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Looking Back on the 2006 Season (Part II)

Welcome to Part II of looking back on the 2006 season.  In Part I yesterday, I covered the first 8 games of the season in which Detroit was twice victorious.  Unfortunately, the second half of the season wasn't even close to being that good.  

Here is a link to Part I and Part II is below.

GAME 9: San Francisco 19, Detroit 13

In the 4th and final quarter, both Detroit and San Francisco kicked another field goal each, moving the score to 19-13.  This is where we are at when the Lions had one last chance to go down the field to score and win the game.  Everything was going perfect, Detroit had no trouble moving the ball and the clock was even in their favor as San Francisco had no timeouts remaining if Detroit were to score.  As Detroit got closer and closer, the drive stalled and put the Lions in a 4th and 13 situation.  With 2 timeouts and the 2-minute warning still left, Detroit went against the books and tried to move the chains rather than just kicking a field goal.  I'll tell you right now, I don't like the call at all.  I can see where the coaches were coming from, but at that stage in the game, narrowing the lead down to just 3 points is big, especially when the clock could be stopped 3 more times.  The end result of the desperation play was an interception, which was basically the same thing as not getting the first down anyways.  Now, it was up to the Lions defense to get a stop and give the offense one last chance to try and win.  On a 3rd and 4 play where a stop would've forced a punt, San Francisco got enough yardage for the first down, which ended all hopes of a Lions win.

GAME 10: Arizona 17, Detroit 10

As the clock ticked away, Detroit continued to falter.  They just couldn't get things going enough.  In the end, Arizona got a first down in the closing minutes to cap off the game and to clinch a win.  We've seen the same thing many times before in this season, and now it's all too normal.

GAME 11: Miami 27, Detroit 10

Joey Harrington has never played well on Thanksgiving. His 1-3 record on Turkey Day accompanies the stat of 0 touchdowns. Coming back to have another chance to play on the holiday, Harrington would change his fortunes. The former Lions QB threw for 3 touchdowns today and led Miami to a 27-10 win, making it four straight for the Dolphins.

GAME 12: New England 28, Detroit 21

This season has been one for the ages when looking at how many times the Lions have lost a close game in the final quarter.  Things were no different on Sunday when Detroit was in total control all day against the Patriots until the fourth quarter.  Leading by a score of 21-13 at one point in the fourth, Detroit appeared to have an actual shot at the huge upset.  But, just as usual, a few turnovers took away that chance and allowed New England to come away with a 28-21 victory.

GAME 13: Minnesota 30, Detroit 20

Detroit came out of the gates and looked like they didn't practice all week.  They managed to lose a game in which their opponents, the Minnesota Vikings, appeared to be doing everything possible to serve the Lions this game on a silver platter.  The Vikings were even without starting running back Chester Taylor, who ranked fifth in rushing yards coming into the weekend.  As it turns out, a familiar face to the Lions would step in for Taylor to lead the Vikings to a 30-20 victory.

GAME 14: Green Bay 17, Detroit 9

With the margin down to only 1 point, Green Bay came out to put the Lions' hopes away once and for all.  The Packers got down the field and used up nearly 7 minutes of the clock with a drive that was capped off by Vernand Morency for a second time on the day.  Morency ran 21 yards this time to get to the endzone, making the score 17-9, which is what it would end up when time ran out.

GAME 15: Chicago 26, Detroit 21

Coming out on the field for one last time, Detroit had 80 yard to go and 2:50 left to score a TD. Slowly but surely, the Lions moved the ball down the field and eventually ended up on Chicago's 22 yard line with 7 seconds left.  Detroit went for it all trying to get a game-winning TD.  Jon Kitna took the snap and scrambled around, avoiding the sack.  Finally, Kitna threw it to the back of the endzone where Mike Williams got in front of Devin Hester and had a chance to catch a touchdown that would've won the game.  Williams let the ball go in and out of his hands, ending the Lions' chances of winning.  

GAME 16: Detroit 39, Dallas 31

With nearly 3 minutes to go in the game, Dallas still had one last shot.  The Cowboys drove down the field and were eventually faced with a fourth and goal from the Detroit 6 yard line.  On the final play of the game for the Cowboys, Tony Romo scrambled around looking for someone to throw to and found no one.  He decided to take off and try to run the ball into the endzone but was stopped by Paris Lenon just a yard or so short.  

With the ball back, Jon Kitna was able to take a knee to clinch the Lions 39-31 win over Dallas. Taking away from the fact that this cost Detroit a #1 draft pick, which I'll get to next week, this was one hell of a game for the Lions.  They went out there with 17 or so players on the IR or unable to play and just did everything possible to get the win.