Detroit Lions: Forget Seattle, these next two games are huge
Despite a weak showing against the Seattle Seahawks, the Detroit Lions enter a two-game road stretch with a tremendous opportunity on their hands.
No worries Detroit Lions fans. I’m going to keep any rehashing of the Seattle Seahawks game to a minimum.
From running back Ameer Abdullah‘s fumbled kickoff in the first half, right up until the improv fake punt in the final two minutes, the Lions were never quite in the game, but never quite out of it at the same time. The 28-14 loss wasn’t pretty, but at the end of the day, the Lions are hardly any worse off than they were going in, at least in terms of the division race.
The Bears won, everyone else lost, which basically puts things in the NFC North back the way they were two weeks ago. Chicago is in first, but that negative half game* thing is still going on, so Minnesota can maybe sort of say that they’re really the ones in first.
The loss to Seattle puts the Lions back in last for the moment. That “never quite in it, never quite out of it” thing also applies here though, so stay tuned.
*I may have done the math wrong when I wrote about this two weeks ago. Looking at it again, it might actually be a negative 1/4 of a game.
We’ve already established that the Lions and the NFC North are beyond logic this year. The most illogical thing to happen next would be, wait for it… for the Lions to somehow get back-to-back statement road wins against both of the teams at the top of the division.
Before the season, next Sunday’s game against the Vikings appeared to be the most difficult game on the schedule. Minnesota went 13-3 last year and then got significant upgrades on both sides during free agency.
Halfway through, with Minnesota underachieving and the Lions weirdly-achieving, it feels like a coin toss at this point. Thirteen wins isn’t happening for the Vikes (losing to New Orleans gives them a 12-3-1 ceiling), and our protagonists rushed for 248 yards as a team in their most recent road game. They’ve also won two straight at Minnesota.
There’s no way around, the Bears have been better than the Lions in most statistical categories. As far as the eye test goes, it’s more of the same. They’ve had a few impressive wins; as for their losses, all I’ll say is that they haven’t looked anything like the Lions’ losses.
With that said, all three of Detroit’s W’s are against the teams responsible for all three of Chicago’s L’s (NE, Mia, GB). That has to be good for something, doesn’t it?
Any time they’re written off this year, the Lions come back with a huge performance. Any time they’re written… (on?), they throw out a dud like the one on Sunday, fumbling kickoffs, chucking red zone interceptions, and letting punters take off for first downs from nine yards deep in their own end zone.
In any other season, I would say that letting punters take off for first downs from nine yards deep in their own end zone would automatically disqualify any team from winning two important road games against division rivals. Based on what we’ve seen so far though, that same reason is precisely why they could actually pull it off.
How’s that for logic?