Football is back, you guys! And since there was something that faintly resembled an actual football game on Sunday, we must have analysis. Here are five 100% true facts that we undoubtedly learned about the Detroit Lions' 2014 season from the Hall of Fame Game.
1. The Lions will have their chance to dominate the New York Giants' offensive line.
The Lions face the Giants in their opening game, and if Sunday is any sign, Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley will have a chance to start the 2014 season with a splash. In their first two offensive drives, the Giants rushed twice for a total of -2 yards. They finished their second drive by getting sacked and fumbling the ball away. Things got much better for the offensive line on the third drive, but by then, the Buffalo Bills already had their second-string defensive line out there. The Giants completely overhauled their offensive line this offseason, but the early returns are not looking good for New York.
2. The Lions may or may not regret not drafting Sammy Watkins, but Watkins will regret not getting picked by Detroit.
Remember before the draft when Watkins seemed to have a crush on the Lions? By the end of 2014, Watkins will have an unhealthy obsession with the Lions if the Bills can't figure out a way to get the ball in his hands. Buffalo tried to target Watkins three times on Sunday, but he didn't have a realistic chance to bring down any of those passes. Sure, the Bills may be hiding other ways they plan on getting the ball to Watkins. And, of course, E.J. Manuel needs time to develop chemistry with the rookie receiver. But which offense seems more dynamic and exciting for a play-making rookie: Detroit or Buffalo?
3. It wasn't a mistake to trade Thad Lewis.
There was a small but vocal group of Lions fans who were upset when the Lions traded Lewis and kept Kellen Moore instead. While Moore hasn't exactly worked out, Lewis doesn't look like the world-beater that some hoped the Lions had found. Lewis threw an interception on a well-underthrown deep ball and didn't show any of the mobility that many thought he was capable of. Lewis is clearly the Bills' third option, and the Lions were right to get whatever they could for him when they had the chance (even if the player they got in return didn't work out).
4. The NFL's extra point gimmick won't catch on.
In an effort to make the extra point more relevant, the NFL is trying out a 33-yard extra point during the first two weeks of the preseason. The Hall of Fame Game featured three of these extra points, none of which were close to being missed.
Surely a few of these will be missed sometime during the preseason, but does anyone really want games decided by missed extra points anyway? This glorified extra point is just a poor attempt to justify having an extra play that sometimes causes injuries. If the NFL is serious about making players safer, just get rid of the extra point altogether.
5. We will never escape Jim Schwartz.
As hard as we try to forget, Schwartz will always be a part of the Lions and the Lions will always be a part of Schwartz. Looking at that permanently scowled faced outlined by an absurd salt-and-pepper goatee will never not remind us of the wasted potential of the past three seasons. Maybe he goes on to be a great defensive coordinator, but he will always be our little illegal challenger.