Oct 14, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson (4) celebrates kicking the game winning field goal with holder Nick Harris (5) and guard Dylan Gandy (65) in overtime against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Lions defeated the Eagles 26-23 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The Detroit Lions seem to live by the Chauncey Billups quote “if it ain’t rough it ain’t right.” The Lions made it rough on us with some pretty sloppy, boring football for the first three quarters before making it right with the now regular routine of scoring touchdowns in the last couple of minutes to salt away an overtime victory. The Lions needed this one badly, and for most of the game they played like they didn’t care that their season was circling the drain, but they snapped out of their funk in the forth quarter and Matthew Stafford led them to another comeback win.
This was vintage 2011 Lions football. Play like crap for at least the first half, commit an ungodly amount of penalties, then produce a couple of scoring drives in the last minute and you have yourself a stirring come-from-behind victory. “We’re going to give somebody a heart attack at home, but it’s just the way it is,” Calvin Johnson said. “Our backs are against the wall, that’s just how we are. The best comes out of us when our back is against the wall. We don’t want to be in that position, but that’s the way it is.” It’s maddening to us Lion fans that this team waits until it’s almost too late to salvage the game before they play like studs, but I’m glad that they at least have the talent to get the job done when it needs to be done.
The Lions benefited greatly from playing the turnover machine that is Michael Vick. He was even nice enough to give the Leos their first interceptions of the year. While Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson will get the headlines for the victory, judging from the unbelievable catch he made late in the game, I’m sure glad Megatron lets his toenails grow long. Louis Delmas had his fingerprints all over this victory. It’s clear how much difference he makes when he’s on the field.
The defense was tough all day. They held LeSean McCoy to just 22 yards on 14 rushing attempts. Not bad for a defense that has trouble stopping the run. The defensive line finally played like they’re supposed to play. Maybe that anonymous GM who ripped them in the press can say something again this week, because they seem to have heard his words. Those sacks to start off the overtime period were huge.
The victory over the Eagles on the road was a football version of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The Good is that they won the game, their season would have been over if they had lost it. The Bad is that they seem to always need a half before they start playing good football. The coaches need to have them ready when the whistle blows to start the game not the whistle that starts the second half. The Ugly is that the Penalty Flag monster reared it’s ugly head again, spitting yellow flags all over the place. 16 flags! Seriously? How long have these guys been playing football?
It was ugly, but the Lions just might have salvaged their season. Next week the Lions have a season-defining moment when they meet the Bears in Chi-town on Monday Night. IF they win that one, I guess you could say it all started in Philadelphia.