Week 10 is here and I for one can’t wait! It has that wildcard Sunday feel to it. The Lions have a chance to either be 2 games ahead of Chicago in the wild card and division race (for 2nd at this time – more to follow in 2 weeks) or flat even. And I hope no one forgets what happened last year at soldier field when the Lions won….I meant LOST to the bears over a stupid call.
This game will tell us alot about our Lions team. If they are truly ready to not only make the playoffs, but contend this year..winning this game would be a huge statement to the rest of the league that they are for real and look out!
I originally had this game as a the Lions 3rd loss when I predicted a 10-6 season in the preseason. But I feel they can win this game. In fact I have been trying to justify it all week long.
There are lots of tangibles and stats supporting why most people think the Bears will win this game. But this week I will give the rest of you Koolaid drinkers some back up!
Here are a few fuzzy numbers for you.
The Lions are 2-0 when playing outside on grass this year with a combined score of 72-30. One game was a 100 degrees, one was 55 degrees. So they have played well in the “elements” so far. Also factor in the history of teams meeting when one is coming off the bye, and the other a short week. On top of that, the lions are 2-0 when playing the underdog on the road this year. And the simple fact that they are 6-0 on the road, and 10-2 in their last 12 regular season games – no dis respect to the bears but I like the Lions Chances in this one.
Lions 24 Bears 17
This week our Lions head out on the road to stop their 2 game losing skid. They face a confident Broncos team that just had an emotional come back win. Sound familiar? The Lions have treated us to a few of these the first few weeks of the year.
Some think this game is an automatic win, but in the NFL there is no such thing. Were the Lions as bad as their 2-10 record last season before their 4 game win streak? All records aside the Lions should and need to win this game. I believe they will, but they have to play a full game to their ability, something they have not done this season.
Stafford is the difference….
Lions 20 Broncos 14
The Lions find themselves in a surprisingly new situation : trying to bounce back after a loss, right after another new situation of trying to match the intensity of their first Monday night game in over a decade. It was a loss that should not have happened, but a loss none the less. This is the NFL where teams lose games they should have won, and win games they should not have won, any given Sunday.
The Lions suffered some adversity this past week when it was revealed that Jahvid Best suffered another concussion, and will miss at least 1 game. To make matters worse, the trade that dealt Jerome Harrison to the eagles in exchange for Ronnie Brown, was voided due to Harrison having a brain tumor. I wish all the best to Harrison for a quick recovery. So now your starters for this week are Maurice Morris and Kieland Williams. Morris performed solidly in his fill in duties for Best the last 4 games of 2010. Morris may not posses the home run speed of Best, but is a solid hole hitting back who will average 3 to 4 yards a carry. Williams is similar to Leshoure in size an speed, but has not gotten the opportunity in the NFL to show of he can compete. Look for the Lions to try to get these 2 going early. If they can get anything going in the run game, that should help Stafford pick apart the Falcons secondary.
Also, watch the defensive front to try to rattle the Falcons’ Matty Ice, another trouble area for the Falcons in 2011.
My pick :
Lions 30 falcons 20.
How long can our boys keep this going? They now have the best start since 1956, and the bet I have seen in my lifetime, so far by a Lions team. It has went from “I hope they win this week” to “they should win this week”. But could we stay upset if they were to lose a game? Or is it that we know the schedule gets tougher after the bye week and want as many wins as possible before that happens?
One thing is for sure, the Lions will face tougher competition as the season goes on. What is also true is that the Lion’s opponents will also face a tougher Lions team as the season goes on! Sure they will eventually have a setback, all teams do (just ask the reigning super bowl champs). But if this is truly the year the Lions make the playoffs, they will have to learn and improve as the season progresses. People are saying the Lions will have their hands full when they take on the 49ers this Sunday, but the same will be true for the 49ers.
Look for a close hard fought game with a few timely defensive plays and a 2:00 drill to seal the win!
Lions 30 49ers 24
The game we have been waiting over a decade for….Monday Night Football featuring get this ….the Lions! They are the feature team of this weeks Monday night matchup. Not the division winner and NFC championship finalist from last year – Chicago bears. I’ll admit that while I had high expectations for the Lions heading into this season, I did not see 4-0 heading into this game.
This game will give the Lions another chance to exorcise more demons. Chicago narrowly escaped the Lions twice last year. The worst of them being the loss in week 1 that ended with what looked like a Calvin Johnson TD. And don’t forget the injury to Matt Stafford. I personally believe that if Stafford does not go down last year, the Lions win both games.
I think the Lions will be extra motivated in this one and look to make a statement. They may also have Nick Fairley on the D line which will help Suh. Cutler better hope the run game is working.
Plus, I will be there and that should count for something!
Lions 38 Bears 27
Are we cursed? You may be asking ..what? The Lions are on a great start in 2011. 3-0 is the best start since 1980. If they were to continue the streak, it would be the best start since 1956 (the year before the Lions won their last pre-super bowl era championship and start of the supposed curse of Bobby Lane!) That year the Lions started 6-0. The 2011 Lions are only half way to that mark, but as fans we sure are excited. Ok ..so enough curse talk.
