Well sports fans -it’s that time again. It’s the start of yet another National Football League (NFL) season. As the Detroit Lions prepared to square off against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1 of the 2013 season, Lions fans were greeted at Ford Field, with a new slogan, – One Detroit – One Pride.
When I arrived at the stadium, I can’t help but to eavesdrop on fans speaking about a new start to a new season. They chatter of the new running back signed during free agency and as I take the elevator to my usual seat in the front row of the press box, I noticed the updated and lively design in each end-zone that reads Detroit Lions, instead of just the word Lions.
The air at Detroit’s Ford Field had new attitude written all over it, but at kick off… well, it was the same ole same ole.
During their first series, the Lions looked okay at best. Matt Stafford seemed to be a little rusty but regained his composer later on during the first drive. As for the newly signed running back, Reggie Bush? He looked impressive with a couple of decent runs and catches that had Lions fans chanting, “Reggie-Reggie-Reggie-Reggie”. It was apparent that Lions fans are definitely drinking the Reggie Bush Kool-Aide.
It was a sign of good things to come this season, but it didn’t last long, as the Lions offense displayed a string of good and bad possessions during the game against the Vikings.
As I think back to how the Lions started the game against the Vikings, I’m pretty surprised to have witnessed the Lions get away with a 34-24 victory over Minnesota after such a display.
The first half of last Sunday’s game reminds me of great play by running back Joique Bell and an invisible chemistry between quarterback Matt Stafford and star wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
If I could sum up how the Lions played in last Sunday’s game in one word, well that word would be inconsistency. Some plays Reggie Bush looked like a power back, hitting the holes with a burst of speed and the next he looked like a candidate on dancing with the stars, tip toing and dancing away from the Vikings defenders but not gaining any yards.
The Lions defense did not fare any better in the first half, letting Vikings veteran running back Adrian Peterson go untouched for a 78 yard touchdown scamper, as the Detroit fans booed on the first of many occasions at Ford Field.
My final assessment on the Lions play in Week 1 is very simple. Defensively, I’m a believer in DeAndre Levy, Nick Fairly, Willie Young, Stephen Tulloch and Ezekiel Ansah. All five players had an impressive day at the office against the Vikings. My big question mark on the Lions defense is cornerback Chris Houston, who looked extra-crispy after being burned by Minnesota receiver Jerome Simpson on a couple of occasions.
Offensively, the Lions have the talent to put points on the board, but they lack consistency and they don’t finish drives. Matt Stafford has many tools in his tool box, regarding Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. He just needs to sharpen his tools and go to work. Even with the Lions getting a win, I still give them a C+ after witnessing it with my own eyes.