For those who don’t follow the Detroit Lions (and I assume that is everyone in this forum except the person writing), the Lions apparently got robbed today.
Just to be clear, the actual rule is that a player has only caught the ball in the end zone if he
- maintains control of the ball all the way to the ground
- keeps control while on the ground
- manages to successfully carry the ball to the sideline
- keeps the ball with him until he votes in the next election and/or carries out a random act of kindness (as judged by the officials in the game)
Failure to follow all these steps means the pass is incomplete.
Obviously, as a fan of the Lions, I am not sure I like this rule.
But before Lions fans think Detroit should have won this game, keep in mind that the Bears gained 463 yards in this game. The Lions only gained 168. Yes, the Lions did sack Jay Cutler four times. And that was an impressive goal line stand. But once you get past the Lions amazing front four, it looks like opposing quarterbacks are still going to rack up impressive numbers against the Lions (as they did last year).
As for the Lions offense… yes, losing Matthew Stafford hurts. But it isn’t as if Stafford was that impressive in the first half. And the Lions only gained 20 yards on the ground.
In the end, the Lions stayed in this game because of turnovers. Turnovers, though, are not very predictable and can’t be counted on to save your team every week. In sum, I think the optimism I felt a month ago has once again vanished. Certainly one game does not a season make. But for those hoping the Lions have improved tremendously since last season, there was little in this game to bolster that belief.
One last note… we did learn before the game at MLive.com (and Tom Kowalski – my favorite Lions writer) that Matthew Stafford has “it”. Not sure what “it” is. But the article lists a number of quarterbacks that historically have had “it”. Guess what all these quarterbacks had in common?
P.S. The factor in common wasn’t an ability to avoid failure. All quarterbacks fail at some point or another. All have bad games. Most have bad seasons. For the “it” quarterbacks, though, failure is quickly forgotten.