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Was Vanden Bosch Wrong for Mocking Tebow?

I have heard a great deal about how Detroit Lions defensive end, Kyle Vanden Bosch was wrong to mock Tim Tebow's prayer pose after sacking the young quarterback in Sundays game between the Lions and Broncos. Some say he was just doing what players do by rubbing it in to the opponent. There are however, those Christians out there who believe it was wrong and crossing the line. Here is my take on things....

First off, I will say that I myself happen to be a Christian. I do not, by any means, say I am perfect. I will not even say I am a very good Christian much of the time. I do however, know God and understand what it means to have a relationship with Jesus. I do not bring this up in this blog much because I do not wish to make this blog about God, but about the Detroit Lions. I want my readers to respect me for writing about the subject they wish to read about. In this case, I feel it is important to explain that I am a Christian so you can also understand that I know a little of what I am talking about when it comes to Christianity.

Tim Tebow likes to go to one knee in a quick prayer when he scores a touchdown. I respect him for that. I respect him for not being ashamed to display his belief in the Lord Jesus in front of the world. Some will say that he should keep religion and sports separate. I disagree! He is not shoving anything down any one's throats. He is not forcing anyone to listen to him preach. He scores and he thanks God for it. That is only right! If I am offended by someone of another religion wearing a turban on their head, should I say they shouldn't wear it? No! It is a two second display and he hurts nobody by doing it.

Then comes Sunday afternoon when Kyle Vanden Bosch sacked Tebow and gave the pose their next to the young quarterback on the field. This seems to have outraged many people. Many seem to believe Vanden Bosch was mocking Tebow's beliefs. I disagree!

What those who believe that, forget to acknowledge, is that Tebow's pose has become somewhat of a phenomenon. There is now a sort of game called Tebowing, where people take pictures of themselves in the prayer pose in different locations. In front of different landmarks. Most of these people do not share the same beliefs as Tim Tebow does. If anyone is mocking his beliefs, it would be the thousands who are taking part in that game. What Kyle Vanden Bosch was doing was not mocking Tim Tebow's belief, faith or anything like that. I believe he was mocking that phenomenon known as Tebowing. Vanden Bosch was only having fun in mocking how Tim Tebow has become such a huge icon without ever doing anything in the NFL to deserve it yet.

On 97.1 FM the Ticket, they made the argument that what if a player was a Muslim? Why would it be wrong for Kyle Vanden Bosch to mimic a Muslim in some way but it is okay to mimic a Christian? This argument was flawed from the beginning simply because Kyle was never mocking Tebow's religion to begin with.

As I mentioned. I am a Christian and I cannot tell you how upset I get with the double standards of this world. How you will rarely see anyone make fun of Muslims, Judaism or any other religion, but it is never a problem with any comedian making fun of preachers and priests. I once had a friend who was black. He was my roommate right up until he stole my paycheck, forged my name, cashed it at the party store and split, leaving me with no money and rent to pay. If I was to believe that all black men are thieves because of that, I would be wrong and called a racist. Yet much of the world has no problem with looking at things a few Christians have done and saying all Christians are that way. A few Evangelists get busted with a hooker, or just trying to get rich, and all preachers are like that. This world frowns upon blaming an entire people for the sins of a few.... unless it is Christianity. I hate that double standard!

Yet I look at what Vanden Bosch did and I do not have a problem with it. I who would have no problem cutting into any player, even any Lion, for making fun of Christianity, have no problem with Kyle doing that pose. For no other reason than the fact he was not mocking Christianity, but was mocking the player he sacked. Players on the field are always talking trash. Sometimes they get personal. They talk about each others sisters and mothers. There are however ways to cross the line. One does not use gay slurs, racial remarks or make fun of ones religion. On the other hand, one's hair style, fashion, team name, automobile, bank roll, size, weight, height, sister, mother, father, brother, and pet is fair game. Oh yes, one's touchdown pose is fair game too.

I understand there is a Tebow Love-fest happening in this world. So it is understandable to be upset with another player for mocking your favorite star. Just be upset for the right reasons.


Lions 45 - Broncos 10

The Detroit Lions pounded on the Denver Broncos for a 45-10 win in Denver Colorado. The strange thing is, the game was never as close as the score makes it out to be.

