A (Blocked) Kick in the Black Hole

The Lions and Raiders lived up to everything you’d expect in a game between the leagues first and third most penalized teams, but It also lived up to a game between two teams of  who are looking to squeak into the playoffs.

Plenty of  penalty yards,  hard hitting, a couple of “what the!?” moments, and a last minute play to win the game.

The Lions pulled it out at the last minute with a blocked 65-yard (by that dastardly Ndamukong Suh) field goal attempt by the beefy kicker Sabastian Janikowski. That is some confidence in your kicker…..probably too much confidence. Not the biggest play of the game though.

(soon as I find a video of the blocked field goal, it will be here)

http://www.detroitlions.com/media-center/videos/Suh-blocks-the-FG/edc627e2-87c0-4e4f-884c-90826022deec

The Lions didn’t just need to block a kick to win the game, first they had to drive 98 yards on 7 plays to pull ahead 28-27.  That 98-yard drive casts aside all doubts of Matthew Staffords status of “franchise quarterback.” Believe it or not– no play in that drive was the most important play, either

Actually, There are a lot of good arguments to be made about who had the biggest play of the game,especially with so many players making so many  big plays.

But, the biggest of them all was actually a play that wasn’t executed.

On a third and three with 2:32 to go in the game, Carson Palmer and the Raiders we’re in complete control. Michael Bush was running the ball effectively as the Raiders looked content on running out the clock.  Suddenly the third and two turned into a play action pass, and wide open streaking down the sideline was  Chaz Schilens. It was a pass that could have ended the game, either by making it a two score game for the Lions, or at the very worst, getting a first down for the Raiders allowing them to run down the rest of the clock.

Instead, it bounced off Schilens hands and gave the Lions a second life and turned the game from over to just starting to heat up.

Penalty Stats

Detroit: nine penalties for 72 yards

Oakland: 10 penalties for 86 yards

The Lions are so talented on offense, when they play a team that can’t capitalize on mistakes the way the elite teams in the league can; they still find a way to win. Obviously the problem with that is when the Lions (notice I said WHEN) get to the playoffs, they’ll be playing those elite teams.  Outside of locking up that wildcard, the Lions going forward will need to either get guys back in the secondary who can defend a pass, or stop giving up so many yards in the penalty game. Both would be nice, but very unlikely. If not, they won’t have a shot at seeing Green Bay in the second round.

Run Game

Kevin Smith still looked hampered. If the Lions win next week, they should definitely consider giving him the week off with their trip to Lambeau in week 17.

That’s right. The Lions could be in position to rest a couple guys in week 17 too.

Feel Free

Feel Free to let me know what you thought the biggest play of the game was. You can comment below!

Also Feel free to Tweet this.
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