Week 1 is in the books for the Lions and the season is already in jeopardy. The Lions showed huge signs of improvement on the defensive side of the ball and made play after play to support the offense which was having trouble finding its legs. Then in a split second the offense’s legs were cut out from underneath as Matthew Stafford was strip-sacked by Julius Peppers.
Stafford pumped faked in the pocket and was about to cut the ball lose when he was blind sided by Peppers.
Stafford’s arm was pulled backwards by Peppers as he was trying to throw and then both of their weight came down on Stafford’s shoulder while his arm was pinned back. I implore Lions fans to prepare for the fact that Stafford could be done for the season.
Despite the loss of Stafford, the Lions still managed to hold the Bears offense in check. The Bears consistently started at midfield and even had a drive start at the one inch line and couldn’t score.
The defensive line harrassed Culter all day and never let the running game get started. Other than the two plays to Forte, the Lions defense was dominant and showed more signs of life than any time in the last decade.
The offense was struggling even before Stafford got injured, and I’m not sure if the Bears were bracketing Calvin Johnson or not, but the inability to get him involved hampered the rest of the offense. The offensive line struggled to handle the Bears’ overloaded front against the run, but held up fairly well in pass protection.
The play of the game ended up being made by the officials as they took a Lions’ touchdown off the board. Calvin Johnson made the game winning touchdown catch, got both feet, both knees and his rear on the ground with control of the ball.
Due to an inconsistent rule in the rulebook, none of that mattered as CJ dropped the ball after it touched the ground. The rule came under fire several times in the 2009 season due to the inability to call it correctly, but it wasn’t changed or clarified in the offseason.
In the end, the Lions lost in typical cursed fashion, questionable call by the officials, major injury suffered and unrealized potential. Stafford will be out for a while and the schedule is brutal, Lions fans should brace for a rough month.