Detroit Lions Now Have Some Swag

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Nate Burleson almost experienced a Leon Lett moment. Streaking down the center of the field with the football out in front of his body taunting the Saint Louis Rams defenders, he then decided to punt the ball into the air upon the signal of a touchdown from the officials. In another instance of brashness, wide receiver Calvin Johnson leapt up immediately after his one yard touchdown catch and released the ball from his grasp.

I would have thought that he would have held that ball as carefully as a newborn after the incident against the Bears in week one that cost the Lions a division victory.

What these two plays demonstrate is that there is a swagger to the Detroit Lions stemming from their newfound competitiveness.

Patrick Herbert

During the Fox pre-game show Terry Bradshaw had a brief interview with Sam Bradford. Numerous topics were discussed, including the quarterback’s superstitious nature. The most striking comments came when he spoke of reading the biblical story of David vs. Goliath prior to games. This is extremely ironic for the game against the Lions because Bradford was the Goliath compared with David in the form of Detroit’s Shaun Hill. The latter became the starter following Matthew Stafford’s departure in the first game of the season. By all accounts Bradford is a leader who “gets it”-except in this case.

In one of the game’s more intriguing match-ups, Jahvid Best and Steven Jackson went head to head as the teams’ primary running backs. The two Pac 10 products didn’t disappoint even though much of Jackson’s numbers came during garbage time in his team’s 44-6 defeat. Best also demonstrated the ability to catch balls out of the backfield during the meaningful moments of the game. This is no surprise because Jeff Tedford at the University of California is a dynamic offensive mind who likes to put his skill players in various situations to maximize their potential.

Steven Jackson was the work horse while at Oregon State and he is still true to his nature in the Rams’ backfield. In another post I roasted Coach Steve Spagnuolo over his decision to leave Bradford and Jackson in the game so long. He caved in to Jackson’s desire to become the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. Surpassing Eric Dickerson is the only motivation that he could have had at that juncture.

The Lions next test comes on Sunday, 10/17/10, at noon central time against the New York Giants. This will not be an easy task considering that Eli Manning had a big day against the Houston Texans when some were wondering if he was truly worth the hundred million dollar contract he received. Odds are that the Lions will not obtain another return of one hundred and five yards from their special teams unit. That means that Shaun Hill will need another efficient day finding his receivers in the red zone to avoid field goal attempts.

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