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Lions Notes: Detroit's Thanksgiving Game Does Very Well In Ratings

  • Every year there is talk about how the Lions should have their Thanksgiving game taken away because a team with more wins would do so much better in the ratings. Well, to anybody who thinks that, suck on this:

    CBS Sports’ Thanksgiving Day coverage of the NFL ON CBS on Thursday, Nov. 25, which saw the New England Patriots beat the Detroit Lions, 45-24, earned an overnight household rating/share of 15.0/35, up 19% from last year’s 12.6/32 (Oakland-Dallas).

    The 15.0/35 for the Patriots-Lions game is highest rating for a Thanksgiving Day game in the metered markets since a 15.8/40 on November 26, 1998 (Minnesota-Dallas; FOX).

    I'm not going to rehash this whole argument, but hopefully the numbers from this year's game will keep the critics quiet until at least next year.
  • Jim Schwartz didn't blatantly call out the officials after Thursday's game, but he did question some of their calls and later said that, in the NFL, 2-9 teams aren't going to get calls on key plays but 9-2 teams are. I certainly understand why that is perceived as being true, but the reality of it is that the Lions don't get calls because they are perceived as being undisciplined.

    If it only had to do with record, then why were the Lions only penalized 104 times (counting both accepted and declined penalties) in 2008 when they went 0-16? Why were they penalized 119 times in 2009 when they went 2-14? To me it just comes down to this perception of a lack of discipline, because the 2010 Lions have already had 120 penalties (again, counting penalties that were both accepted and declined) called against them. That is more than each of the last two seasons and there are still five games left. I just don't see how it has to do with record based on the numbers from the last couple of seasons.
  • Shaun Hill didn't generally accuse the Patriots of being a dirty team, but he did allege that a New England player tried to re-break his left arm on a quarterback sneak during Thursday's game.
    "That's why I eventually gave up the ball," he said. "Somebody was down there (in the pile) literally trying to break my arm, which is already broken. Literally, trying. And, uh, y'know, I guess wasn't seen (by officials)."
    Hill picked up the first down on the play (it was fourth and inches) and said he "loved the call" and has no problem with running the play "one-armed or whatever."
  • Alphonso Smith blamed himself for the Lions losing to New England. While he certainly does deserve much of the blame for the collapse, I agree with Chris McCosky's editorial about how we shouldn't vilify Smith. Yes, he had a bad game. It happens. Before Thursday, Smith had played very well and had made a ton of great plays for the Lions. Hopefully this was just an off day and he will bounce back, but there's no point in piling on the guy.
  • Speaking of Alphonso Smith, Jets head coach Rex Ryan said this about his play against New England during his post-game press conference on Thursday (the Jets play the Pats next week, so their game against the Lions was being discussed):
    "Detroit should probably offer us three first-round picks for one of our corners," Ryan said. "Looking at the way that one kid played for them." 
    You know, despite his loud mouth ways, I actually liked Ryan. After reading this, however, that is no longer the case. I don't see why he felt the need to take a shot at the Lions like that, especially when you consider Detroit probably would have beaten his team had Matthew Stafford not gotten hurt. Yes, Smith had a bad day, but why on earth was that comment necessary?
  • Both Corey Williams and Chris Houston called out their teammates yesterday for not having heart and not fighting back when something goes wrong. You can read their full comments here.
  • Ndamukong Suh had his jersey retired by Nebraska on Friday.
  • Gus Frerotte was asked to join the Lions' coaching staff as the quarterbacks coach by Scott Linehan when he first came to Detroit, but Frerotte declined, saying that he didn't want to be away from his family to win only two or three games.
  • As Dave Birkett pointed out on Twitter, Thursday's loss guaranteed that this will be the Lions' 10th consecutive losing season.
  • Former Lion Jonathan Wade signed with the Bengals and fellow former Lion Gerald Alexander signed with the Panthers earlier this week.

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