The Lions’ Chase For Immortality

So every Thanksgiving, the Detroit Lions manage to make their way on the television sets of so many people at home with their families but this year, watching them is just going to be awful.

The Lions coming into this week are 0-11 with an average margin of defeat at 13.9 points per game. 4 out of their 5 losses at home have come by 18 points or more (lone close game was vs. Washington by 8 points). On the other hand, 4 out of their 6 losses and more specifically their last 4 road games have been decided by single digits.

They get blown out by an average of 20 points at home (5 games) while its only 8.8 on the road. Maybe it’s the pressure of being consistently being barraged by the home crowd and even the late acquisition of Daunte Culpepper didn’t help where they built a 17-0 lead IN THE FIRST QUARTER only to get outscored 38-3 the rest of the game.

This is where really awful teams need luck. It is really hard to go 16 games without winning one. The Miami Dolphins (1-15) proved that last year with an overtime thriller against the Ravens. The final 5 games for Lions are against the Titans, Vikings, @ Colts, Saints and @ Packers who are a combined 34-21 with Packers being the only team under .500 at 5-6.

I don’t think there’s anyway Titans lose tomorrow night after the beating they took against the Jets. The Colts who are still fighting to secure a playoff spot will not take the Lions easily and will look to dismantle them early. The Saints offense has looked explosive at times this year and they can easily outscore any team to win a game. That just leaves it to the two divisional games with Minnesota and at Green Bay. The Vikings is a home game where the Lions have done awful so I wouldn’t expect that to change this late in the season so I’ll mark that at a loss.

That puts them at 0-15 going into the final week of the season in Green Bay. This could be a vital game for the Packers as they are in a fight for the playoff lives with a 3-team race in the division. You know the Lions play tough on the road, Lambeau just doesn’t have the mystique and intimidation factor that it once did for the Cheeseheads and no player, on any team wants to go 0-16. I am just afraid with the up and down season that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are having that they are going to slip up week 17 against a winless team and end up missing the playoffs by a week.

It is very hard to go 0-16 and even though no one deserves to go an entire season without winning a single game, I wouldn’t mind seeing it this year… although I’m quite afraid that the Packers just might ruin that for me.

So here’s the breakdown that I have for the Lions’ final five games:

Tennessee – Loss (14-31)
Minnesota – Loss (17-21)
at Indianapolis – Loss (14-28)
New Orleans – Loss (14-35)
at Green Bay – Win (21-20)

Weekend Wrap Up

Let me quickly get this one out of the way. Nothing new was revealed from the Roger Clemens – 60 Minutes interview, really what a waste. Probably just wait a couple of weeks for the congressional thing to see what comes out of it but Clemens continues to deny things and McNabee has gone into hiding. Somebody is wrong here but I was shocked to hear Clemens say he had never heard of Andy Pettitte doing anything. It is just so hard to know who is telling the truth nowadays.

Now back to the good stuff. I went 1/2 yesterday and even though I got both correct today, the two games today seemed to be opposite of what I expected.

The Giants seemed to thoroughly dominate the Bucs right from the start. Eli Manning played a well controlled game (185 yards, 2 TDs) and got plenty of help from his defense as well. This game probably saves Coughlin his job and might even secure the extension. Huge game next week now in Dallas, I probably would have picked Dallas without a doubt but momentum can be a huge thing going for the Giants right now.

Norv Turner validated tonight why he was brought here to coach a team that went 14-2 last year by finally winning a playoff game for the first time in 13 years. The Titans pretty much owned the first half on both sides of the ball that included two drives of 60+ yards but only 6-0 and that ended up costing them the game. Holding LT to only 6 yards in the first half and only 42 for the game but his crucial touchdown in the 4th secured the victory. Next stop: Indianapolis Colts. Good Luck.

Weekend in Review (score wise)
Predictions: Redskins 24-14, Jaguars 27-24, Giants 31-10, and Chargers 24-10
Actual: Seahawks 35-14, Jaguars 31-29, Giants 24-14, and Chargers 17-6

I will take a 3 for 4 week in the first week. Great match ups next week all around.

  • Holmgren goes to Green Bay to face the team he coached.
  • Giants and Cowboys are always an intriguing divisional matchup.
  • Colts/Chargers is a match up of two high powered offenses
  • Jags are as good as any team in the league right now and may have everything needed to stop the Patriots.

Before I leave, I’ll leave you all with this that AP put in the Seattle game recap for this week:

The Seahawks will travel to Green Bay next Saturday, a rematch of a 2004 wild-card game remembered for Matt Hasselbeck’s proclamation of “We want the ball and we’re going to score!” after the Seahawks won the overtime coin flip. Instead, Hasselbeck threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

I love playoff football.

A loving brown guy signing off…

NFL Playoffs Predictions

Before I call it a night, I wanted to get my playoff predictions in for the first round at least. Feel free to post your predictions in comments section.

The four games this weekend are Washington at Seattle and Jacksonville at Pittsburgh on Saturday while New York Football Giants at Tampa Bay and Tennessee at San Diego are on Sunday.

I think the Redskins are a great feel good story after the death of Sean Taylor. They won their last 4 games to get into the playoffs and look for them to ride that at pull off an upset at Seattle. The Seahawks to me never really got things going on the ground with Shaun Alexander who only got 700 yards on the season while the Redskins have really come together. Look for Clinton Portis to get a pair of rushing touchdowns and I will take Washington in this one, 24-14.

Jaguars at Steelers is probably the marquee match up this weekend. The Jaguars pulled out a gutsy 7 point win in Pittsburgh about 3 weeks ago in the snowy and awful conditions. I think the Steelers will be better prepared for the Jaguars this time but the loss of Willie Parker has to hurt their chances. Big Ben has been a total monster this season with 30+ TD passes but I do not think that will be enough as the balanced Jaguars attack will once again tame the Steelers. Jaguars by 3, 27-24.

If Eli Manning plays anything close to the way he played last week against the Patriots, the Bucs have no shot this week. That being said, it is still Eli Manning we are talking about. He has led the Giants to 3 straight playoffs but he has yet to do anything once he has gotten there. I really think this is his breakout year in the post season. His confidence has been building, his teammates are supporting him, and we have not heard anything from Tiki Barber which is always a good sign for the state of affairs in the Giants locker room. I think Eli throws 3 TD passes and Jacobs runs in for another as Giants win in a rout, 31-10.

Finally, Titans at Chargers. Who would have thought after the 1-3 San Diego start that they would be hosting a playoff game? Give credit to Norv Turner for really turning that club around and going 10-2 to finish off the season. They have beaten the Titans already earlier on this season and do not overlook the squeaker they had past the Colts in the middle of the season. Certainly this could post an intriguing Pats/Bolts matchup but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Vince Young for the Titans is still banged up and will not be 100% even though he’ll start and Chargers ‘lightning’ offense should be more than enough to control this game from the start. 24-10 Chargers.

Let the playoff season begin…