The Broncos drove down the field quickly on their first possession and started the game off with a field goal and a 3-0 lead. After that it was all Lions. 45 unanswered points later, Matthew Stafford was taken out of the game after completing 70% of his 30 attempts for 267 yards and 3 touchdowns. Denver finally scored again once the Lions were in the prevent defense and that was all she wrote.

Maurice Morris ran well again as he gained 58 yards on 13 carries and a TD. Though his longest run from scrimmage was only 12 yards, he was consistent and steady enough to keep Denver's defense honest.

Calvin Johnson was Megatron as always, as he pulled in 6 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. On the other hand, there was a true Titus sighting as the rookie receiver had 4 grabs for 66 yards and his first NFL touchdown. Staffords other TD came in the way of a 1 yard touchdown pass to Tight End Tony Scheffler, who also helped out on another reception that was filled with acrobatics and concentration. Scheffler had to go up for the ball and fight for it and the ball bounced away. Never taking his eyes from the ball, Tony spun, hopped and reached to bring it in off balance, just before taking a big hit.

The offensive line did an admiral job in giving up only 2 sacks and keeping the pressure off of Stafford for most of the game.

The Lions Defense had one of their better games in Detroit history as they truly shut down the Broncos after their first drive right until they went into the prevent defense in the fourth quarter. The Broncos had a total of 195 yards rushing, but the stats are misleading. When you consider that 50 yards of it came in Denver's first drive and another 46 came in their last two drives with the Lions in prevent, it really comes down to the Lions only gave up another 99 yards rushing throughout the entire rest of the game. Mix that with the fact the Lions only allowed 172 passing yards, of which 85 came in those last two drives with the Lions in prevent, well, let me put it this way....

The Broncos had one decent drive to start the game before the Lions put on the clamps. After that first drive, up until the Lions went into the prevent defense, the Broncos had only 73 yards passing and 99 yards rushing.

In the game, the Lions defense sacked Tim Tebow a total of 7 times, recovered 2 fumbles and Chris Houston had one of two Lions defensive touchdowns with his 100 yard interception return.


Lions vs Broncos Pre-game

Let's make this as simple for Lions fans as it can be. There is absolutely NO excuse for the Detroit Lions to lose this game!

The Broncos are putting a young, inexperienced quarterback in Tim Tebow against one of the most feared pass rushes in the NFL. Last week Tebow was sacked 6 times by the Dolphins. Miami, by the way, only had 8 sacks in the previous 5 games. Tebow, right now, is still afraid to throw the pick, so he will hold on to the ball too long, counting on his feet to save him. Last week he only completed 48% of his passes. Did I mention the Dolphins are 18th in the NFL in rushing and have only 2 rushing touchdowns on the year?

Quite frankly, this is not a good offense. Not nearly as good as the Lions offense even in the last two weeks. SO the Dolphins will have to beat us with their defense right? Miami is 21st in the NFL against the pass and 18th against the rush.

Clear cut fact: The Detroit Lions should win this game handily!

But can you trust that?

The Lions have problems of their own. Stafford looks like he4 will play, but how good will he be? He has steadily regressed the last two weeks and now ill be playing on a bum leg. Best will be out for a second week and the Lions will once again depend on Morris and Williams to run the ball. They are serviceable backs, but they simply do not bring the threat to a defense that Jahvid Best does. Burleson and Young have been, well, underwhelming to say the least.

On defense the players have slid back into hitting with shoulders and keeping their arms to their sides rather than wrapping up. This has lead to large gains on plays that should not have gotten away in recent games.

The real problem with the Lions is the coaches right now. Linehan refuses to see that you cannot run consistently from the shotgun draw. However many times it will fail, he will continue to do it. He has lead his offense into 6 terrible first half performances in 7 games. He seems to be dead sent against using any kind of lead blocker to give the running backs room to run. His play calling has been noted as unimaginable and quite frankly, bad, by many fans. If the fans can see what is coming and how to defend it, what makes anyone think the opposing defensive coordinators wont?

I know many fans wont like hearing the bad about the Lions right now, but it simply cannot be ignored. This team has won 5 games strictly attributed to great players making great plays at key moments. They have won, in spite of the coaching, rather than because of it. Those are the simple facts and to ignore them will not change them. Get enough fans complaining about them and maybe they will get loud enough to be heard.

