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Looking Back on the 2006 Season (Part I)

As the season for the Detroit Lions has been finished for nearly two weeks now, it's the time to reflect on everything that happened over the course of that 16-game schedule.  There was the good and the bad over that time-mostly bad-that provided entertainment whether we liked it or not.  To look back in a way that was an immediate reaction to the games over this season with my thoughts, below are different tidbits and quotes from my recaps over the course of this season.  

Today is Part I of the look back as Part II will be posted tomorrow.

GAME 1: Seattle 9, Detroit 6

On 3rd and 1, the Lions' hopes of victory were slashed. All Detroit needed to do was prevent any decent-sized gains, and then they would probably be going to OT. That just didn't happen. Maurice Morris cut to the outside and ran up the field 17 yards to get the ball into field goal range for Seattle, and setup the game-winning kick. Josh Brown didn't get it blocked again, and converted the 42 yarder for the victory.

The final score was 9-6. If you would've told me that the Lions would hold Seattle to just 9 points, then my figuring would've been that Detroit had won. The offense just couldn't get going enough to power the Lions to victory. You couldn't ask for a better effort than the defense showed. It was a great performance, and was the only thing that kept Detroit alive in this game.

GAME 2: Chicago 34, Detroit 7

After all was said and done, the Lions lost 34-7, which is a big disappointment when playing a rival team from your own division. I had predicted earlier that the Lions would start the season 0-2, but I wouldn't have expected the outcomes that either game presented. I wouldn't have thought that Seattle only would finish on top 9-6, and then the same thing with Chicago, I didn't expect a total thrashing.

GAME 3: Green Bay 31, Detroit 24

Figuring the game was over, I already had thoughts of 0-3 in my head. Somehow though, Detroit got another chance to pull off the comeback. Ahman Green fumbled the ball on a rush to the outside when Detroit had no timeouts left, and a Lions defender quickly picked it up. That gave Detroit 54 seconds to go 68 yards for the touchdown. The Lions just couldn't advance it enough as time quickly ticked away. The only thing they could do was throw a hail mary and hope for a miracle. That miracle almost did happen. The ball was tipped in the endzone and a diving Az Hakim was just a second too late of having a shot at making the amazing catch. But, that second separated the game from going into overtime, and gave the Packers a 31-24 win.

GAME 4: St. Louis 41, Detroit 34

The Lions moved the ball all the way down to the St. Louis 37 yard line, and had enough time to get into the endzone. On possibly the most heart-wrenching play of the game, Detroit looked to have advanced the ball all the way down to the Rams 1 yard line because of a defensive pass interference penalty. The officials got together after the initial call, and decided that the ball was tipped before the penalty occurred, meaning that the flag would be picked up. To think how close Detroit may have actually been to have only 1 yard to go before a touchdown. All that was left now was to pray on a hail mary to the endzone. Roy Williams did make the catch over two defenders, but the ball was caught a couple of yards out of the endzone, and that would end the hopes of a Lions win.

GAME 5: Minnesota 26, Detroit 17

Nothing new to this Lions team would be having to come up with a late score to salvage a victory. So far, they haven't been successful yet this season, and would look to snap that streak. Only one problem: the Minnesota defense. The Vikings "D" stepped it up, I'll give them credit. Eventually on the key drive, they forced a 4th down for the game, and Jon Kitna just didn't have anywhere to go. Kitna had absolutely no one open, so he just threw it anywhere he could to try and hope for a miracle. He completed the pass, but to E.J. Henderson of the Vikings. 45 yards later and the ballgame was over. Vikings win 26-17.

GAME 6: Detroit 20, Buffalo 17

The second half would be a much different story than the first.  Scoring was a lot less, and Detroit actually benefited from that.  The first points in the final 30 minutes wasn't actually scored until the very start of the fourth quarter.  That was when Jason Hanson converted a 29 yard field goal, and gave Detroit a two possession lead to work with.

Then, things started to look like they would be going downhill.  The offense for Detroit couldn't move the ball, and I could just feel another choke job coming on.  This was especially felt when Buffalo scored on a J.P. Losman touchdown pass to make it just a field goal game with over 9 minutes to go.  To make matters worse, Jon Kitna was picked off on the next drive, that really had me feeling uneasy.

But, finally, the Lions were able to hold on in one of these close games that went down to the wire.  Detroit came out the winners in this one by a score of 20-17, and although things got a little too close near the end, a win is a win.  No longer can anybody classify the Lions in a spot with a team like the Raiders, who actually are even worse.

GAME 7: NY Jets 31, Detroit 24

Deciding between an onside or kicking it down the field, Detroit came out looking to try and get the ball back since they only had 1 timeout left and just 2:22 to get something going.  Jason Hanson ended up basically squibbing it down the field trying to catch New York off-guard, but it didn't work as the Jets fell on the ball.  All it would take now is a first down, and the Jets would walk away with a win.  None other than Leon Washington fought hard enough to move the chains, and to give New York their 4th win of the season.

GAME 8: Detroit 30, Atlanta 14

The second half was a carbon copy of the first except the Detroit defense played even better than before. The third quarter went by without any scoring except a Jason Hanson field goal. But, the fourth quarter was a different story. Roy Williams went out on the field and backed up his trash talk against DeAngelo Hall when he caught a slant pass from Jon Kitna and got past the Atlanta defenders, eventually going 60 yards for the touchdown. That sealed the deal and gave Detroit a big enough lead to win the game. Jason Hanson added another field goal after to make the final score 30-14.

As I said, Part II will be up tomorrow.  Until then, thanks for reading and Go Lions!