*Takes a deep breath* Alright, I feel better now. The world isn’t ending, the Lions are a serious contender and Tim Tebow showed his true, god-awful, self. Winning! Literally…
After two losses of heart-breaking proportions, the Lions finally got their season back on track with a 45-10 victory over the Denver (Tebows) Broncos at Mile-High/Invesco Stadium/Field (I believe one of those is correct). The Lions played a near perfect game, sacking Tebow 7 times, forcing a fumble on 3 occasions and 1 pick 6 on another. Tebow looked awful, going 18 for 39 for 172 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. The only positive for Tebow was his rushing stats, carrying the ball 10 times for 63 yards. Although the Lions didn’t seem to care much about the run, allowing a crazy 195 yards to the Broncos on 30 carries.
The Lions were pegged to be a much better run stopping team this year, but this just hasn’t come to fruition. You know you’re a bad run D team when the opposing QB accounts for one-third of their rushing yards. I guess this hasn’t really bothered the Lions, as they tend to stop it when it matters. In the redzone and at the goal-line. However if the Lions want to truly get somewhere this season, they’ll have to sure it up. I’m not entirely sure how this going to happen, but it’s inevitable for success. Their pass D is going well, in comparison. They finally have CB’s and Safeties who can catch the ball, the first time in a long time. And are also able to tackle sufficiently (We all knew Delmas could tackle, though).
The defense was so good, that they even outscored the Broncos on their own 14-10. Not only did the Lions get a pick 6 from Chris Houston, but they also got a fumble returned for a TD by Cliff Avril, who completed the quad-fector (Sack, force fumble, fumble recovery, TD). The defense was just masterful against the Broncos, other than giving up 10 points (the TD came in garbage time with 2nd stringers out there), they were perfect.
Well, I guess I’ll talk and marvel at the offense now. They, like the defense, were also perfect. Putting up 31 points, including 3 TD passes from Matthew Stafford, 1 TD run from Maurice Morris (there was more jumping than running) and 1 FG, to go along with 6 PAT’s from Jason Hanson.
Firstly, I have to start out with Matt’s first TD pass. It was unbelievable. Words can’t fathom how bad the Broncos were on this play.
Titus Young would have been in a, minimum, 15 yard circumference of no defenders near him. They weren’t even close! I’ve seen some bad pass defense through the years, but that would definitely come close to the worst I’ve seen (Perhaps I need to see more?).
Stafford on the day, was pretty surgical (slash, slash) going 21 for 30 for 267 yards and the aforementioned 3 TD’s. He even had a nice run of 21 yards, too. Stafford really bounced back in this game after a pretty dismal effort against the Falcons, where he completed less than 50% of his passes. However, including the past two weeks and the Broncos game, Stafford hasn’t thrown an interception in 3 straight games. Which is a nice feat, as he was throwing an average of 1 interception in 4 out of 5 games before that. This would be a very nice streak for Stafford to continue until the end of the season. The Lions rarely turn the ball over, so if Stafford can cut down on the interceptions, their future looks a lot more promising.
Lastly, I want to talk about Special Teams. They finally played well against the Broncos, which was the 1st time in 3 weeks. The Lions did get much from the return units, but the kicking units definitely did their job well. Maybe I should put this into some better context, as the 49ers are 6-1 and the Falcons are 4-3, whereas the Broncos are 2-5, but playing well can only give you more confidence. Confidence seemed to be one of the major ingredients lacking for the Special Teams unit, constantly giving up long returns and never getting anything going for Stefan Logan in the Punt Return or Kick-off return area. But half of that changed, with some good coverage on kick-offs and punts. Hopefully this can be worked on during the bye-week and get both halves going for the week 10 clash against the Chicago Bears.
Just to finish up on the Broncos team. Coming into the game, I knew the Broncos weren’t the best of teams, but I did think they had a bit more talent than this. They’re headed for a top-10 draft pick unless something magical happens and they start winning games. Although a top-10 pick definitely wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Broncos.
The Lions have the bye this week, so they’ll be looking to get some injured guys back and rest up some others. After the bye they have very tough road test against the Chicago Bears. This game is quite worrisome as teams off the bye don’t usually do well, but the Bears are playing some good football at the moment and will be hard to overcome. But we’ll find out where both teams stand come Week 10.