The 1st half went about as bad as it could for the Lions. The defense's bend but don't break gameplan was definitely starting to show stress cracks, and when they did make plays it seemed like they were tripping over their own feet with penalties to keep Vikings drives alive. The offense....well...what offense? It was signature/classic Detroit Lions Football of Ol' (for the sake of this post, "of Ol'" is officially the Millen era). However, something very strange happened during halftime, certainly something most Lions fans are not accustomed to seeing. Were those "adjustments"? I've heard of them, I've even seen them when watching other professional teams, but the Lions....making halftime adjustments...?!
Ok, before you tear me apart for the title of the post, please read through the body at least. Yesterday's game was the best/most exciting victory I can remember since Schwartz' 2nd win against Cleveland two years ago (not including their week 1 victory against the Bears last year). What amazed me more than anything was the tale of two halves, and really the tale of two teams. I am all for the positivity and excitement surrounding the win, but you're kidding yourself if you don't believe the Lions played the 1st half of yesterday's game like the "Same Ol' Lions". I also think the "Same Ol' Lions" showed up in the 2nd half, only they were wearing those fruity purple jerseys this time.
The 2nd half was a combination of a good football team making those legendary halftime "adjustments" (...am I even spelling that right?), and a mediocre football team losing their gameplan, their poise, and at times...losing their minds. While the Lions were running shorter routes, getting the ball out quicker, running more screens and using the middle of the field on offense, the Vikings just kept blitzing. Did they continue to get pressure on Stafford?...yes, but did Stafford cut up their secondary to the tune of 300yds and 2TD's?...you betcha! While the Lions were stacking the box and the Silver Crush came out looking like a bunch of rabid wolves, the Vikings....decided to take AP out of the gameplan? Don't get me wrong, I think the Lions deserve a ton of credit for doing what they needed to do, but the Vikings contributed to their loss just as much as the Lions contributed to their win. A 20-0 lead at halftime and you let your All Pro running back run the ball 5 (yes 5, five, V, cinco, etc.) times in the 2nd half? It boggles the mind. The Vikings committed the untimely 2nd half penalties, the Vikings ran the ball on 4th and 1 (right call, wrong play) and got stuffed while trying to seal the deal, the Vikings made plays late that made you think they had gotten the game back under control only to cough it up and break the hearts of their fans. Yes, make no mistake, the Same Ol' Lions showed up for the whole game yesterday, but this time they weren't wearing the Honolulu Blue when the game was over, and Lions fans were the ones holding their heads up high on Monday.
Please don't misinterpret my words. This is not a post intended to point out that the Vikings "gave us" the game. I don't even believe that's what happened. Frankly, I'm sick of listening to the "fans" calling sports-talk all day talking about how if this happened or that happened the Lions lose that game, and they were lucky to pull it off, and etc., etc. after bullshit, etc.. I believe what we actually witnessed yesterday was the Lions turning it up when the Ol' Lions would have mailed it in. I think the Lions changed it up when the Ol' Lions would have tried more of the same (insert pad level/sharp pick jokes here). I feel like the Lions brought the game back to the Vikings in a way that the Ol' Lions are used to having it brought to them and that the opponents crumbled under that pressure. It was awesome, it was exciting, and I'm praying that these are finally the signs that the Same Ol' Lions are a thing of the past here in Detroit.