Talent-wise, the Detroit Lions are head and shoulders above the Broncos. They should win this contest by at least two touchdowns. The coaching is very questionable and that gives at least one touchdown back. Maybe an extra field goal as well.

Because the coaches put their players in a position to fail rather than succeed, I will give the Lions a 27-20 victory. I will give them a 60% chance of winning. If for some reason Hill plays most of the game, I will drop that to a 20% chance of winning.


Lions 16 - Falcons 23

I waited a day to write this article in hopes of letting my blood cool and think a little clearer. I have to say, I am still disgusted with the Detroit Lions loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

I am not going to write about the game. I am simply going to analyze what is happening. If you watched the game, you definitely don't want to recap it and if you did not see it, trust me, you don't want to know the details.

Some facts:
In the first two games, the Lions offense had 9 touchdowns. In the last five games the offense has a total of 10 touchdowns.

On the year, the Lions have scored 66 points in the first half, and 128 points in the second half. In the last 5 games? They have scored 26 points in the first half and 93 in the second half. That is just about 3 1/2 times more in the 2nd half than the 1st half.

Well over half of their running plays are draw plays out of the shotgun formation.

After 9 touchdowns in the first 5 games for Calvin Johnson, the Lions have not thrown to his while in the red-zone in the last two games. Both games ended in losses.

Matthew Stafford:
In the preseason Stafford looked like he was as good as Manning and Brady. In the first five games he has looked average in the first half and great in the second half. In the last two games he has looked scared. I know he will not admit it, but he is playing scared. When a QB leaves the pocket (when there is no pressure) and puts himself under pressure, it is a sign of being scared in the pocket. When a QB is throwing off of his back foot, even when he is not pressured, it is a sign of playing scared. When a quarterback rushes his throws without pressure, he is playing scared. When your quarterback goes down in a heap when a passing Defensive End only swipes an arm across him as he is pushed by, he is scared. That is how Matthew Stafford has played the last two games.

Stafford now has to come to some point in his growing up as an NFL quarterback where he either needs to toughen up, or get out. A quarterback simply cannot continue to play scared and succeed. Yes he has taken some hits this season, but in all honesty, I saw as much or more pressure on Harrington and Mitchell before they were ran out of town. What he is going through is nothing unusual for an NFL quarterback. He needs to accept that he will take some licks and put it aside or he needs to find a new career.

Scott Linehan:
I am officially back on the Fire Linehan bandwagon. The man has had two and a half years to get this offense going. Yet with the likes of Stafford, Megatron, Pettigrew, and Best all on one offense, he continues to show nothing as a coordinator. It is simply inexcusable for an offensive coordinator to not get more out of an offense with so much high quality talent. Any grandmother out of the stands can throw darts at the play book and with this kind of talent will still get the big play in here and there. His job is not to win on an occasional big play. His job is to get this offense clicking consistently and put teams away early. Yet he continues to play from behind and to make things worse, the offense has regressed as the season has gone on.

Last year I complained about how unimaginative his play calling was and many agreed with me, but he was given a free pass. With his starting quarterback out and running back playing hurt, it was expected he would dial it back some. This year he has not had that excuse. He has had everyone healthy for the first 7 games and he has not shown he can call a good game. He insists on running up the middle a lot every game, even though the middle of our offensive line is undersized and over powered. To make it worse, most of those run plays come out of the shotgun draw. Five times this year he has faced 2nd and very long or 3rd and very long, and got less than a third of the yards they needed. Once on a 2nd & 28, he called the Shotgun draw with Morris! When he finds a play that works, he rarely uses it again in the game and yet he will use a play that rarely ever works for him over and over. The man simply does not make any sense in his decisions.

The Detroit Lions have as much talent on offense as any team in the NFL outside of the Packers and they are not far from them. It is simply a crime that Linehan cannot get more than he has out of this crew filled to bursting with talent.

Quite frankly, I think the Lions defense is far better than it gets credit for. Yes it has given up some points and lately even some big runs. The fact is, they are a "get after the quarterback" type of defense and though they do not get a lot of sacks, they are rarely giving a quarterback more than 2 seconds to get rid of the ball. If the offense could become more consistent and eat up some time now and then, the defense would get more rest and maybe not give up the long runs as much.

