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Lions 27 - Bucs 20

The Detroit Lions opened up the 2011 season on a good note by beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 27-20... and it really wasn't as close as the score may suggest.

The Lions started off the game with what I can only say must have been a first game adrenalin overflow. Quarterback, Matthew Stafford, was not looking accurate. Receivers dropped passes. There were penalties. After scoring the first field goal, it all looked to be falling apart. The ensuing kick-off was returned by Stroughter for 78 yards before being pushed out of bounds at the Lions 21 yard line. The Lions defense then shut the Bucs offense down with a 3 and out and the Bucs kicked a field goal to tie it up. Three plays later, Talib, the Bucs corner back, intercepted a Matthew Stafford pass and ran it 28 yards for a touchdown. As quick as that the Lions were down 10-3.

The Lions were not at their best this opening Sunday. It didn't matter! Even with their mistakes, the Detroit Lions simply dominated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from start to finish. The Bucs only points coming from a huge kick return, a Stafford pick, and a long touchdown drive in the fourth quarter when the Lions were in prevent mode.

There were those who believed the Bucs would beat the Lions because Detroit would not be able to handle LeGarrette Blount's hard running style. Blount ended the game with only 15 of the Bucs 56 total rushing yards.

Some believed that Freeman would be too hard to stop with Mike Williams to throw to. Josh Freeman ended up with 257 yards (163 of those yards came in the 4th quarter), and Mike Williams only had 50 yards receiving and a touchdown.

On the other hand....

Matthew Stafford ended up with 305 yards, 3 TD's and 1 pick. He completed 22 of his 33 pass attempts (72%), with a 118.9 QB Rating.

Calvin Johnson had 6 catches for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Best was not spectacular, but had a decent game none the less. 72 yards on 21 carries (3.4 ypc), and had 4 receptions for 42 yards. 114 all purpose yards.

My perception:
There are fans who are afraid of being hurt again who say the Lions need to prove to them they are going to be a better team. Before the game, many said the Bucs would win because they would want revenge, had a better team that won 10 games last year and would be used to the 90+ degree temperatures.

The Lions, not only beat the Bucs, but simply controlled the game for three quarters before giving up yardage in the dreaded prevent mode. Last year's victory over the 10 win Bucs was not a fluke. By beating them a second game in a row (both in Tampa Bay), the Lions have proven they are the better team. I have been saying the Lions would win 10+ games this year and I see this victory as the first step to that mark and one more bit of proof they are now a good team in the NFL.

Lions fans can start the season off enjoying the victory and looking forward to the next.

1 comment:

  1. This is an important week for the Lions and their fan, how will they follow up a big win on the road. They need to go out and pound a Chiefs team that's looks real bad at this time of the season. As a Packer fan this game will show me where this team is this season. I picked them to make the playoff this season. This is a game you have to win.