We are who we thought we were. We weren't who we hoped we weren't. Granted, is was only the Broncos with Tebow as the starting QB, but don't tell me you didn't have a fringe of doubt. I am sure that is a normal conditioned response for Detroit fans after two losses in a row.
However the Detroit Lions prevailed. After the Pro Bowl ballots have opened a few players exhibited their prowess in front of a "mass" of Tebowers and a large TV audience. I want to name some of the Lions who left their mark on that game and we can vote to give a POD Fanpoll Game Ball (Chris Houston was awarded the actual Game Ball).
- Titus Young was instrumental in getting the offense rolling and being the first to find the end zone with the ball (or should I say the ball found him in the end zone?). It is nice to see him make strides every week , he made critical catches early and allowed Stafford to gain a rhythm. Titus had 4 catches for 66 yards and a touchdown.
- Tony Scheffler was also instrumental in the first half, giving Stafford a target on third downs. Then he makes the bobbling catch near the end zone. It looked like Stafford thought he was throwing a jump ball to Calvin, but Scheff had great resolve, wasn't going to be denied and came down with the catch. Tony had 3 catches 38 yards and a touchdown.
- Matthew Stafford was pretty good all day and had to throw some ball under duress. He was smart with the ball on a few plays and prevented turnovers. The play to Calvin was Stafford showing he gets it. He may have been nervous to throw near Champ Bailey who was on Calvin early, but as the offsides flag shot up in the air he knew it was time to test Bailey. Bailey failed the test and Calvin stuttered and turned Champ to chump as he flew by for a 56 yard touchdown. Stafford was 21/30 for 267 and 3 touchdowns.
- Calvin Johnson along with the above mentioned touchdown came up big in crucial spots throughout the second and third quarter. He ended up with 6 catches for 125 yards and one touchdown.
- Cliff Avril was all over the place on defense. Some days this guys speed is so evident, when he creates havoc from the outside. He had three tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and one he recovered for a 26 yard touchdown, the first of his career.
- Stephen Tulloch took advantage Willie Young's outside threat and caught Tebow trying to escape up in the pocket recording an early sack and "Tebowing" for effect. Along with that sack he ended up tying with Spievey for leading tackler with 6 tackles.
- Lawrence Jackson had a good day with a multiple sack day and recovered a fumble. He ended up with 3 tackles and 2 sacks.
- Chris Houston is really putting himself on some highlight reels this year. Houston intercepted Tebow and ran it back for a 100 yard touchdown. That doesn't happen every day. Houston also had 4 tackles.
- Honorable mention nominees include Kyle Vanden Bosch with a sack, Doug Hogue / Alphonso Smith for forcing a fumble, Aaron Berry with some key tackles and passes defended, Louis Delmas, Amari Spievey, Eric Wright, Corey Williams, Willie Young for for flying to the ball and making plays all day. On offense I would like to mention Maurice Morris, Keiland Williams, Brandon Pettigrew and the O line.