This week the Lions travel to “Jerry Land” to play a banged up Cowboys team. If Dez Bryant joins Miles Austin (better receivers than Calvin? Yeah right!) on the injured non playing player list, this game will be even tougher for the Cowboys. They would essentially become a two trick team, the run, and Jason Witten. That would be a recipe for disaster if the cowboys can’t get to Stafford on defense.
I will admit it.. When I was coming up with my preseason prediction of 10-6, I had the Leo’s losing this game. So what do I do when I come to the first week that I had them losing, but now I feel they can win? Go with the heart….
Lions 30 Cowboys 20
4-0 here we come. Bobby Lane is behind us now, after all, he and Stafford did go to the same high school!
So here we are, week 3, and a chance for the Lions to go 3-0.
As much as this game is about what the Lions can do on offense, most of it hinges on what the Vikings can’t! We know the Vikings via Adrian Peterson are one of the most productive run teams in the league. The Lions may struggle a bit against the run, but if that is what a team is hoping will beat the Lions, they will lose and lose big. The fact is that the Lions score points fast and easy with a healthy Matthew Stafford and company. If you want to outscore the Lions, at some point you will have to take to the air!
This game may be closer than some expect, but here is my pick:
Lions 34 Vikings 27
So here we are, week 2 and the lions are heavily favored to be a 2-0 football team by the end of it. What a difference a couple of years makes huh? The Lions have not given people any reason to doubt that they are a legit up and comer. This week poses a unique challenge for Detroit. They must come out and play well against a 10 win playoff team from last year that Most people have given up on. The Chiefs had a horrible performance in their home opener against a Buffalo Bills team that is Establishing a solid D line. Losing their best defensive back in that game is huge blow to the chiefs.
Are the chiefs really taking a huge step back this season? Or are they setting up Lions fans for the ultimate scam? This will play out tomorrow in the comfortable climate controlled Ford Field. The heat and humidity took it’s toll on Stafford especially last week. Jim Schwartz made reference to Stafford not being able to move around as much due to the cramping that had him limping around. Could you imagine if the Lions would have been at full strength(no cramping) for the entire game? It would have never gotten close enough to have an onside kick scenario! I believe the Lions will be up for this game and so will the chiefs. Schwartz will not let this team get complacent or to be fully satisfied with any win, and that’s what makes this Lions team different. The Lions can not be expected to win every week, but this week is different.
It is the home opener.
It is sold out.
Ford field will be loud.
The Lions have confidence and swagger for a change.
The Lions have a front office and coaching that is fully competent.
“knock on wood” the Lions are healthy where it counts.
This year just feels different!
I can not explain it but, in my whole life following the Lions, I have never seen this balance and direction. It is like watching a young patriots team (pre dynasty) finding themselves.
I am not saying they will win a championship this season, but we finally have a team that is exciting to watch, and that the nation deems to have a good enough product on the field to get behind. The future looks bright for at least another week!
My pick: Lions 37 Chiefs 20
It is finally here! Week 1 of the regular season. In less than 24 hours, we will know if what we saw in the preseason will carry over to the regular season. As a lifelong Lions fan, I have to admit, I have been in this situation before – fully drunk on the “Kool-aid” on the eve of the first game that actually means something. And make no mistake – for the Lions, this game means more than a week 1 game does for a New England Patriots team for example.
The Buccaneers were essentially knocked out of the playoffs by the Lions last season. The bucs are highly regarded as one of the playoff potential teams this year. Since it is unlikely (but not impossible) that the Lion nor Bucs will win their Respective divisions this year, they are basically fighting each other for a wild card spot. As a young team learning to win, and gaining the confidence that comes with winning games against good teams, the Lions need a win on the road against a bucs team that is supposed to beat them.
The 4 game win streak to end the season last year may have not proven anything, but it means that The lions are not going to be sneaking up on anyone anymore.
So when I look at week 1, I don’t factor in last years field goal winning game against the playoff hopefull bucs in Tampa to the extent that some do. While it matters a little, especially for the bucs (revenge?), this is a brand new season, and each team is looking forward in their approach. Each team was without key players last year. This season, both teams are relatively healthy where it counts. Most notable for Detroit, Matt Stafford’s return should help the Lions the most. Could you imagine how the bucs would have finished last year If they lost Josh Freeman in week 1? This in no way a knock on Shawn Hill, he is great back up and the Lions are lucky to have him.
I see the bucs and Lions as similar teams overall, on paper. But I believe a healthy Matt Stafford is the difference in this one game, and season. We need Stafford’s arm to make up for the problems we are currently seeing with the running game. I expect from things I have heard and seen that the Lions will be running a no-huddle Indy style read and react offense, as long as Stafford is under center. The Lions have shown the league a glimpse of this ability during the patriots game in the pre season. I know if was pre season, but my point is that teams always hold back 60-70% of what they will do in the regular season. This will be the first year that Stafford and the Lions will have the whole offensive playbook at their disposal.
So, with out further ado, here are my picks for week 1 and the season……
Week 1 – Lions 34 Bucs 30.
Season – 10-6 (playoffs will be possible depending how teams like the Bucs, Cowboys, Bears, and chiefs do – ironically, we play all of them in the first 6 games of the season)