Archive for September, 2011

Week 3 pick – Lions at Vikings

September 25, 2011

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

Go Lions!


Week 2 pick – Chiefs at Lions

September 18, 2011

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

Go Lions!

Week 1 pick – Lions at Bucs

September 10, 2011

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)