5 - 11 - 0 ---21th Ranked
178.75 Yds/Game ---23th Ranked
196.63 Yds/Game ---15th Ranked
Detroit Lion starting QB Greg Landry suffered a broken bone in his right ankle in the third quarter this week against Chicago; it is Landry`s second injury in as many weeks. Two weeks ago, Landry was also injured in the third quarter, against Tampa Bay. He was relieved by Joe Reed, who filled in nicely, albeit sparingly, going 2/2 and adding a TD pass, as the Lions routed the Bucs 28-0.
Filling in against Chicago, the onus was more significantly cast upon Reed, and by all intents, he delivered. With Detroit trailing 17-7, and nearly the entire team in BAD condition, Reed orchestrated a fine drive that resulted in a TD pass to JD Hill. Reed finished the game 4/5 for 60 yards and the aforementioned TD, with no interceptions. A team never wants to lose its starting QB, but let us not act as though Landry was playing well against Chicago prior to the injury, let alone the entire season. Landry was a pathetic 3/11 with a rushing TD against the Bears before exiting. Landry`s inconsistent play is maddening to coaches. Landry began the game 3/5 with a rushing TD on the opening drive, dissecting the Bear defense, with his arm and legs. It looked as though an oft sluggish offense was actually going to produce a solid game. Unfortunately for the Lions, it did not turn out that way. Detroit had two more decent drives all game, one late in the fourth quarter, and another that resulted in a blocked FG (any surprises there?) that Chicago nearly returned for a TD.>br>
So in comes Reed again, against the same Tampa Bay Bucs he faced just two weeks prior, in a game where Detroit`s season is on the line. No pressure, Joe. Well, it might not be exactly the same Bucs team, for in the meanwhile, Tampa earned its first NON-SKIP win against the 49ers this week. Tampa will surely be looking to exact the embarrassment they suffered at the hands (claws?) of the Lions in Week 11. For Detroit, it does not matter the opponent. Win and their playoff chances remain realistic. Lose, and well….talk of playoffs should invite a Jim Mora rant.
No Movie (Yet)
The Detroit Lions played their Week 5 and Week 6 games in the same night. Detroit`s first opponent was the mighty Vikings, and after Minnesota went up 10-0 in the first half, with Detroit barely managing sustained offensive drives, it appeared Minnesota would be well on its way to an easy victory. The Lions, though, finally stiffened their defense, as they shut out Minnesota in the second half.
Unfortunately for the Lions they were only able to put up two field goals to finish the game. `Never have I seen a team get so many opportunities to win the game and come up with so little,` said coach CheapCatch after the game. The coach was referring to the two potential touchdown drives that ended in field goals deep in Viking territory, and two other possessions that netted zip.
QB Greg Landry was the ultimate disappointment, as even in EXCL condition he was having difficulty completing passes. Landry would constantly throw `sinkers` that offered little chance for his receivers to make a play on the ball. In all, Landry finished 4/16 for 69 yards, as Detroit moved to third place at (3-2), falling 10-6 to the Vikings in a game that Detroit decided they did not want.
In the second game, against Green Bay, Detroit began hot as immediately Landry erased the bad memories of the Viking game by throwing a 30 yard dart for a touchdown to wideout JD Hill. On the ensuing possession Lynn Dickey fumbled the ball after being sacked by LB Charlie Weaver. The Lions scooped up the ball, returning it for their second score of the day.
After forcing a punt the Lions were in control of the game. Upon gaining possession Landry immediately went to the play action from deep in his own end, finding Ray `Leviathan` Jarvis for a 25 yard gain, as the nifty wide receiver made a nice dive at the ball. However, just as soon as Jarvis caught the ball did he fumble it away. This set the Packers up for their first TD of the game, making it a one score contest in a game the Lions had pretty well dominated. Detroit would add a FG before the end of the half to lead 17-7.
The Packers were the sole bearers of points in the third quarter as they added a FG to make the score 17-10. Detroit had little semblance of a running attack, for their top RB of the game gained just five yards. Meanwhile the Lion defense continued the work they began in the second half against Minnesota, holding Green Bay to just 64 total yards.
It was not until late in the fourth quarter that Detroit finally put the game away. Last week`s hero for the Packers, Ollie Smith, took a handoff and headed toward the middle of the field, where he was met by a bevy of defenders. Amidst the crowd, Smith lost the ball, fumbling at the Green Bay 20 yard line. Landry wasted no time sealing the deal when he hooked up with Jarvis for a 20 yard TD to ice the game. Landry was much improved in the second game, going 8/12 for 171 yards and two scores.
The Lions, after the split, have a respectable (4-2) record, but still remain in third place in the NFC Central division.
BELOW IN THE VIDEO: Ray Jarvis makes it at #7 on DeadAlive Guy2`s Top 10 mythical creatures list. Does he realize Ray Jarvis is no myth?
Backup QB Joe Reed (you can hear his album `The Lion in Me` on itunes) was in for the injured Greg Landry to play the Bucs (1-11) for the second time this season. Detroit had just two weeks earlier stomped Tampa 28-0, but knew they could not live in the past, for they would have to earn a sweep of Tampa Bay, a team fresh off their first win of the season.
Both coaches can attest that this was an ugly game. Uggggly. The Tampa offense started off well, moving the ball inside the Detroit 10 yard line on their first two possessions of the game. However, those drives netted 0 points, and thereafter the Buc offense curled up and went to sleep. The Lions feature the 4th best passing defense in the league, and after those drives, they nearly shutdown Gary Huff`s many attempts to zero in on WR Morris Owens. Huff `the Magic Dragon` finished the game 5/19 for 68 yards, and was picked for the second time this season by Lem Barney.
Meanwhile, it is not an exaggeration to say that Detroit had not two good drives resulting in their total of 14 points, but two good plays. Both came in the third quarter, and both came off the legs of WR/RB JD Hill, who opened the scoring on a 43 yard run, later adding a second TD on the ground. Hill is the first Lion running back all season to exceed the one-hundred yard mark- he went for 105 yards on 7 attempts. It is safe to say that coach Cheapcatch had the reigns pulled taught on Joe Reed, as the backup QB only threw 6 passes, one downfield. Reed completed 3 of those for an ultra-conservative 12 yards.
In all, the game was an eye sore, with many fans drifting off before halftime, while briefly awakening to witness Hill`s stellar third quarter. In two games the Lions outscored Tampa 42-0. It was definitely an ugly 14-0 win for Detroit, but when it comes to the standings there is no such category. Just a win. At this point that is what matters most to Detroit, as they are tied with the Vikings at (8-5) for the last playoff seed. The Lions face the Packers next week in a must win game.
|Scrimmage Yards||Forced Fumbles||Punt Returns|
Additional Practice Squad Players
5 - 11 - 0
2 - 6 - 0
3 - 5 - 0