Detroit Lions Week 10 Review: The Good and the Bad

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16. 59. 20. 50. Final

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The Detroit Lions win a close game after Matthew Stafford and company miraculously put together yet another fourth quarter comeback. With Calvin Johnson returning for the first time in five weeks, the offense got off to a quicker start than normal, but cooled down as the game progressed. They had one last chance at winning the game trailing 16-13 with just over two minutes remaining.

Stafford continues to look entirely like a whole different quarterback with the game on the line. This game was no different. Stafford tossed the ball with ease and led his team down the field for another fourth quarter comeback, dealing the final blow with his infamous side-arm throw which was laid perfectly into Theo Riddick’s hands.

This team never ceases to amaze me. Let’s take a closer look at the good and bad takeaways from today’s game, shall we?

Nov 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Matthew Stafford

I mean, when is the last time that we haven’t talked about Stafford’s early game struggles and late game wizardry?  You had to have known that this would be the highlight of today’s article, once again.

Stafford continues to be inconsistent and cannot put together four quarters of solid football, but when you’re winning and coming up big with the game on the line, then people will forgive you every time.

He wasn’t terrible at any point of the game, nor was he great until the final drive. He threw for 280 yards on 40 attempts for two touchdowns and an interception.

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The offense didn’t have a problem getting into the red zone, but they continued to squander their opportunities and left it up to their special teams units, who needless to say, couldn’t capitalize on many of their chances.

Thank you Matthew Stafford for giving me my third straight heart attack in as many weeks.

Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate

I could write an entire page on these two but I’ll try to combine it and keep it as short as possible.

Calvin Johnson’s return was as great as advertised. He admitted to dealing with a bit of pain in his ankle during the game, but still caught seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown, including a 49-yard bomb with Brent Grimes draped all over him.

If Johnson can stay healthy, this team is a real force to be reckoned with, as if they weren’t already.

Golden Tate was no slouch either. He showed that he’s not afraid to punish you if you focus too heavily on Megatron. On 13 targets, Tate caught 11 passes for 109 yards, including a crucial catch on third down that moved the chains and led to their game winning touchdown.

Having both Johnson and Tate on the field at the same time is a scary, scary thing for opposing defenses.

Ndamukong Suh and Ezekiel Ansah

No one had a better game defensively than these two. Suh made his presence known early after sacking Tannehill and accounting for two tackles on the very first drive of the game for the Dolphins. And he didn’t ease off the gas from there.

I counted at least three or four times where Suh absolutely crushed Tannehill when stepping into his throw. At one point, Tannehill limped off the field and was listed as probable to return (he did indeed return).

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The defense didn’t skip a beat with Fairley sidelined, and I’m inclined to believe that the Lions’ first priority in the offseason needs to be doing everything they can to secure Suh for as long as he desires.

Ezekiel Ansah was all over the place for the Lions as well. He was tied for second in tackles (6) and also had a sack and forced fumble that led to a takeaway.

Ansah has really stepped up his game as of late, and he continues to prove why the Lions chose him at fifth overall.

Sam Martin, Quarterback Extraordinaire

As if Sam Martin didn’t do enough as a punter. He decided he’d show off and complete a couple of passes as well, including one to convert on fourth down. The second completion wasn’t so fortunate, and I’m not exactly sure who to blame for it.

Martin could have been given the option to switch to a fake when he saw his man wide open. The Dolphins did a fantastic job of recovering and basically baited the Lions into the failed fake attempt.

Theo Riddick

Riddick got involved early in the game but wasn’t very effective for much of the game. In fact, Riddick gained just five yards today. But making the most important catch of the day will put you in the “good” category, especially when you make such an incredible catch of that magnitude.

The trio of running backs did a solid job today and it was nice to see a little bit of spark in Joique Bell’s game.

Honorable Mentions:

Joique Bell, Reggie Bush, Jed Collins, DeAndre Levy, James Ihedigbo, Devin Taylor, Kyle Van Noy (for making his debut)