The Refs and the Phantom calls:
Against the 49ers, Gore broke loose for a 55 yard run that sealed the game for them. On that run, the refs completely missed a block in the back that knocked Wright out of Gore's way as he came through the line, and then called Pettigrew on a chop block that the annalists looked at on replay and showed the penalty never really happened.

In this last game against the Falcons, the refs flagged the Lions for three different penalties that never happened. First there was a pass interference when our guy was going for the ball and the receiver was holding him up while the ball flew well out of the end-zone. Uncatchable! Then there was a helmet to helmet call on KVB where on the replay they showed it was questionable if he ever hit Ryans helmet. Then they called a holding play against the Lions and when the TV annalists showed the replay, it was found to be non-existent. Three times in one game the commentators could not find the foul on the replay.

Final Thoughts:
I understand that the L:ions are 5-2 and many did not expect them to do so well. I am not one of the many. I expected 10 wins from the beginning. I saw the talent and believed the Lions were a top 5 team from the start. I see this team and stile believe the Detroit Lions have more talent than any team in the NFL, including the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have a little more talent on offense, but I believe the Lions make up for that with a better defense. So to see a team I believe has so much talent, play so much under their abilities, I find it rather disgusting. Even when the Lions were 5-0 I was bothered by the fact the offense was not showing up in the first half of games. I wrote that if they dont address that, there would come games when they dont get it together in the 2nd half either. Now we have two straight losses for just that reason.

The Lions should be 7-0, and are lucky they are not 3-4 at this time. What makes it even worse is that they will not be firing Linehan any time soon and he will not be letting go of the shotgun as long as Stafford is under center. So dont expect the Lions offense to figure it out any time soon, and until they do, they will lose to the good teams and be lucky to win against teams they should beat.


Lions vs Falcons Pre-game

After taking their first loss a week ago, the Detroit Lions will host the Atlanta Falcons and try to get back into the winning mode.

The 49ers hit the Lions where they are weakest on both sides of the ball. Gore tore them up on the ground and their defense put major pressure on Stafford. There is no reason the Atlanta Falcons should be able to do the same.

Atlanta is the 20th ranked passing team in the NFL and the 16th ranked rushing team. Neither one is a real threat to the Detroit Lions defense. Michael Turner is the kind of running back the Lions defense can feast upon. He is large, so he will not disappear behind blockers and he is a power back and not a speedster, so he will not break away for long gains too often. Or at least he shouldn't. I am trying to ignore the fact that Turner has two carries for over 50 yards this season.

On the other side of the game, Atlanta is 27th against the pass, which is where the Lions make their living. They only have 11 sacks on the season, so the Lions offensive line should be able to handle them. Quite frankly, the Falcons defense is custom built for the Lions offense to score on. If the Lions come out flat yet again in the first quarter, it will be a telling sign that something is dreadfully wrong.

With the concussion to Jahvid Best, there are some fans who believe the running game will improve. There is a strange belief that even though Morris and Williams will not be home run threats, they will give the Lions a consistent 3 to 4 yards each carry. Do not kid yourself.

If the Lions continue to use the shotgun formation so often, and continue to use the draw play as a large portion of their running plays, neither Morris nor Williams will do any better than Best. The Lions running problems have not been the fault of Jahvid Best, but purely a consequence of the scheme they continue to use. If the Lions want to see their running game come to life, they need to move away from the shotgun and start handing the ball to the running back already in motion. A good lead blocker would help considerably but that is one thing Schwartz and crew refuse to use.

It was inexcusable for the Lions to lose to the 49ers in week 6. There is even less of an excuse to lose to the Falcons. In fact, there is no excuse for the Lions to not score at least one touchdown in the first quarter this week. Expect the Lions to score often through the air as one of the NFL's best passing teams faces up to one of the NFL's worst passing defenses.

Detroit 34
Atlanta 20


Lions Scheme a Worrying Problem

Matthew Stafford likes to play out of the Shotgun. By taking the snap a few yards back, it allows him to see the defense quicker and recognize what they are doing. As much as he may like it, I think it hurts the Lions as a team.

