Thursday, September 12, 2013

FOUR! Days Late Live Blog: Lions vs. Vikings


Apologies for the lateness of this article. It's been a busy week, and I haven't had a chance to rewatch the game as of yet (I STILL haven't caught up on "Boardwalk Empire," either, just so you know the sacrifices I'm making).

Anyway, I also want to apologize for the snark yesterday. After pleading to everyone to be a little less cynical in the offseason, I fell off the wagon yesterday, and my ugly, condescending side came out. Since then, I've checked myself into a wonderful facility full of loving people. After staring into their koi pond for five hours last night, I've come to an inner peace, and I don't expect a relapse any time soon (unless Suh gets into more trouble or the Cardinals win Sunday). Do we all love each other again? Great. Let's do this.

First quarter:
14:55 - The Lions start the game with a 10+ yard run by Reggie Bush on the tails of great blocks by Larry Warford and Jason Fox. All three being new contributors. That's promising.

13:33 - I really love this middle screen to Bush on third down, but the problem is, it's illegal. Warford doesn't engage with any blockers at the line of scrimmage, so he heads down field to block a linebacker. If he has not come into contact with a linemen, he cannot go further than one yard down the field before the ball has been thrown. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present exhibit A:

But, hey, it wasn't called, so, nice job!

12:50 - Speaking of plays I love, this was my absolute favorite play of the day. The end-around to Bush fakes nearly everyone in the Viking front seven. Leaving a whole lot of space for Joique Bell:

11:28 - One of the few errors Bush made all day caused the Lions to stall here. Bush had a clear opening, but he missed though hole (partially because Raiola's man got a hand on him and turned him around slightly). Still, there's no excuse for not picking up at least one yard on the play. Instead, the Lions have to settle for three points.


10:50 - ...aaaaaaaand commence bitter silence.

9:45 - ohcoursereggiebushisinjuredgodhatesthelionsihatetheNFL

6:58 - I just woke up from my satanic, hypnotic trance, and see that the Lions have already made their way back to the red zone on the shoulders of...Joseph Fauria? Where am I?

6:20 - What a great pass and amazing catch on Calvin's touchdown. It's just an absolute thing of beauty and nothing in the world could corrupt such a wonderful play.

6:20 - ...nothing but an irrational rulebook that just strives to punish the glory that is Megatron.

4:15 - All four defensive linemen are in the backfield before Adrian Peterson even touches the ball. Awesome.

0:45 - Oh Tony. That seam route was your bread and butter two years ago. I hate to see you like this. Please come back to us Tony. I'm still waiting for your Gangnam Style touchdown celebration. I will never give up on that. I'll even take some elevator-guy pelvic thrusts. Please, Tony.

Second quarter:
15:00 - First things first. Absolutely right call to go for it, and it's at least a little promising seeing Jim Schwartz make that decision. The call on Brandon Pettigrew was iffy. Pettigrew had great positioning on him, and didn't need to hold him. All he needed to really do was put all his weight on the defensive linemen and let him take himself out of the play.

14:50 - The Vikings first completion (and attempted pass) comes in the second quarter against Darius Slay. Gave him a little too much room there.

14:01 - Great play by Slay forcing the tipped ball, and excellent awareness by Levy catching the ball and scoring the touchdown. That's all I have to say about that.

13:53 - There's bad Stafford. Obviously not his fault the pass was intercepted, but he was locked onto Calvin, who wasn't open, while Bush had plenty of room along the right sideline.

13:40 - Tulloch is WAAAAAAAAAAAY out of position, biting hard on the play-action.

12:36 - Houston is in good position, doesn't really interfere despite the penalty, but fails to look for the ball. If he turns his head, it's an easy pass defended.

12:22 - The Vikings have run seven offensive plays and have two touchdowns. The Lions have run 26 plays and have zero. I'm pouty.

10:51 - I'll be honest, after the Lions went three-and-out here, I had pretty much given up on the game, and really, the season. The team was oddly familiar in it's mistakes, and failure to capitalize on their opportunities. I was feeling awfully down, man.

9:21 - Bill Bentley with the almost pick-six. I like this dude.

3:00 - Alright, time to calm down. The defense is holding up. Maybe the offense can rebound before the half...

OH COME ON! This can't be happening. It's like I'm watching a parody of a Lions game.

2:41 - The fact that what Louis Delmas did is considered a penalty is almost as stupid as Delmas doing what he did. I swear this stuff happens all the time during the game. Of course, that doesn't excuse Delmas for doing some completely unnecessary trash talking.


1:06 - Did I actually just witness that deep pass to Nate Burleson, or did I slip into some sort of stress-induced time machine coma? OOooOOO "Time Machine Coma," time to write a new screenplay!

0:10 - CHRIST, JOIQUE BELL! HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING FROM CHICAGO LAST YEAR? I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO ANGRY OVER A LIONS TOUCHDOWN BEFORE! Oh, and despite the hodgepodge of comedic errors, the Lions are within one at the half. Jesus Christ, I'm already exhausted.

Third quarter:

13:48 - And this was my favorite defensive play of the game. Nick Fairley with the stunt move. Nick Fairley with the QB SMASH.

11:05 - Fine. I believe in the Madden Curse. And Calvin is still feeling the residual effects. ARE YOU HAPPY, FOOTBALL GODS? CAN YOU LEAVE MY FAVORITE PLAYER ALONE NOW?

10:54 - Burleson with two big catches on this drive. I feel maybe not as many people want him cut anymore. Accurate?

10:20 - The Lions take the lead after scoring three touchdowns on that drive, though only counting one. At this point, it certainly feels like the Lions have gotten over the hump and will settle down and win this thing.

6:46 - DeAndre Levy, who I already should have mentioned a dozen times this game, does a great job of staying home on this play-action, and forcing Ponder to make a quick thrown. This was a huge third down stop, and prevented the Vikings from ever retaking the lead.

5:58 - Long Touchdown, how I've missed you so much. Why did you leave us last year....oh what am I saying, I'm just so glad you're back!
Long Touchdown and I, reunited at last. I'm so sorry, dad...uh...I mean Long Touchdown.
3:38 - Slay's last play of the game before getting benched was a long 47-yard bomb in which he got absolutely burned on. However, Delmas is as much to blame, as he was supposed to be playing deep middle. He got too focused on another route, and was flat-footed when the Minnesota receiver ran by him.

Fourth quarter:

10:00 - The Lions hit a streak of lucky breaks. First, Peterson has an unforced fumble. Then as the Lions struggled to put together a drive, they get bailed out by a mild roughing the passer call on third down. Then they get another penalty in their favor on another third down (again, a pretty iffy call)

6:51 - The most important thing, however, is the Lions took advantage of this opportunity and put seven on the board.

6:51 - Scratch that, the most important thing was this:

5:30 - POTENTIALLY EXCELLENT SIGN: The Lions, up 10 points and obviously trying to run clock, were able to successfully run against eight men in the box:

Bush gained 11 yards on this play...BETWEEN THE TACKLES
0:00 - Lions win! I have difficulty drawing any conclusions from this game. In fact, I have trouble formulating any sort of rational thought after that emotional roller coaster. Football is back.

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