NFL hates the Detroit Lions but we’re on to Minnesota

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions are coming off of a painful loss but players and fans alike are ready to move on to this week’s opponent, the Minnesota Vikings.

We are going to spend time talking about this week’s matchup with the Minnesota Vikings but let’s face facts – we don’t even know if we’re going to receive fair treatment from the NFL after last Monday.

While the NFL has doubled down on how their referee’s calls were correct during the Monday Night debacle, the Detroit Lions have to shake off a bad episode of dealing with rules that screw the team and move on to the next game.

It sure feels like the NFL is okay with mistreating some franchises to push narratives that they believe will make them more money due to high profile players on certain teams.

Detroit vs. Everybody, right?

Aaron Rodgers made some very good throws during the last game, there’s no denying that. However, the referee’s bailing out the Green Bay offense on multiple occasions to allow them to keep possession of the football is flat out favoritism. In particular, two illegal hands to the face penalties on defensive end Trey Flowers gave automatic first downs to extend Green Bay drives and seal the win for the Packers.

Green Bay’s last two scoring drives, netting ten points, were extended by questionable calls. View the recap here on the NFL website.

Official’s flags were also firmly in their pockets on multiple missed pass interference on Marvin Jones, Jr., where he was nearly clotheslined, and actual illegal use of hands plays by Green Bay players. Not to forget the helmet-to-helmet personal foul where the Green Bay player initiated the contact but Tracy Walker was flagged for the foul.

What do you do when the NFL’s best reaction is to send the vice president of football operations, Troy Vincent, to call owner Martha Ford and general manager Bob Quinn about the outcome of the game. Vincent obtusely quipped that the NFL supports the first hands to the face call, which resulted in a Green Bay touchdown after extending their drive.

Flowers didn’t touch the tackle’s head, face, or neck areas, and had his hands solely on the player’s pads which has never resulted in a penalty in his entire career. Many ends and pass rushers use the same or similar technique without penalty, so it wasn’t the first time the referees saw a player place his hand on the front of a tackle’s pads during a bull rush.

Detroit Lions must have a short memory

The Detroit Lions did fail to convert on some red zone opportunities, settle for field goals too often, and commit a twelve-men-on-the-field penalty that allowed Green Bay to score a touchdown. On top of the penalties, the run blocking was only able to generate fifty-six yards on the ground, a large amount less than what the Detroit Lions have averaged in 2019.

Going into a home game after an emotional loss, the Lions have a short week to prepare. In the past, the Detroit Lions have had difficulty protecting Matthew Stafford against the Vikings. In the worst outing, the Lions gave up ten sacks to the Vikings last November.

In fact, in the last two meetings, the Vikings have outscored the Lions 51-18. They have the second most productive run game in the NFL by yardage and average a hefty 5.1 yards per carry. That doesn’t bode well for the Lions who surrender 133.8 yards per game, ranking twenty-seventh in the NFL.

Kirk Cousins, the Minnesota quarterback, has benefited from the run production and has been efficient, hitting 69.7% of his passes with nine touchdowns and averaging 229.0 yards via the air. The Vikings are also fifth in defense compared to the Lions twenty-ninth place defenders.

So, while it is easy to get caught up talking about the treatment that Detroit fans are used to, it is incumbent upon all of us to move on. Players are saying all of the right things. The national consciousness has taken note of the treatment dished out to the Detroit Lions.

The Minnesota Vikings are coming to town and they don’t care how we felt about our game in Green Bay. They have some nasty defenders and runners who will run the Lions over if they aren’t ready to go.

Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings injury updates

Mike Daniels, defensive tackle, and cornerback Amani Oruwariye were non-participants on Wednesday and Thursday practice. Defensive end Da’Shawn Hand, safety Quandre Diggs, cornerback Darius Slay, and tackle Rick Wagner were all listed as limited participants. A’Shawn Robinson, defensive tackle, and tight end Logan Thomas moved to full participation Thursday from being limited Wednesday. Quarterback Matthew Stafford, who is nursing a hip injury, was a full participant both days.

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The Vikings are without linebacker Ben Gedeon, while linebacker Kentrell Brothers, guard Josh Kline, and tackle Riley Reiff was limited. Safety Anthony Harris, linebacker Eric Kendricks, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen were full participants in practice.