness. I didn't realize it at first, as I was totally wrapped up in blogging the game, but the Lions scored a jaw dropping, and an NFL record breaking, 34 4th quarter points. Against the Monsters of the Midway, of all teams...

Yes, some of the scoring was fluky (Running back an onsides kick for a TD), but much of it was truly encouraging. Such as the 5+ minute, 8 play, 62 yard drive that put the Lions up 30-20 with just over 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter, a drive that was done mostly with the long AWOL ground game. That's the sort of drive good teams make at the end of games. A clock grinding, defense draining, ground chewing scoring drive. It was great to see, something we haven't witnessed in several seasons.

2. Roy Williams is immensely talented, but he can also be immensely frustrating. He cost the Lions 2 3rd down conversions with his lack of field awareness. Williams was also very lucky that his fumble on the aforementioned 62 yard, 4th quarter drive went out of bounds.

His mistakes were born mostly out of aggression, in trying to make something out of nothing. Williams sometimes forgets that more often than not, in the NFL you're better off to just take what the opposition gives you, and be happy with it. Not every play can be broken for big yards, and converting a 3rd down that moves both the chains and clock forward is all you need.

3. Why kick to Devin Hester? It a question that bears repeating in capital letters, WHY KICK TO DEVIN HESTER? Why did it take the Lions till their final kick off to realize that just squibbing the ball downfield was the best option? Hester had close to 300 return yards before the Lions gave up kicking the ball to him. Who's coaching special teams, the ghost of Bo Schembechler?

4. Jon Kitna got off to a slow start, but finished fast. 20-24-247-2-0 from your QB is a stat line I'll take on any Sunday. He did have 1 turnover, but it was on a blindside hit. Not totally excusable, but it can happen when your right tackle throws a "Lookout" block.

As Kitna didn't throw an end zone interception for the 1st time this season, that has me asking one thing... Was it a miracle?

Seriously, Kitna played much more within himself, keeping the silly plays to a minimum. I'd rather he just took a sack, than throw a ball up for grabs, hoping to make a miraculous play, but only resulting in a pick. Today, that's exactly what Kitna did, eating the ball instead of risking a turnover.

5. Rod Marinelli continues to hurt the Lions with his sometimes odd decision making, today's example being his challenge on the spot of a Roy Williams catch. Yes, he caught the ball past the 1st down marker. But it was obvious that it was Williams' own fault that he didn't get the 1st down. It wasn't due of a bad spot, it was because Williams tried to make a big play bigger, and gave back the yards he gained. He turned a 12 yard completion into 9 yd one, a 1st down into 4th down. It was obvious when it happened, and it was even more obvious on the replays. The spot was correct.

Yet Marinelli challenged a call he was sure to lose. There was 0% chance it would be overturned. It was a waste of a time out, and more importantly, a waste of a challenge that may have been needed later in the game.

I will give credit where credit is due, as Marinelli immediately challenged the out of bounds call on the Troy Walters end zone catch. I think the fans would have stormed the Lions' sideline if that call hadn't been challenged.

6. The running game made what is hopefully more than just a cameo appearance this afternoon. It wasn't spectacular, it wasn't there the whole game, but when they needed to run clock late in the 4th, Mike Martz found it.

Kevin Jones isn't all the way back, but he got some tough yards, along with his 2nd rushing TD of he season. Tatum Bell ground out 4 yards a carry, but had a demoralizing red zone fumble, costing the Lions a likely TD.

Overall, the Lions running game wasn't great, but with their passing game, they don't need great. OK will work just fine, and it was OK today. 95 yards rushing when you had 12 yards against the Eagles, and 56 against the Vikings, is a nice step up in play.

7. As much as I rip and rag on the Lions, I do want them to win...Desperately. The fact that they are an wholly unexpected 3-1 has me wanting to believe they may be onto something big. But their 50 years of futility has me holding back, waiting for the expected implosion to happen.

I'm not yet sure what's going to convince me that the Lions may actually be a good team, but a win against the Redskins, a team that traditionally owns the Lions, would be a really good place to start.

I'm not convinced that the Lions are a playoff contending team, but a 3-1 record, and beating the defending NFC champions with a 4th quarter blitz of points, speaks volumes.


  1. Ugly as hell, but it's a win. I couldn't watch it, as I had to work, but my boss actually told me that we'd won. Later, as he showed me the box score, I looked at it and thought "what the hell? 34 points in the 4th quarter?"

    I'm already seeing people question Lovie for putting Griese in over Wrecks. WTF? Does anyone think Grossman would have kept the game as close as it was?

  2. Point #7 is basically what I tell my wife, when she asks why I'm not as high on them, as I should be. I'm hoping for a win next week against the 'Skins, but they'll probably lose since I'll be able to watch the game here in Virginia. I was able to catch the Eagles game 2 weeks ago, and look how that turned out.