Detroit Lions: 5 Thoughts from Sunday's Roadkill of the Raiders
There are five thoughts I took away from the Detroit Lions' 28-27 victory in Oakland.
Stafford again was terrific going 29-52 for 391 yards with four touchdowns, and oh yeah, no picks. Calvin had a career day with nine receptions for 214 yards and two touchdowns. To steal a line from Lions' play-by-play announcer Dan Miller, "Calvin Johnson you are ridiculous!"
The duo crushed John Madden’s playoff hopes as he sat in the suites and choked on his Outback bloomin’ onion watching the Lions’ probable Pro Bowl battery implement Al Davis’ “vehtical passing attack” with a 51-yard touchdown to start the game and a 48-yard connection to set up the winning score.
Pretty ironic the Raiders passed on Calvin in the 2007 draft and took JaMarcus Russell instead. Now Raider Nation knows how Portland feels about passing on that Mike Jordan guy.
Meanwhile, Carson Palmer could not replicate the Lions’ success as he overthrew Denarius Moore in the first half for an easy score, and then, with the game in the balance, missed Chaz Schilens down the right sideline, which would have put the game away.
Beyond his career best receiving totals, Calvin was set to reprise the role of Kellen Winslow when the Raiders set up for a game-winning 65-yard field goal attempt, and Calvin was in at safety to leap up and block the kick.
The 1982 Chargers-Dolphins game still stands out in my mind as the greatest game ever played, and the reason I adopted the Bolts as my “B” team—an asset of sanity while watching the Lions of the eighties.
Calvin didn't need to be carried off the field with a towel on his head, but he was that dominant.
Here are my five thoughts from Sunday’s game…
KVB Is a Heat-Seeking Missile
We know Vanden Bosch has a non-stop motor and leads by example, but Kyle? How many times are you going to get burned on reverses before you stay home?
Remember the Jon Favreau character in The Replacements who Gene Hackman implores to “get me the ball?”
Kyle is playing with that same mentality and the Lions will continue to get burned if defensive line coach Kris Kocurek doesn’t get through to the captain.
If anybody is still working on last-minute gift ideas for Kyle, how about Pat Kirwan’s book Take Your Eye Off the Ball.
The Chargers may run double-digit reverses at Kyle on Christmas Eve if he continues to sprint down the line without keeping containment.
Ndamukong Suh Deserves Credit
His hand was the one that blocked Janikowski’s late field goal attempt, and it was nice to see his youthful exuberance after making the play.
I was critical of Suh for not explaining himself regarding his actions on Thanksgiving Day and ignoring the transgressions because they happened in the past. After the game, he made amends.
Suh apologized for his “mistake” and acknowledged that he had talked to Evan Dietrich-Smith, and he was "moving past it.”
Seriously, how hard was that? I don’t need a weepy apology, but be a professional and accountable for your actions.
Suh did that, and I think it should be noted because far too often people are quick to criticize, but when the resolution is completed, it gets no recognition.
Nice work Ndamukong.
Raiola Needs To Eat More
When my sister had her first child, the doctor was worried she wasn’t gaining enough weight and told her to grab some McDonald’s; Dom, go get yourself a No. 1 and toss in a 10-piece nugget.
Did you see Raiola get blown up by Richard Seymour?
Damn, that did not look good, and Dom’s cleats appeared to be a set of skates.
At 295 pounds, nobody will mistake him for a runway model, but this is just an example of why it’s so difficult for the Lions to run between the tackles.
Raiola is the captain, but the interior line must be addressed this offseason.
Hue Jackson Is My New Favorite Coach
God Bless Ya, Hue!
Did Coach Jackson think the game was over when Matthew Stafford fumbled the ball, and Aaron Curry returned it for a touchdown to go up 26-14?
He must have because instead of going for two, to put his team up by 14, Hue kicked the extra point, and we all know what happened then.
With less than eight minutes to go, was Hue really defending the chance that the Lions were going to go on three scoring drives and wanted to make sure he got to 27?
I don’t care what the cheat sheet says, he should have went for two—26 or 27 made no difference.
If you have a spare fruit cake, send it out to the Bay Area for the Jackson family to enjoy.
These Are Not the S.O.L.
If you think these are the “Same Old Lions,” you are “S*%# Outta Luck!”
With the win in Oakland, the Lions have now won five games on the road, the first time they have done so since 2000.
Even since Jim Schwartz walked into the building, this team has been breaking curses and records like a bull in a china shop.
Now he’s taking them to the playoffs and with their winning road record this season, it doesn’t matter where their first playoff game in over 10 years is held, this team has a chance to win. Not like playoff teams in the past where they got into the post-season by winning all their home games.
In college football terms, the Lions are Boise State and can play with anybody, anywhere anytime. More importantly, nobody wants to draw Detroit when the seedings come out.