Now that all of the NFC North teams have played, I wish to convey some general thoughts and observations I have regarding the Lions and the rest of the NFC North.
- The statistical lopsidedness of the Lions/Bucs game through the first 3 Qtrs absolutely amazed me. The lions dominated every facet of this game. I am slightly disappointed we let off the gas and didn't go for the throat in the 2nd half, would have been nice to score more points than Chicago. =D
- Stafford was awesome today, I thought he should great resolve, coming back after that pick 6 and play out of his mind, slicing and dicing TB's secondary.
- Speaking of pick 6, I was not worried about it, I hope no one else is either... it happens to every QB (including the greats), it's all about how you respond. Was it a bad pass? Yes, but 2 inches to the left, Heller never touches it and we wouldn't even be talking about a pick 6.
- Calvin Johnson is a man amongst boys, nuff said. WOW!
- The defense made a statement today. There a few statistics that really jumped out at me and frankly I cannot remember when the Lions last displayed similar stats.
- QB Rating - J. Freeman - 78.1 <--- if memory serves me correctly, this was around 50 or less at halftime. When was the last time a QB posted less than a 90 on us? Very awesome! =D
- Rushing Yards Allowed. - TB rushed for 56 yards on 16 carries. <--- This is amazing to me, I cannot remember when we ONLY allowed 56 yards on the ground.... WOW
- Also note that L. Blount (The same guys who racked up over 100 yards on us last year was held to 5 carries for 15 yards.... Awesome.
- Time of Possession - This was a thing of beauty, by half time, we had controlled the ball around 22 of 30 minutes, ending with Lions - 36:25 and TB - 23:35
- We only gave up 259 yards passing. This number really doesn't due us justice considering much of this was gathered in the 4th Qtr after switching to a prevent defense. 259 yards isn't bad considering both the Packers and Cardinals gave up over 400 yards in the air and many more teams gave up 300+ yards.
The NFC north put forth a pretty compelling argument for being the best division in the league.
GB 42 - NO 34 (Packers are ridiculous, I mean give credit where credit is due, These guys are good)
DET 27 - TB 20 (TB was a 10 win team in 2010, and the lions smacked em around pretty handily)
CHI 30 - ATL 12 (Where the hell did this come from, I mean its cool CHI won, but ATL was 13-3 in 2010, sold the family farm for a WR, and they go out and get dominated by the bears) Like I said, cool and all, congrats bears, but I did not see this coming,
MIN 17 - SD 24 Well we have confirmed the suspected, MIN is now the weak link in the division. This was another game whose final score does not reflect game performance. Statistically, SD beat up and stole the lunch money from MIN. I was expecting a bit more from McNabb but 39 yards passing and 47.9 QB Rating isn't gonna cut it. SD put up 407 yards of offense where MIN only managed 187. Good grief...
So the NFC North had a very good week, each team (minus MIN) displayed a potent passing attack and very stout defenses. It will be interesting to monitor how each team fares in the coming weeks and determine if the NFC North is the class of the NFL.