Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thoughts after 3rd quarter Green Bay, Lions

- Anybody still fearful Matt Flynn is going to light up the Lions' secondary like a pinball machine today? It wasn't going to happen. Flynn had his 15 minutes of fame vs. the Lions in the '11 regular season finale at Lambeau Field. The stars just aligned for him that day. His performance vs. the Lions in relief of Aaron Rodgers at Ford Field in '10 was more indicative of what Flynn is as an NFL QB.
- Everybody talks about Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh, but the Lions' player having the best season is DeAndre Levy. There isn't a linebacker in the NFL playing any better. He is not only playing at the level of a Pro Bowler, but a first-team All-Pro. Maybe his performance today, with the nation watching so intently, will get Levy the recognition he deserves.
- Calvin Johnson has not made a number of catches he usually does today. He dropped a ball wide open in space, one at the back of the end zone and was uncharacteristically beat on a jump ball in the end zone by Packers' cornerback Sam Shields. But you know, that touchdown catch-and-run in which he made Green Bay safety Morgan Burnett seem like a bug hitting a windshield at 100 mph made it all worth it.
- I don't know whether the Lions' defensive line is that good or the Packers' offensive line that bad, but it is the key matchup of the game so far. I suspect it is a little bit of both. The Lions have gotten a lot of production today from rookie defensive ends Ziggy Ansah and Devon Taylor. In fact, their 2013 draft class, with the exception of Sam Martin and his out of bounds kickoffs, has shined today. Rookie cornerback Darius Slay today compared to during his first two starts to begin this season are like night and day. He is vastly improved.
- I thought the penalty call on Levy for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers' tight end Ryan Taylor was unfair. He did get some of Taylor's helmet with his helmet, but it was unavoidable. The vast majority of Levy's hit involved his shoulder. It was actually a classic example of how to tackle. He did not lead with his head. I don't blame the officials for being confused on these issues, and I'm all for protecting the players. But come on, that was just football. They start calling that, they should play with flags in their pockets and call it what it is.


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