What Worked for the Detroit Lions in Week 4

By Tina Musial

Did you read that title and wonder what could have possibly worked in favor of the Detroit Lions on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings? When you wade through the special teams disasters and dropped passes, a couple of things do stand out as being remarkable in a season that is surprisingly unremarkable thus far. The two things that actually worked aren’t things but people: Jason Hanson and Nick Harris.

Jason Hanson, aka Legatron, kicked two field goals and one point after touchdown for seven points on the day. Those points propelled him in to third place in the NFL of all time scorers with 2,062 points. He needs just 483 more points to take over the #1 spot held by Morten Andersen. Since Hanson already scored 44 points in four games, his average of 11 points means he could take the lead if he finishes all the games this season and plays through 2014. Of course, if he goes higher than an 11 point average, he could retire mid-season in 2014 as the leader. (Those 44 points are of the 100 total the Lions have scored as a team, by the way. That’s almost half!)

Harris also came back to the Lions strong and punted five times for 198 yards. In case you were new to Lions fandom or on a recent bandwagon, Harris was the punter from mid-2003 through the 2011 season. He was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars before the 2012 season started. Luckily, he was available since punter Ben Graham was injured last week. It seems that the old reliable in the punting department is still reliable.

The other positive aspect for the Lions in week 4 is that the popular airbrushed T-shirts shown in Matthew Stafford‘s Monday Night Football commercial  were for sale. The franchise realized that the T-shirts were talked about so much after the positive reception of the commercial that they needed to capitalize on it. The shirts were reproduced in mass numbers to match the one Stafford wears when he asks for a lobster bib to cover it up while he eats. The stores at the stadium were loaded up with shirts this week, so that should make Lions fans happy.

Unfortunately, that’s about all that worked out for the Lions this week. The Vikings were stronger on defense. The Vikings special teams made big plays to take the crowd out of the game for much of it. The Vikings offense didn’t do too much besides score two field goals, so this could have, should have, been a win for a Lions team that had their ducks in a row. But, no one looks better airbrushed on a T-shirt than Stafford.

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