The biggest problem with the Shotgun is that it does not accommodate a running game very well. Especially against a good defensive line. Go back and watch the games and keep track of how Jahvid Best ran the ball in the shotgun compared to taking a straight hand off on the move. Almost every one of Bests carries for more than 2 or 3 yards came from a standard hand-off. I don't think Best broke loose for even one 5 yard carry on a shotgun draw play. Yet because the Lions played out of the shotgun so much, more than half of Best's runs have come out of that set.

Now consider it from this angle. If the defensive line for the opposing team sees the Lions in the shotgun formation, what does that scream to them? It practically shouts out that they do not need to worry about the run and so they can go full speed for the quarterback. This makes it much harder for the offensive line to block them.

A good running game will force the defensive line to hesitate. They need to slow their pace down a hair to allow them to watch for the run as well as the pass. This will make your offensive line look much better. But since the Lions are playing out of the shotgun formation so often, the defense does not need to worry about that.

It is good to put Stafford in a position that he is comfortable, but sometimes that comfort can be too costly. Sometimes it can be the catalyst to why he cannot get comfortable. Stafford is comfortable in the shotgun, but since it practically single-handedly destroys any hopes of a good running game, it allows the defensive ends to come for Stafford at full speed. This allows them to put a lot of pressure on Stafford and thus, actually keeps him from getting comfortable.

If the Lions want a ground game. If they want a good balance to their offense. If the Detroit Lions want to beat teams like the 49ers, Patriots and Packers, they need to use the shotgun formation like other good teams do. When they are in real passing downs. As it stands, the scheme they choose to use so often, takes away the running game, allows defensive ends to tee off on Stafford and makes it much harder for the offensive line to protect him.


Lions 19 - 49ers 25

There is one thing the Lions season and their actual play in games do not have in common. A great start. Today their lack of production on offense continued until they had their first loss of the season.

The 49ers defense was good. Real good. But it was not good enough to have been able to shut down the Lions offense. Yet it did just that.

Without further adieu, here are my goats in this loss:

The Lions offensive line was just that today. Offensive! Jeff Backus, for the second time this year looked like a human sieve. Constantly and continuously he was watching a defensive end run past him and after Stafford. Backus actually looked worse than he did against Jared Allen in Minnesota.

Matthew Stafford looked like a rookie in his first NFL game today. He looked lost, scared and was the most inaccurate I have seen him. His passes sailed early and when he finally found some resemblance of accuracy, he held onto the ball for far too long. When he did see the rush coming, he often threw the ball into the dirt, which lead to him being called for a safety and an intentional grounding.

The Lions coaching in general can take a big piece of the blame pie in this loss. Consider the weapons on this team, with Calvin Johnson (who was hardly thrown to for long portions of the game and completely ignored in the redzone), Jahvid Best, Pettigrew, Burleson and Titus Young, there is simply no excuse for this offense to always look lost in the first half. The defense should be making adjustments to them rather than the other way around.

When the Lions were down to their last drive with no timeouts, the offense looked lackadaisical. With one minute left, the players should have been hustling to the line. They showed no sense of urgency whatsoever.

At one point, when the Lions had a 2nd and 23 yards to go, they set up in the shotgun and handed off to Best with a draw play. After 5 previous games in which the draw play has rarely netted more than 1 or 2 yards, it was absolutely the worst play they could have called.

This team simply did not come into the game ready to play (again), and in this game it staid that way.

Any loss is hard to watch. Especially when you know your team is capable of so much more. But to watch a team with this much talent and far more play-makers than their opponent, to watch them play this badly an entire game.... it is disgusting. There simply is no other way to put it.

In fact, I am actually more ashamed of this Lions team right now, than I was of the 2008 team that did not win a game. Simply because this team is capable of so much more than they showed. They simply did not play to their capabilities.


Lions vs 49ers Pregame

Can the Detroit Lions start the 2011 NFL season off with 6 wins in a row? I have no doubt.

Yes I know the talk. The 49ers have a great defense. It doesn't worry me. They have faced a total of two rally good quarterbacks. Tony Romo and Michael Vick. We have all seen how self destructive Romo can be and Vick is by no means a great passing quarterback. Look at the running backs they have faced. The best running back they have met is McCoy with the Eagles and I do not believe he is a big home-run threat every time he touches the ball. The fact is, the 49ers have not face a QB the likes of Stafford, they have not faced a receiver anywhere near as good as Megatron, and they have not seen a RB who can break loose on any play like Best can. However good they may believe their defense to be, they will be facing by far the best offense they have seen this year.

