The Lions look a lot like last year’s playoff team, even with a spark in the running back position after their run game fizzled with the loss of Jahvid Best in 2011. They are getting after the ball, intimidating offenses with their aggressive defense, and showing off an aerial attack that much resembles middle school basketball rebounding with a 6 and a half foot Calvin Johnson boxing out.
The only thing that doesn’t look like last year is their record. Almost every loss this year has been close, fingertips close, 4th and inches in OT close, or even fake touchdown close.
Last year they won a lot of their close games and it landed them in the playoffs for the first time since we were all wondering if planes would fall out of the air because computers would have trouble going from “99” to “00.” They are looking Dallas Cowboy-esque in their inability to close games or mount a comeback, which has become their trademark win. This week they host a team that looks nothing like they did in 2011 in the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts have won 6 of their last 8 games and have that signature blue hoodie with the white horseshoe flying off of Walmart shelves from Louisville to Gary. Though not the holy angel of all football rookies as he was touted, I picture Dennis Green saying that Luck is “who we thought he was!” His quick release, pocket presence and ability to keep his eyes downfield or looking off defenders, has proven quickly effecting so far this year. Though the Lions (4-7) mirror the record of the Colts (7-4), I fear that Luck and the Colts will get a reality check this week against a Lions team that matches up against their weaknesses very well.
The Lions are a familiar face to NFC North and NFC east opponents especially in that they don’t reflect their losing record on the field. Luck will likely be waiting for the dome at Ford Field to come into focus before dreading standing tall in the pocket once more as a defensive line made up of ruthless cannibals set after him again.
Led by N’utsakick Suh’s ferocious do-anything-to get to the quarterback mantra, the Lions can really lay a hurting on QB’s so long as their porous secondary doesn’t let someone run free in the first couple of seconds. The Colts line is mending, but it’s not ready for the pure bull rush strength of this young and merciless bunch of hooligans in Suh, Avril, Williams, Vanden Bosch, and a young and strong Nick Fairley. Not to mention that Schwartz and company like to gamble on blitzes and will likely test Luck’s decision making.
The Lions will ring Luck’s bell this week in a 31-20 win at Ford Field that will likely see some 15-yard personal fouls walked off, as well as Colts helped off the field.