I proposed five things to watch while the Lions took on the Chargers. Here’s a look back to see how they played out.
It was a clean game until the fourth quarter but it was the Lions that were able to force turnovers to seal the game rather than the other way around to make things interesting. The Lions finished +2 on the day but the defense was close to a couple other interceptions and Matthew Stafford never put the ball in harms way. Give the Lions a big check-plus here.
2. How much bend, how much break?
The Lions defense showed up in a way that not many (any?) expected. In what was “supposed to be” a shootout, the Lions defense held the Chargers at bay without needing to force turnovers. The Chargers yardage total was underwhelming all game long and the final total only looks respectable because of the situation of the game in the fourth quarter. The Lions held an opponent under 100 yard rushing for just the third time this year.
3. Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith did most of his damage on one 21-yard run but the Lions were able to feed him consistently. His six-yard touchdown run squashed the Chargers hopes of a comeback and he was able to emerge from the game no worse for the wear on his ankle.
4. Record Watch
Records were certainly broken, more than I was even initially aware were in play. Here’s a recap.
-Matthew Stafford set single season franchise marks for completions, passing yards and added to his touchdown record.
-Calvin Johnson tied Cloyce Box for the most touchdown receptions in season with 15.
-Brandon Pettigrew set the franchise mark for receptions by a tight end in a season.
-Jason Hanson became the first player in NFL history to make 50 field goals of 50-yards or more in a career.
-The Lions set a team record for number of touchdowns in a season.
5. Ford Field Frenzy
I can’t speak directly about the Ford Field atmosphere for the Monday Night Football game earlier this year but I can say that the Christmas Eve crowd was the loudest I have experienced in that stadium. It took just two defensive plays from the Lions defense to get a slight ringing in my ear and I still have that cotton ball in the ear feeling on Christmas morning. I guess part of that is my fault considering the way my throat feels. Some fans left early, no doubt because of the game happened to be played on a holiday, but those that stayed helped give Ford Field the biggest party the building has seen.