Monday, September 13, 2010

Lions lose heartbreaker to Bears 19-14

This game has so many storylines I almost don’t know where to start. I could talk about the Bear’s overwhelming edge in total yards 463 to 168 for the Lions. I could bring up the 4 turnovers the Bear’s had that led to 14 points for the Lions. I could actually defend the Lion’s defense for giving up that many yards but holding the Bears scoreless for 95% of the 2nd half. I could also bring up the Lions went from being up 14-3 with 1:30 left in the first half to total disaster in the remaining 90 seconds of the half.

All of the above starting points are valid yet pale in comparison to the single biggest factor/play/story of the game. The old cliché “if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck” comes to mind. Just insert if Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson has 2 feet down in the end zone, clearly displays possession to the refs, has his knee and rear end hit the ground, it’s a touchdown right. Wrong according to the mystifying rules of the N.F.L. none of that was good enough to “quote” complete the “process” of the catch. I guess they wanted Calvin Johnson to gift wrap the ball complete with a bow and present it to the officials. There is not a football fan from here to Timbuktu that would watch that play and not say it’s a touchdown.

The Lions running game and offensive line that looked so good in pre season provided an anemic 20 yard game total. And in case you’re wondering, that wasn’t a typo only 20 total rushing yards or as many yards Chris Johnson can get blindfolded with one hand tied behind his back. The Bears offense showed the growing pains of going thru year 1 of the Mike Martz offensive system. Jay Cutler was completely out of sync with his receivers on numerous occasions and others just wildly inaccurate. Jay Cutler has a weak Lions secondary to thank for his 23 completions on 35 attempts for 362 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception day.

As a lifelong Lions fan myself what occurred in the last 1:30 falls into the typical “it’s the Lions” category of bad luck, bad calls, bad injuries etc… After scoring their second touch down off of a Bears turnover a 14-3 halftime lead seemed all but guaranteed right. Not so fast because this is the Lions and one 89 yard screen pass touchdown pass to Matt Forte later it was 14-10 all of a sudden. Ok, disheartening and momentum killing but still a four point lead and starting the third quarter with the ball. But wait a minute, here comes Julius Peppers around the corner to sack Matt Stafford and cause a potential season crushing shoulder injury to Stafford. Initial reports have him missing several weeks pending further medical testing. Lion’s fans can take heart that it’s not the same shoulder he hurt last year right, oh never mind it is his throwing shoulder this time around.

I would not want to be a Bear’s fan right now either, if it took all of this to eek out a win against the Lions. Jay Cutler has a very steep learning curve to run this offense. The defense will eventually play teams that run an actual N.F.L. caliber offense to test their mettle. The Lions on the other hand have no hope if they are forced to rely on their back up QB Sean Hill for any length of time.

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