Detroit Lions: 5 Best Team Performances of 2011 Season
The Detroit Lions season was a cavalcade of historic moments and emotional highs.
While the season may have ended in the first round of the playoffs, fans were still treated to numerous nationally televised games this year, including the ever-elusive Monday Night Football game at Ford Field.
Detroit won in seemingly every way at some points. From large-scale blowouts to nail-biters to come-from-behind thrillers.
This Lions unit proved they were not the same pushovers from years prior. They became a force in the NFC and a likely fixture in the playoff race for the foreseeable future.
2011 was a great year for the Honolulu Blue and Silver, so let's look at five of the very best team performances from this season.
5. Week 2 vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Leon Halip/Getty Images
Score: Lions win, 48-3.
Detroit demolished Kansas City to the tune of 411 yards of total offense, 322 of which came through the air.
The Lions showcased their offensive firepower while also performing at an elite level defensively.
This game set an impressive tone early in the year and would prove to be the Lions' biggest blowout of the season.
4. Week 8 vs. Denver Broncos
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Score: Lions win, 45-10
Tebow threw for only 172 yards and the Denver offense turned the ball over three different times.
Detroit, meanwhile, was firing on all cylinders as Matthew Stafford threw for 267 yards and completed touchdown passes to three different receivers.
What was particularly impressive about this win was that the Lions proved they could recover after losing two hard-fought football games and score from the defensive side of the ball, as both Chris Houston and Cliff Avril found the end zone.
3. Week 3 vs. Minnesota Vikings
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Score: Lions win, 26-23, in OT
What Detroit did in this game is nothing short of remarkable.
Down 20-0 at halftime, the Lions rallied after the intermission and found a way to win the game on a Jason Hanson field goal in overtime.
Minnesota was highly productive in the first half, but after the break they managed only three more points the entire game.
Detroit's leading rusher had only 14 yards, but Matthew Stafford was again able to carry the offensive load as he threw for 378 yards and two touchdowns to none other than Calvin Johnson.
The ability to regroup in the locker room and make the necessary adjustments is a testament to the strength of the Lions coaching staff and was only the first of multiple comebacks in the 2011 campaign.
2. Week 16 vs. San Diego Chargers
Dave Reginek/Getty Images
Score: Lions win, 38-10
With a playoff berth waiting to be clinched and the Ford Field faithful in a frenzy, the Lions came into this game and dominated the Chargers.
What made Week 16 so special was the way in which Detroit played sound fundamental football for the entirety of the game.
Penalties and mistakes were a thing of the past, as Detroit committed no turnovers and lost only eight yards due to yellow flags.
Emotions were certainly high for everyone within the stadium as the Lions gave the city of Detroit something they had not seen in over a decade: a spot in the postseason.
While the two games that followed may not have gone as planned, few fans will forget the raw jubilation of the Lions overcoming all their adversities and finally moving on to the playoffs.
1. Week 5 vs. Chicago Bears
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Score: Lions win, 24-13
Monday Night Football in the Motor City!
There was simply no better game for the Lions this season than beating division rival Chicago on MNF in front of a packed Ford Field crowd.
Everyone on offense played great. Stafford threw for two touchdowns, Calvin Johnson had 130 yards receiving and Jahvid Best stole the show with 163 yards rushing and a touchdown.
This win gave Detroit a 5-0 record and solidified playoff hopes into the minds of the fanbase.
The fact that Chicago only managed one touchdown was icing on the cake.
If there was any doubt leading into this game, it was officially relinquished. Football was back in Detroit.