Monday, January 2, 2012

Lions vs Packers 2011 Round Two

Ok, yesterday, on New Year's Day, the Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions again. There's no way around that fact. It's immutable. The final score was Green Bay 45, Detroit 41.

So far, however, people in the news business aren't really commenting on a couple key points of this game.
They all point out that Green Bay's backups beat the Detroit starters, and that Green Bay outscored Detroit, but none are really pointing out that the referees completely blew a call that would have resulted in an additional Detroit touchdown in the second quarter: Titus Young successfully caught the ball in the end zone with one foot down already and dragged his other foot in-bounds before falling out of bounds. It was a touchdown. The home audience saw it. The play-by-play reporters saw it and called it as such. Both coaches saw it, but the refs decided that it wasn't a touchdown. Oddly, a few plays later, a Green Bay reception under similar conditions was ruled a catch. That play alone would have made the difference in the game, but was completely neutralized and unchallenged.

The refs in general seemed to be biased against Detroit in the first half. On two separate occasions to the the "touchdown that never was" a Detroit ball carrier who was obviously down by contact had the ball come free, and on both occasions it was ruled as a fumble by the refs. Coach Jim Schwarz was right to challenge both of those calls, but only one was overturned even though both were obviously not fumbles: the carrier had been down, and the ball came free after he was down.

But you know what? I'm not going to whine or complain any further about the officiating. At this point, I want to remind everyone that yesterday, the Detroit Lions nearly beat the previously 14-1, defending Superbowl champions in their hometown. More or less the same team that finished last year with a 6-10 record, came up a few points shy of beating the theoretically best team in the league. The Lions scored more victories in this season alone than they did in the prior three seasons combined! Green Bay was expected to win yesterday's game by everyone, but they were nearly beaten by a team few expected to have a winning season this year.

Much is being made of Matt Flynn's record setting day yesterday, but what about Matthew Stafford's? Not counting the failed touchdown throws (which would have tied and exceeded Flynn's 6 on the day; lets not forget that Calvin Johnson dropped what would have been another wide-open pass for a touchdown), Stafford threw for 5 successful touchdowns which was a Lions' record if I'm not mistaken, and 520 yards in a single game — a definite Detroit record! Yesterday's game set all sorts of records for the NFL and both clubs, but only Flynn seems to be getting recognized for his efforts. Stafford threw for more yards yesterday than Flynn did, but the difference is that Flynn won and is a backup quarterback, where Stafford lost and is the starter. You know what? That's bulllshit! It doesn't matter if you're the starter or backup in the NFL, a killer game is a killer game, and should be recognized whether you win or lose. Once you factor in that the defending Superbowl champions' backup is as good as any starting quarterback in the league, then you have to drop the idea that their "backups" beat the Detroit starters.

The raggedy Detroit Lions nearly beat the superbowl champions. Period. No it doesn't really matter that it was a close game as far as the stat books are concerned; a loss is a loss, and a win is a win, but all the official sports news reporters really need to look at it for what it was: the Defending Superbowl Champion Green Bay Packers Nearly Lost to the Detroit Lions!