The victory over New Orleans was by far the most complete game that Detroit has played. The offense moved the ball all day and did an excellent job at keeping Drew Brees off the field. They dominated the total Time of Possession by 13 minutes, that's almost a full quarter’s worth of time they had the ball more. And, when Drew Brees was on the field the defense did a spectacular job. 50 rushing yards, 3 interceptions, and the first time Brees hasn't thrown a touchdown in the Superdome in 6 years. Absolutely unbelievable. That same anemic-looking offense put up 500+ yards and 49 points on a top 10 Rams defense. In a game that almost everyone wrote off as a loss (except me, I believe in this team), the Lions turned in their most complete game of the season. Something we haven't seen out of this franchise, maybe ever?
- Matt Stafford: If you want to argue Stafford for MVP just role this game footage. Unreal pace of play, accuracy (completing 13 in a row at one point), and leadership. When he found Golden Tate on 3rd down for a 66 yard touchdown to essentially ice the game away, I wasn’t excited. I was shocked. Those plays don't happen to the Lions, they typically go against them. Stafford H8erz have been awfully quiet and some have even changed their tune.
- The Defense: All of the defense. No one saw that performance coming. I would like to be able to get a little more pressure on a consistent basis but whatever they are doing seems to be working. This unit was banged up. No Tahir Whitehead, no DeAndre Levy (shocker), Ziggy still isn't 100% healthy, and Quandre Diggs out for the second half of the game. I take back all the bad things I’ve said about this defense, I routinely said they “aren't good but they’re clutch”. Now, this defense is good.
- Coaching staff: What Caldwell and Austin did to get this team ready certainly worked. This team is focused and ready to play. After the 1-3 start, I was about ready to get rid of Caldwell because the team just didn't looked prepared but, since then he has had this team dialed in with a laser-like focus. He’s also showing more emotion on the sideline which makes him a little more likeable.
- Matt Prater: Is he better than Hanson? It might be time to start making that argument. 5/5 on the day and everyone was right down the middle.
- Golden Tate: Absolutely torched a bad New Orleans secondary. 8 receptions, 145 yards, and a touchdown. HAVE A DAY YOUNG MAN!
- Zach Zenner: Easily making a case for more touches. When Washington went down with an ankle injury, Zenner came in and ran very hard. 9 carries for 40 yards but helped the Lions take a lot of time off the clock for their final field goal drive. Was thoroughly impressed with the kid out of South Dakota State.
- Red Zone Offense: It was tough to find something bad out of this game but settling for field goals on 5 out of 6 red zone drives is a startling bad number. Yea, it's great that the team moved the ball so efficiently but if 2 of those 5 are touchdown than this game is over in the 3rd quarter. I mainly blame the play calling in the red zone. Not sure we took one shot to the end zone. It didn't haunt us this week, thankfully, but it’s something that needs to be fixed if this team wants to do anything.
- Quandre Diggs: Not for his performance, but the fact that he is going to be out the rest of the season. He was our best nickel corner and it’s gonna be tough to replace him.
No lie, it was really hard to find an ugly. Damn near perfect game from the Lions. They play the Bears at home this week so if all things hold, it should be a win. Green Bay hosts Seattle and a loss for them would put the Lions in great position to close out the rest of the year. The Lions last 3 games will be tough. At Dallas, at Giants, and home to Green Bay. They need to win this match against the Bears, if they don’t their feet will really be to the coals.
P.S. I placed a bet that the Lions would win the NFC North before the season started and I completely forgot about it after the 1-3 start. Then about 2 weeks ago I went to look at my bank roll to see if I had any money to bet on a basketball game and then saw my slip. So not only am I stressed out from a fan point, I NEED this money. Currently unemployed and starting my Christmas shopping. You can venmo me if you feel at @DPotocki