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#pounditSunday, September 25, 2022

Articles tagged: Detroit Lions

Potential No. 1 pick shares thoughts on possibly playing for Lions

Aidan Hutchinson in gear

Aidan Hutchinson has easily been the best defensive player in college football this season, and there is a growing belief that he could be the top overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. That means Hutchinson may have to play for one of the worst franchises in the league, but he clearly is not going to turn down the opportunity.

If the NFL season ended now, the 1-11 Detroit Lions would hold the top overall pick. Hutchinson, of course, is a star defensive end at Michigan. He has ties to the area, but some have wondered if he would prefer to play for a team with a better history of success. The Heisman Trophy finalist had nothing but positive things to say about the Lions during an appearance on “The Adam Schefter Podcast” this week.

Unlike last year, the upcoming draft is not loaded with promising quarterback prospects. That is why Hutchinson has a strong chance of being the top overall pick. The senior has 14 sacks and two forced fumbles this season and has been virtually unstoppable.

There is often talk about players trying to avoid being drafted by poor teams, but that is rarely ever a wise business decision. Hutchinson is smart to keep his options open and try to make Jim Harbaugh’s bold prediction come true.

Photo: Michigan Wolverines defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) warms up before the game against the Michigan State Spartans, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021

Lions OC takes brutal shot at Vikings over walk-off win

Anthony Lynn

Everyone seems to be piling on the Minnesota Vikings over how they lost Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions. Even the Lions themselves are no exception.

Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn could not help but voice his surprise at how the Vikings defended the final play of Sunday’s game. The Lions scored on a walk-off touchdown, with pretty much every Vikings defender playing well behind the goal line despite Detroit being just 11 yards from the end zone. Second-year defensive back Cam Dantzler has largely been scapegoated for the defensive breakdown.

Lynn shaded Dantzler a bit Thursday when pointing out that veteran Patrick Peterson probably would have played the ball better.

Peterson missed Sunday’s game after landing on the COVID list during the week.

The fact that the Vikings blew the play and the game isn’t just down to inexperience or not having Peterson. The entire defense was in a rather bizarre setup, and it looked like more than one breakdown happened on the play. No wonder the team appears to be losing faith in the head coach after outcomes like that.

Former Vikings head coach takes shot at team for their loss to Lions

Lions walk off

One ex-Minnesota Vikings coach is kicking the team while they are down.

Mike Tice, who was the head coach of the Vikings from 2002 to 2005, took a shot at the team on Twitter after Sunday’s loss to the hapless Detroit Lions.

“Really. F-ing Detroit,” wrote Tice. “Even my sorry a– NEVER lost to Detroit” (profanity edited by LBS).

The receipts check out for Tice as well. In each of Tice’s four full seasons as head coach of the Vikings, the team went 2-0 against the division rival Lions. That adds up to a career 8-0 record for Tice against Detroit.

The Vikings definitely deserve the roast. The Lions had not won a game all season and entered play Sunday nursing a 15-game, 364-day winless streak dating back to last season. As a double whammy, Minnesota also lost ground in the NFC playoff race to Philadelphia and Washington, both of whom won on Sunday while the Vikings lost.

True, current Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer might not have the talents of Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss at his disposal like Tice did. But at least Zimmer wins regardless of what happens on the field.

H/T NFL Reddit

No, refs did not botch PAT situation at end of Vikings-Lions game

Lions walk off

The Detroit Lions picked up their first win of the season in dramatic fashion on Sunday, and there were some questions about whether the officiating crew mishandled the ending of the game. They did not.

Detroit defeated the Minnesota Vikings 29-27 with a Jared Goff touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown as time expired (video here). That led to a wild scene at Ford Field, and many were wondering why the Lions were not forced to line up for an extra point or two-point conversion. The touchdown gave them a 2-point lead, which means the Vikings could have, in theory, done something like block a PAT and return it the other way for two points. So why wasn’t Minnesota given the opportunity?

The NFL implemented a rule change in 2018 that made it so a PAT is not always mandatory. Some people incorrectly thought the PAT or 2-point conversion attempt is necessary whenever time expires and the deficit is two points or less. However, that is not the case if the team that scores has the lead.

The rule does not allow for the team that takes the lead to lose it due to a botched PAT or 2-point attempt. Whether the rule is a good one or not is another conversation, but it was applied correctly in the Vikings-Lions game.

Video: Lions score walk-off touchdown for first win of season

Lions walk off

The Detroit Lions will not go winless in 2021. They made sure of it in dramatic fashion, too.

The Lions beat the Minnesota Vikings 29-27 on Sunday, and they did so with a walk-off touchdown pass to wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown as time expired. It prompted a pretty wild scene of celebration at Ford Field.

How much did it mean to the Lions? Quarterback Jared Goff went absolutely nuts in celebration after the catch.

One has to ask what the Vikings are doing defensively here. The Lions are only 11 yards from the end zone and they’re essentially playing a prevent defense. Yes, if the Lions are tackled short of the goal line, they lose. Minnesota made that outcome virtually impossible, though, and every Detroit receiver was able to get an unimpeded running start for the end zone. St. Brown did not even have to outrun any defenders — he just ran a curl route and easily stayed in front of the two Vikings near him.

It looked like the Lions had lost this game just minutes before this. Considering how some of their losses have played out, though, they were probably owed one.

