The Detroit Lions caught the ball in the endzone to start the game and opted not to run it, but take the field at the 20 yard line. What followed was 70+ yards of beauty by Matthew Stafford. His offensive plays were not to his favorite Calvin Johnson, which everyone suspected. Johnson did have one catch, but Nate Burleson had two, Kevin Smith had three, Will Heller had two, Stefan Logan had one, Tony Scheffler had one and so did Brandon Pettigrew.
That’s a pretty good mix up when analysts said the Lions had little depth beside the Stafford to Johnson connection. The ball was handled by seven people and appeared to be a way for the offense to thumb their nose at the critics. See, we can spread the ball around. Fans were buying Super Bowl tickets from their phones…for a minute, anyway.
This first drive was impressive and what gives the Lions fans hope for a winning season and the future. But Stafford’s pick near the endzone also reminds fans of how quick things can turn. Then the second interception was a reminder that no matter how good the offense is touted as being, the players need to prove it. Analyst predictions, Las Vegas odds and routes on paper don’t mean a thing if the players don’t play smart. The third turnover had people scratching their heads, wondering if Stafford was overrated and if this was going to be another year for the same old Lions.
Detroit got the ball back after the St. Louis Rams capitalized on the first turnover with a field goal. Stafford showed he wasn’t shaken by the pick and marched it right back down the field. Joique Bell scored his first touchdown as a Lion and put them up 6-3. Bell is a “local” boy and attended Wayne State University, just a few miles away from where Ford Field sits in Detroit. It’s only fitting he gets the first touchdown of the season, don’t ya think?
Then it fell apart for the offense, NOT the defense like was predicted. Sure, there have been injuries in the secondary for the Lions, but new players were brought in. The defense which has been reported to be weak, thin and empty has shown they are pretty darn tough and can step up to the challenge. Take that all you naysayers. They might be called second string or replacements, but they held it together thus far when it was needed.
First half grade for the Lions offense is a C, because of the not one, not two, but THREE interceptions. If they hadn’t turned over the ball, the score would have been 21-0 in the first half in the Lions favor. Stafford almost had one more in the Lions endzone as well, but luckily it was dropped. There have been eight people carrying the ball, which is an awesome combination. Keep from turning it over and the score would show how diverse and strong the offense is.
The defense earns a B+ because they held the Rams to just a field goal with each of the first two turnovers. They didn’t get the chance to defend on the third one since it was run in for a touchdown as soon as it was picked off in front of Johnson. Otherwise, the game would have been 21 -7 at the half, in favor of the Rams.
Kudos for the Rams for coming out strong and showing that even though the team has 17 rookies, they are capable of making big plays. The only diss they get is when Cortland Finnegan decided to toss an ear foam that fell from Johnson’s helmet after he was hit and it flew off. Instead of helping him pick up the pieces, he tossed it away from the Lion’s sideline so they couldn’t retrieve it easily and repair his helmet. Really? But for a player known for trash talking it’s to be expected.