For the better part of the last 60 years it could be said that the “D” in Detroit football stood for Depression, Desperation, and Doubt. But yesterday’s miracle comeback win in Dallas has removed all doubt—the 4-0 Detroit Lions are FOR REAL.
There certainly was plenty of doubt permeating the local Detroit sports watering hole where I met several of my fellow long-suffering, yet hopeful Lions fan buddies as well as my blogging nemesis PV who was, of course, unabashedly decked out in all his Cowboy regalia. The first half had Pete celebrating like it was 1993 as Dallas could to do no wrong, stifling the Lions offense and shredding their defense to head to the locker room with a seemingly insurmountable 20-3 lead.
Trailing by 24 with 10:30 remaining in the 3rd quarter after punting for the 6th time against a potential playoff team in the massive House that Jerry Built, there was little reason to think the game was salvageable. Things were so bleak that one of our crew even decided to bail. BIG MISTAKE, JON.
Detroit’s dormant defense suddenly stepped up with two pick-sixes that finally gave almost everyone in the bar (besides a suddenly silenced PV) something to cheer about. The defensive assault sparked the offense to 17 unanswered points in the 4th quarter culminatied in the biggest road comeback in team history and sent the bar into honolulu blue hysteria.
But the historical significance of yesterday’s victory doesn’t end there. Check out these incredible factoids:
- According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Lions are only the 4th road team in NFL history to come back to win from a 24-pt deficit.
- The Lions are the first team in NFL history to register 20+-pt comebacks in consecutive weeks.
- Dating back to last season, the Lions have their first 8-game win streak since 1953-54.
- This is the first 4-0 start in Lions history that includes 3 road wins.
- The 4-0 start is their first since 1980 and only the fifth in team history.
- Their current 5-game road wining streak is the longest in team history.
This is the second time this morning I’m typing this, the first time I typed it was on the WordPress app for the iPhone while walking my dog dressed in Notre Dame garb. I lost that version when I tried to upload a photo, so let’s try again. This time at the computer drinking my morning coffee from “My Play like a Champion Today” mug.
I would not want to be any team going into Notre Dame Stadium this afternoon, because Notre Dame is going to make a statement today that they should be regarded as serious contenders for the BCS. It doesn’t matter who this afternoons opponent, the Irish are going to came at them with such a relentless and aggressive attack that Michigan State will not know what hit them.
Brian Kelly will not let up on the throttle this afternoon as the Irish will unleash two weeks of frustration upon the Spartans this afternoon in South Bend. Picture the Michigan without the turnovers run in a huddle spread offense from the start of the game; that’s what I expect to see.
I know the last three meetings have been decided by three points or less and two of those games went into overtime, who cares? The Irish will be out to destroy Michigan State today.
Prediciton: ND 44 – MSU 17
The 2010 play of the year was affectionately known as “Little Giants” and it couldn’t have been more beautiful for Spartan fans. That play simultaneously propelled Michigan State to an 11-1 regular season and a B1G championship while crushing the spirit and ruining the season of the Fighting Irish. The fact that State’s Coach Mark Dantonio had a heart attack shortly after the call is testament to how taxing and ballsy that decision was.
But more than anything, the play exemplified the dominance Michigan State (2-0) has had over Notre Dame (0-2) over the better part of the last two decades regardless of circumstance, talent, coaching or even home field advantage. Since 1997, State has taken 10 of 14 from the Irish, including six out of the last seven in South Bend, of which I was lucky enough to witness two in person.
Notre Dame comes into the game nursing substantial wounds from yet another devastating loss, this time to arch-rival Michigan, in what will go down as one of the greatest (well, let’s say most exciting) games in college football history. “Under the Lights” at Michigan Stadium for the first time ever, a superior ND squad managed to piss away a 24-7 fourth quarter lead that included two separate leads in the last two minutes. The loss turned Coach Brian Kelly’s head a frightening color of purple and sent the Irish home 0-2.
MSU, on the other hand, comes in 2-0 after dominating performances with a combined score of 72-6. While Youngstown State and Florida Atlantic are admittedly subpar opponents, the Spartans are riding a wave of confidence nonetheless and certainly are not intimidated by the spectre of playing in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus tomorrow.
It seems the Green & White simply has the Golden Domers’ number and there’s little to suggest that will change this year as State will walk away with yet another Megaphone Trophy.