With all above being said, THEY ARE BACK!* This win is such a Lions win that it hurts. The team was 1-3, playing with no urgency, and the undefeated Eagles were coming into town. They were supposed to get blown out in the first half and then their season would be over for good. Not so fast my friend! (Lee Corso voice) The game was won in first half, lost in the second half, and saved by a guy who has been pretty quiet this season. While I’m not quit sure how this team can be so bipolar, I am sure that the Lions vacuum cleaner has sucked me right back in!
*until next week
- The First Half Offense: I can’t believe I have to give the first half offense a separate rankings but that’s been the story of the season thus far. Before Sunday, the Eagles had yet to give up a passing touchdown. On Sunday, the Lions offense tossed the ball for 6 on three separate occasions in the first half. Two touchdowns to Riddick (who I complimented nicely in my new article “Double Coverage”. Check it out) and a touchdown for Marvelous Marvin. The rushing attack looked strong and for the most part, the offensive line kept Stafford clean.
- Darius “Big Play” Slay: Earlier I said he has been quiet. I think that it is mostly in part because Nevin Lawson is straight garbage and teams keep targeting him. But, Slay forced the key fumble to give the Lions great field position at the end of the game and then, not even 90 seconds later, made the game sealing interception. Its finally nice to see him living up to his self-given nickname. He saved the game and what little hope there is for the remainder of the season.
- Golden Tate: 3 receptions for 39 yards and 3 carries for 6 yards. Not exactly eye-popping numbers but the role he played in this game was bigger than the first four games combined. His biggest play coming on the 27 yard catch-and-run to set up the game winning field goal. Not a huge day for Golden, but maybe the day he needs to get himself back on track.
- Matt Prater: Made his kicks. Earns a “good” ranking.
- Second Half Defense: They got absolutely shredded by Carson Wentz in the second half and they couldn’t seem to stop the Philly rushing attack. The only reason that they aren’t in the Ugly section is because they got the key stop at the end of the game. Even if Slay didn’t force the fumble, the defense still was going to force a punt. I’ve said it in previous blogs; this defense doesn’t have to be great, they just need to get stops when they need to. On Sunday, they got those stops.
- Matt Stafford: Wasn’t exactly good, wasn’t exactly bad but his performance is landing him in the bad section strictly because he turned it over in a key situation. How in the world did he just drop the ball? He was literally just running with it then, oops, the ball is on the ground. In the first half though, he looked as sharp as ever and then on the game winning drive his pass to Golden Tate was floated perfectly. As poor as his stat line looked (19/25, 180 yards, and 3 TDs) he played well enough to win and when he wins that means the Stafford H8erz lose.
- Andre Roberts: HOW IS THIS GUY STILL RETURNING KICKS? He is straight trash. He always brings the ball out and he never gets past the 25, hell, he never gets past the 20. And do you know what the sickening part is? He probably wont lose his job because he has the 11th most return yards in the league. Wanna know why he has the 11th most? BECAUSE HE NEVER KNEELS IT. It is so infuriating when he takes it out to the 18 yard line when we could easily get to the 25 and not risk taking a penalty that would send us even further back. He is slow and can’t read blocks. Sounds like a Lions returner to me!
The game was almost a mirror of their week 1 victory over Indy. Had a big lead early, blew it in the 2nd half, then snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. As much as it raises and lowers my blood pressure, all we can ask for is for the Lions to have a shot at the end and they have had that almost every game. I don’t know how bad this team is but they can be a lot of fun if they start clicking for 60 minutes at a time.