Everybody will agree that Matthew Stafford had a rocky opening for week one. There were three interceptions (and almost a fourth one), which cost the Detroit Lions some points. But as much as people are crying about how much he stunk it up, look what he DID do. He was the yardage leader for the week with 355 yards. He had one touchdown. He only had one sack.
He got the WIN.
Was he really so terrible to deserve everybody disregarding the Lions again? No. But since he does play for the Detroit Lions, analysts and “experts” are pooh-poohing the team and jumping on the bandwagon for the shiny, sparkly teams of the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers instead. Forget about all the hoopla surrounding Stafford and Calvin Johnson at the beginning of the season.
Do I sound bitter? Tough.
I am not drinking the Bears Kool-Aid yet. Brian Urlacher had surgery just a month ago! They have been a team known for extraordinary collapses in recent years too, so until we are halfway through the season, with a healthy Urlacher, I don’t consider them to be a team worthy of the #5 spot. (And if they are so good, why are they still behind the Green Bay Packers in #4 who took a walloping last week?)
The 49ers were a tough team last year, I will give them that. And I like Jim Harbaugh and his style of coaching. He has done for the 49ers what Jim Schwartz is doing for the Lions. What I don’t like is when former players who are supposed to be unbiased analysts and announcers (cough Steve Young cough) gloat and rave and make their former team to sound like the second coming of some religious figure I won’t name. Please. I am suddenly not a fan of the 49ers or Young this season.
Yup, my mind can be changed that fast. (I am a woman after all, it’s my prerogative). Plus, the 49ers are playing Stafford who gets no respect on Sunday night. Are they deserving of the #1 spot? Maybe this week, because they knocked off former golden boy Aaron Rodgers from the pedestal analysts and experts had put him on. Can the 49ers keep it up though?
Back to the Lions and getting no respect. If Stafford shows up ready to play the game, without turnovers, they are a tough adversary. Did I mention he threw for 355 yards in what is being called a stinker of a game for him? The defense proved to be tough, even with “replacement” players in for the starters with injuries. Ndamukong Suh can lead that D-line and surely put a halt to the 49ers from scoring too often.
Can the Lions actually climb the mountain and win over the 49ers on Sunday night? Maybe. And I’m guessing if they do, then it will be a fluke, Alex Smith had a bad day, the sun was too bright, the planets weren’t aligned right and the 49ers will keep their top spot in the NFL Power Rankings and the Lions won’t get the credit or the respect they deserve. #15, three spots behind a New York Giants team who stunk it up and LOST isn’t quite right.
So I really hope Stafford and company arrive with focus. I hope they play a tough game. I hope for a win.
And I would really, really welcome the opportunity to watch Young and other experts explain how the 49ers lost.