Jared Goff had ugly turnover after questionable Dan Campbell decision

Jared Goff strip sack

If you wanted to encapsulate the Detroit Lions’ season into one play, the decision they made late in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings would be a good place to start.

The Lions had actually jumped out to a 20-6 halftime lead over the Minnesota Vikings, but Minnesota cut away at that lead in the second half. Detroit still held a 23-21 lead with 4:08 to go in the fourth quarter, at which point coach Dan Campbell faced a big decision. The Lions had 4th and 1 from their own 28 yard line, and instead of punting and playing field position, Campbell made the bold decision to go for it.

The Lions tried to fool the Vikings with a playaction pass, but it didn’t work. Not only did it not work, but quarterback Jared Goff found himself under pressure and wound up getting strip-sacked.

The Lions are 0-10-1. It’s not as if they have much to lose. If anything, they look very gutsy if they manage to get the first down there. However, if the goal is to maximize your chances of winning the game, the punt is the way to go in that spot. Goff deserves plenty of blame as well — there’s no way he can hold onto the ball that long under duress and expect to get away with it.

Campbell has won praise for his uniquely emotional personality. With more experience, he may become a solid playcaller and decision-maker as well.

Predictably, Minnesota went on to score a go-ahead touchdown with the extremely short field and went ahead 27-23. Amazingly, however, the Lions executed the two-minute drill and scored a walkoff touchdown for a 29-27 win.

Video: Joe Buck roasts Lions with zinger after penalty

Joe Buck

The Detroit Lions are 0-10-1 this season, and Joe Buck did not really attempt to hide that fact on Thursday.

The Lions lost 16-14 to the Chicago Bears to remain winless. They claimed a 14-13 lead in the third quarter and held that lead until the final second when Chicago made a field goal to win it.

After scoring a touchdown to tie the game at 13, the Lions got a penalty for having too many men on the field. Buck, who was announcing the game for FOX, roasted Detroit.

“I guess they’re just not used to scoring touchdowns,” Buck quipped.

That hurts.

Detroit eventually kicked and made the extra point to take the 14-13 lead. But they blew it in the end, just like they have with all their games this season.

Buck often likes to play things straight, but sometimes he can’t resist slipping in a joke here or there.

Photo: Jan 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; FOX analyst Joe Buck before the NFC Divisional Playoff football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Video: Chicago Bears butchered coin toss before win over Lions

The coin toss between the Bears and Lions

The football world wasn’t exactly excited for Thursday’s game that kicked off Thanksgiving in the NFL. The matchup featured the winless Lions against the struggling Bears. Perhaps nothing foreshadowed what was to come better than the opening coin toss.

The Detroit Lions won the coin toss and deferred. That gave the Bears the choice of kicking, receiving, or defending one of the two end zones. But guess what? Christian Jones tried to defer too!

What nonsense.

The Bears ended up receiving the opening kick and punted on their first possession. They won the game 16-14 on a field goal by Cairo Santos as time expired.

It’s amazing that a professional player could butcher that basic situation so badly. It’s amazing that the coin toss actually causes some confusion.

Packers DB takes shot at Lions while praising Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford

Green Bay Packers safety Adrian Amos dropped a comment Wednesday that will probably leave a sour taste in the mouths of Detroit Lions fans.

The Packers are prepping for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams and a quarterback they know well. Matthew Stafford has played the Packers 20 times in his career during his time with the Detroit Lions, so longtime Green Bay players know him well.

Amos is one of them, and he has plenty of respect for Stafford. In his words, it was the Lions that held back Stafford and not vice versa.

“Matt Stafford was always good,” Amos said Wednesday, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “He just played for the Lions.”

Painful but true. After all, Stafford and Bobby Layne are the only two quarterbacks in Lions franchise history to make the postseason in three separate seasons with the team. Now that he’s playing with a strong contender, Stafford is having one of the best years of his career, with 24 touchdowns to eight interceptions.

It’s clear the Packers won’t be taking Stafford lightly. After all, Aaron Rodgers was even more effusive in his praise for his former division rival.

How the Lions played role in Rams signing Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr warms up

Shortly after being waived by the Cleveland Browns, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. ended up with the Los Angeles Rams. It was reportedly a desired destination for Beckham, but a dream that almost didn’t come to fruition.

While appearing on The Dan Patrick Podcast, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said the Rams didn’t become involved in the Odell pursuit until midway through the process. The reason? The Rams were holding out on another potential waiver claim.

“I would say close. The question was all along if L.A. had an opportunity that’s where he was going to go. I would say [Los Angeles wasn’t involved] until mid-way through the process,” Payton told Patrick.

Los Angeles had placed a claim on former Tennessee Titans receiver Josh Reynolds and were waiting for the process to play out. The Rams were familiar with Reynolds, who played for the team from 2017 through 2020. The Rams lost Reynolds to the Detroit Lions, who were higher on the waiver priority list. It’s no surprise Detroit claimed Reynolds considering the former Rams who are now part of the Lions’ front office.

After the Lions scooped up Reynolds, the Rams dove in on Beckham. The rest, as they say, is history.

Los Angeles inked Beckham to a one-year, fully guaranteed $1.25 million deal. He caught two receptions on three targets for 18 yards in his debut with the team — a 31-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Image: Oct 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) warms up before the game between the Browns and the Denver Broncos at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports