I told myself that if the Detroit Lions beat the New York Giants, I would throw myself into the playoff talk head first. After the Lions 31-18 win over the Giants, I am now head first into the playoff talk. The Lions can make the playoffs this year. There, I said it. If they beat the Bills, there is no saving me.
As always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts:
A signature win
One of the big things I wanted out of this Lions team this season was to get some signature wins. They got one on Sunday. Going to beat a 7-2 team on the road is no easy feat. Handling a 7-2 team on the road is even harder. The Lions did both of those things on Sunday. It’s insane to think that just three weeks ago the sky was falling, now the Lions have won three in a row including back-to-back road wins. Suddenly the Lions are firmly in the hunt for the playoffs. What a season.
A big day for the defensive line
Going into the game, the concern was that Saquon Barkley would run all over this team like he’s ran all over the league. He led the league in rushing yards coming into the game after all. That didn’t at all happen. The Lions absolutely stuffed Barkley all day long and held him to just 22 yards on 15 carries.
If that weren’t enough, Alim McNeill had the best game of his career, Aidan Hutchinson grabbed an interception and a fumble recovery, and John Cominsky got a sack too. Just a big stand out performance against a winning team on the road.
Rookie of the Year
There’s plenty of time left in this season and I know that some already have Jets corner Sauce Gardner pegged as the favorite, but Aidan Hutchinson is more than in the conversation now. The kid just gets it. He’s filling up the stat sheet, and he’s doing all the good things that don’t show up on the stat sheet—particularly when he set the edge early in the game and allowed his linebackers to get to Daniel Jones. Really good stuff. But we know why we’re here at this conclusion.
The kid is a defensive lineman. This was not your average defensive lineman interception where you see a big man put his mitts on the ball like it’s loaf of bread fresh out of the oven and he’s never seen a loaf of bread before. This was pretty and was juts straight up good coverage. The kid is special. he knows what a loaf of bread is and he’s about to eat it. This bread stuff making any sense? Just go with it. Hutchinson dove on a loaf of bread later in the game when he picked up a huge fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.
Alim the Dream
What a day for Alim McNeill to come out and have a day. He grabbed a sack early in the game and added a few tackles for loss on top of it. Along with that, he had four quarterback hits in the first half alone. This is the kind of play that the Lions have been wanting to see from McNeill all season. It couldn’t have come at a better time than on the road against a Giants team with one of the best records in the league.
All Jamaal does is dance and score touchdowns.
I feel like I haven’t put enough emphasis on Williams stellar play this season. The guy just finds the end zone every single week, and it’s been so much fun to watch. Especially when D’Andre Swift has had such a rough season with injuries and bad decision making.
Williams scored three touchdowns against the Giants on Sunday. That brought him to 12 on the season. That’s puts him in first place in the NFL for rushing touchdowns. Such a great performance.
Without looking it up to fact check it, I’m 100 percent certain that Jason Cabinda was two catches away from having the best day a fullback has ever had in the NFL. He was wide open on two plays that—at the very least—could have picked him up some big yardage. Unfortunately Cabinda dropped both passes. You hate to see it. I’ll give him some slack. This is only his second game of the season and some rust needs to be knocked off. Let’s hope he gets more shots at big plays this season.
Kerby gets another one
We talked about Aidan Hutchinson being a Rookie of the Year contender earlier. If there were ever a dark horse candidate to take that trophy home, it would have to be the guy who has forced five turnovers in seven starts right and a Defensive Player of the Week award under his belt, right? The answer is yes.