The Lions however have faced much better quarterbacks than Alex Smith. Much better receivers than Crabtree and better running backs than Gore. The Lions defense has faced much more explosive offenses than the 49ers offense and have beaten them all.

Another interesting note: Alex Smith has been sacked 14 times in 5 games. In three of those games he has been dropped 3 or more times. The San Fransisco offensive line that already cannot protect their quarterback, has not faced anything like the defensive line the Lions will throw at them.

Stafford however has only been sacked in two games this year and one of those games was only one single sack. I have no doubt the 49ers defense will get some hits on Stafford and likely will get at least one sack, but they will not put enough pressure on him that he cannot find at least one of his many options to get the ball to. If the 49ers put too much emphasis on stopping the Lions pass, they will get beat by Jahvid Best.

Lions 24
49ers 13


Lions 24 - Bears 13

The Detroit Lions are 5-0. How does that sound to you? Let's say it again and just savor the moment. Five - and - oh! A record we have not heard associated with the Lions since 1956.

Here were the Lions on Monday Night Football and what did they show to the world? A Matthew Stafford bomb dropping over the left shoulder of Calvin Johnson as he split two defenders, shoved one of them off of his leg and ran into the endzone for a 73 yard touchdown.

What did the Lions give the world for an encore? How does Jahvid Best running between the tackles in a hole the size Emmitt Smith used to run through and going 88 yards untouched for another touchdown, sound?

How about the 18 yard touchdown to Brandon Pettigrew? More of a defensive type?

How about the Lions sacking Cutler 3 times in the midst of constantly pressure him, chasing him out of the pocket and hurrying his throws.

The night was not all glamor though. Once again the Lions were off of their game in the first half. Other than the long touchdown to Calvin Johnson, the Lions offense had a hard time moving the ball in the first half. Once again they went into the half time break losing. Though being behind 10-7 is nowhere near as disturbing as past weeks.

The defense did a superb job in the first half though. While the offense could not hardly move the ball and left Chicago's offense on the field for almost 21 of the 30 minutes, the Lions defense only gave up one touchdown and a field goal. But the magical moment for the defense to show what they were made of on national TV, came at the end of the first quarter. The Bears had the ball on 3rd & 1 at the Lions 26 yard line. The Lions stopped Forte dead in his tracks and made it 4th & 1. One would think that after the Lions have already stopped 4th & 1 runs a few times in previous games, the Bears would know better than to try to run on them. Wrong! The Bears ran it again an were stopped in their tracks... again!

Then the second half came and the Detroit Lions defensive line really went to work. They were all over the Bears and constantly in Cutler's face. The Lions defense was a beast to recon with as they only allowed one field goal in the second half of the game.

Even with the big pass by Stafford. Even after the long catch by Calvin Johnson. Even considering the 163 yards on only 12 carries by Jahvid Best, the Monday Night game ball would have to go to the fans.

The Detroit fans put on a show of their on in their first Monday Night game in ten years. Ford Field was absolutely rockin' with the decibels of noise the fans created. In my life I do not remember a football game when the fans were so loud. Yet that is only a part of the reason I would give the fans the game ball. The other reason? Class! As excited as the fans were. As crazy as the crowds grew. With enough adrenalin pumping to fuel the space shuttle to the moon, I have yet to hear of any real problems. No brawls, turned over cars, or anything the like. On national TV, with the entire NFL audience watching, the Detroit Lions fans showed outstanding class. My hat is off to you people. It makes me even that much more proud to be a Detroit Lions fan this year.


Lions vs Bears Pre-Game

The Detroit Lions are playing on Monday Night Football as they host the Chicago Bears. To give some perception as to how long it has been since they were on Monday night? The last time, we did not have Blue tooth Wireless Headsets, the I-phone, or YouTube.

Only once this year have the Lions not fallen behind in the first quarter. That was the 2nd week when they pummelled Kansas City 48-3. The last two weeks they have fallen behind by at least 20 points before coming back to win the games. It is important this week that the Lions show they are not just a second half team. On National TV, they need to come out and score quick and often and never look back. Show the world that will be watching just how good they really are.

The biggest key to watch on defense will be the play of the cornerbacks. If they play 8 yards off of the wide receivers as they did in the first three quarters in Dallas, Cutler will simply make quick passes to open receivers, never allowing the Detroit defensive line to get close to him. Just like in Dallas. If they play tight coverage and force Cutler to hold onto the ball and wait for a receiver to get open, he will be feeling a lot of heat from Ndamukong Suh and the Wrecking Crew.

On offense the Lions need to finally forget about the draw play. There offensive line simply is not powerful enough to open holes long enough for the draw play to work. Give the ball to Best on the move and let him hit the creases in stride, or pitch it to the outside for him to beat the defense to the corner.

Another offensive key will be the play of Jeff Backus. He has gotten a ridiculous amount of heat for having one really bad series on the year so far. He has only allowed a sack in one game though he has faced three of the best defensive ends in the NFL. This week he will be facing Julius Peppers, who was responsible for knocking Stafford out for six weeks last year. Make no bones about it. Peppers is likely going to get a hit or two on Stafford. There is no defensive tackle in the NFL who can be counted on to shut him down completely. If Backus can control him long enough that he only gets a couple hits on Stafford and neither is for a sack? That is a very successful day against Peppers.

The Bears are not as good as they are given credit for. They only have one great player on offense in Matt Forte. If the Lions can shut him down and put any pressure on Cutler, the Bears will not be doing much scoring. Their defense is still good but not great and the only other real scoring threat is Devin Hester. So long as the Lions do not attempt to kick off to him, they should be fine.



Lions are Playing Below Their Abilities

In four games thus far in the 2011 NFL Season, the Detroit Lions have scored 135 points, making them one of the most explosive teams in Football. They are matching the likes of the Packers, Patriots, and Saints. Yet we have not seem them put it all together yet.

With so much talent on their offense, it somehow seems unfathomable, but the Lions just keep coming out flat to start games. In the first quarter of games so far, the Lions have only scored 1 touchdown and a total of 13 points. In the first half of games, the Lions have scored a total of 43 points. That is only averaging 10.75 points a game in the first half. Then something happens. A light turns on and the Lions realize they have a good offense and show the world what they are capable of. After half time, the Lions have scored an amazing 92 points for an average of 23 points a game. As strange as it sounds, the Lions are actually better than twice as good in the second half as they are in the first half of games.

One can only imagine if the Lions would put it together and start playing good football from the opening kick-off. As it stands their offense ranks with the best when they are only playing approximately the last three quarters of their games.

Make no bones about it, this bad play in the first half is not strictly the fault of the bad play of the offensive line. At a quick glance in watching the games, I can see why one would assume such a thing. The offensive line has been horrible in the first half of the last two games. But I ask you, why is it that they can get the job done in the second half then? If the talent is enough to protect Stafford in the second half, then it certainly must be good enough to protect him in the first half as well when they are fresh.

I believe the coaches are at fault here. Whether it is a problem with not having them ready to play, or having to adjust the game plan, something is not working in the first half and it falls on the coaches.

The Lions have played four games and in every one of them they fell behind early. That screams to me a coaching problem.

I do not mean to cut the coaches down. They have done a fine job in my opinion. But the Lions simply cannot continue to fall behind early and expect to always put it together in time to win. Especially in the second half of the season when they face their toughest foes, like Green Bay twice, New Orleans, San Diego, and play in Chicago. If the Lions want to continue to win when they play teams like those, they will need to come out firing from the onset. It is up to the coaches to figure out how to get that to happen. So far they haven't.

Once they do, however, the Lions just may be the best team in the NFL.


'NFL Turning Point' Focuses on Detroit Lions

NFL Turning Point, VERSUS’ new weekly show co-produced by NFL Films and the NBC Sports Group, continues this Thursday at 12:30am ET (and airs again Friday at 10pm ET). The hour-long program, hosted by Football Night in America’s Dan Patrick airs throughout the NFL regular season and will focus on the crucial ‘turning point’ moment in several games for football fans each week in a more in-depth way than ever before by utilizing NFL Films’ unmatched cinematography and sideline and on-field audio.

This week’s episode features:
An in-depth look at the 4-0 Detroit Lions who since last season have eight straight victories (five on the road), an NFL best. Last week the Lions became the first team in NFL history to rally from 20-plus point deficits in consecutive victories and its 24-point comeback at Dallas matched the largest one on the road in league history as Dallas suffered the worst come-from-behind loss in their franchise history. Detroit will host the Chicago Bears in its first game on Monday night in a decade as they look to start 5-0 for the first time since 1956 — the year before its last NFL championship.

Other topics include:
Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers wired for sound as he set a career high with 408 passing yards, 4 passing TD’s and 2 rushing TD’s against the Broncos. Coach Mike McCarthy was mic’d for the game as well.

A look into the Pittsburgh Steelers come back as they tied the Houston Texans in the 4th quarter, but couldn’t stop Texans RB Arian Foster, who led Houston to a 17-10 victory

In addition, Patrick will conclude the show with a segment featuring his Football Night colleagues Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison that covers the most relevant NFL topics, such as in-depth look at Sunday Night’s upcoming Packers/Falcons matchup while comparing young QB’s Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan.


Lions 34 - Cowboys 30

The Detroit Lions have done it again. After trailing 27-3 with 12:23 left in the 3rd quarter, the Lions came back and beat the Dallas Cowboys 34-30. And this time they did not even need overtime to do it.

In the first half, the Lions were dismal. They could not move the ball on offense and the defense could not even seem to slow the Cowboys down. When Dallas started the second half with a touchdown to spread the lead to 24 points, the window of opportunity was closing fast. Then it was like someone turned on a light switch for the Lions.

Bobby Carpenter, filling in at the outside Linebacker position for the injured Durant, stepped in front of a Tony Romo pass and took it 34 yards for a defensive touchdown against his former team. Seven plays later, Chris Houston cut in front of a receiver and picked off Tony Romo, then ran it back for 56 yards and another touchdown and made it a 10 point game. With 37 second left in the 3rd quarter, the Cowboys kicked a field goal and it was all Lions after that.

With the defense stepping up and making big plays, the offense decided it was their turn. Matthew Stafford capped off an 80 yard drive with a 23 yard touchdown strike to Calvin Johnson. With less than 5 minutes to go, Jason Hanson kicked a 51 yard field goal to put the Lions only 3 points down. Then they did it again. With only 1:39 left on the clock, Stafford hit Calvin Johnson for a 2 yard touchdown pass and gave the Lions a 34-30 victory.

It was Megatron's 2nd touchdown of the game and tied the NFL record for most consecutive games by a receiver with multiple touchdowns at four. The only other receiver to ever catch two or more touchdowns in four straight games was Chris Carter (now an ESPN annalist), who recently has stuck to his word that Calvin Johnson is not an elite receiver. Just for the record, Calvin Johnson is now the only receiver to ever catch 2 or more TDs in four straight games to start a season.

Happy Lions Day!

The week has finally passed by and we are just hours away from watching the Detroit Lions play the Cowboys. I love Sundays in the Fall. I love watching the Detroit Lions.


Lions Can Make a Statement in Dallas

The Detroit Lions have been listed as the underdog in Vegas odds today. Dallas Cowboys defensive Coordinator, Rob Ryan as well as ESPN annalist Chris Carter have said that Calvin Johnson is not one of the top wide receivers in the NFL. I have taken part in debates on whether the Detroit Lions are actually one of the best teams in the NFL or if they just had a lucky start playing lesser foes.

Today the Lions can make a statement. If they play as I know they are capable, they will not only come away with a victory, but win by ten or more points. If they do so, their will be no arguing whether the Lions are for real or not. A solid victory in Dallas would serve notice to the rest of the world, the Detroit Lions are for real. No longer the butt of jokes with the likes of Jay Leno, but now a team that no NFL team wants to face.

If Calvin Johnson should catch two touchdowns in today's game, even Chris Carter will have to admit the Lions receiver is a legit and elite receiver. Two TDs today would tie the NFL record for consecutive games with multiple touchdowns by a receiver. That record is currently owned by none other than Chris Carter himself.

A loss today would only add fuel to the fire for the nay-Sayers who have been afraid to face the fact this Lions team is far better than any we have seen in Detroit for a long time. I just don't see this happening.