Green Bay 31
|Green Bay 31||Detroit 24|
|September 24, 2006||Ford Field-Attendance: 61,095 (65,000)||Time: 3:06|
|GB||TD||7:03||Brett Favre pass completion to the middle to Greg Jennings for 75 yards for a touchdown.||6||0|
|GB||PAT||7:03||Dave Rayner extra point attempt is good.||7||0|
|DET||TD||3:51||Jon Kitna pass completion to the middle to Shawn Bryson for 37 yards for a touchdown.||7||6|
|DET||PAT||3:51||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||7||7|
|GB||TD||2:05||Jon Kitna pass to the middle intercepted by Marquand Manuel and returned 29 yards for a touchdown.||13||7|
|GB||PAT||2:05||Dave Rayner extra point attempt is good.||14||7|
|DET||TD||0:00||Jon Kitna pass completion to the right to Roy Williams for 42 yards for a touchdown.||14||13|
|DET||PAT||0:00||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||14||14|
|GB||FG||7:51||Dave Rayner 24 yard field goal attempt is good.||17||14|
|GB||TD||6:44||Brett Favre pass completion to the middle to Donald Driver for 5 yards for a touchdown.||23||14|
|GB||PAT||6:44||Dave Rayner extra point attempt is good.||24||14|
|DET||TD||3:24||Kevin Jones rush to the right for 5 yards for a touchdown.||24||20|
|DET||PAT||3:24||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||24||21|
|GB||TD||12:19||Brett Favre pass completion to the middle to Ahman Green for 10 yards for a touchdown.||30||21|
|GB||PAT||12:19||Dave Rayner extra point attempt is good.||31||21|
|DET||FG||5:24||Jason Hanson 40 yard field goal attempt is good.||31||24|
|Team Stat Comparison|
|3rd down efficiency||7-15||3-12|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||1-3|
|Yards per pass||9.4||7.4|
|Yards per rush||2.2||4.6|
The Lions are getting hit by a shower once again, but it isn't of champagne. And if there's one iota of conscience within that hapless organization, a deep-seated anger should envelope every crevice of its executive branch with the image of delirious Tigers celebrating Sunday juxtaposed against another moribund Lions effort.
Check out the baseball standings this morning, and you'll see the alphabetical designation for playoff qualification beside the Tigers' name.
The Tigers get the letter "y" for securing a playoff berth. The Lions, on the other hand, get the question "Why?" beside their last-place standing in the NFC North.
The difference between the two teams is best articulated in the disparity of two words: The Tigers talk of "belief" while the Lions speak of "believing." The former implies conviction while the latter suggests hope.
There wasn't one Tiger in that Korbel haze following Sunday's playoff clincher that didn't attribute the team's rise to confidence in the team's direction. And that's a tone that only ownership sets.
In the aftermath of the Lions' home loss to Green Bay, another new team low, Rod Marinelli preached Monday about the necessity for trust, asking his players and the fans to blindly take that leap of faith, knowing full well that the only thing awaiting them is a rough, rocky landing.
But Marinelli is powerless because the ultimate confidence has to be directed more toward those who hired the coach than toward the coach himself.
The Tigers are certainly appreciative of Jim Leyland's steady hand, but the genuine gratitude expressed toward owner Mike Ilitch's efforts Sunday suggested the players understand that it all starts from the top and trickles down.
"The lesson here is that you've got to keep swinging until you hit it," Brandon Inge said. "That's why Mr. Ilitch gets all the credit in the world. If something isn't working, try something different and keep trying until you get it right. He didn't give up."
How embarrassed are the Fords today? According to observers, the strongest cheer at Ford Field on Sunday came when the public address announcer reported the Tigers' score in Kansas City.
I've been quite critical of the Lions' ownership. But I've always defended the Fords against public charges of apathy. It's not that they don't care. They just don't seem to know what they should care about.
But if they're not outraged enough now to demand that Matt Millen's team finish at least .500 or he's out after this season, then they're beyond defense even in that area.
Perhaps the Fords are considering employing the Tigers' strategy of challenging for the modern NFL record for single-season futility, then selling their fans on the hope of making the playoffs three years later.
Perhaps I shouldn't give them any ideas.
The Tigers' resurgence is another reminder of the proper blueprint for competitive success. It's about creating an organizational structure at the top that radiates confidence through every level. And if Fords have a shred of competitiveness -- or even a trace of compassion -- the current state of the Lions compared to the Tigers should evoke some honest self-evaluation.
But if there's no belief in the top guy calling the shots, how can anyone believe the team is headed in the right direction?
He added two more scores to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 31-24 win over Detroit on Sunday for their first victory of the season.
Favre said he felt like a kid while celebrating after each TD, bouncing on his toes and leaping into teammates' arms, but his body quickly reminded him that he's not.
''I've got to stop doing that because I get so tired,'' said Favre, who turns 37 next month. ''I have to be smarter. Mike (McCarthy) said, 'Great job, but you have to quit running around like that,' because I couldn't talk to him, I couldn't breathe.
''I was able to recover a lot easier back in the old days, but there's nothing like throwing touchdown passes.''
Favre would know.
With his first TD pass of the game - a 75-yarder to Greg Jennings - Favre joined Hall of Famer Dan Marino as the only quarterbacks to reach 400 touchdown passes. Marino has 420.
''We needed a win a lot more than I needed 400 touchdown passes,'' the three-time MVP said.
While the Lions (0-3) remained winless under new coach Rod Marinelli, they had their chances in the fourth quarter - just as they did in the season-opening loss to Seattle.
''We were close,'' Marinelli said. ''We have to finish.''
After Jon Kitna threw behind a wide-open Mike Furrey on third down, Jason Hanson kicked a 40-yard field goal to cut the lead with 5:24 to play. The Lions got the ball back at their 31 a couple of minutes later, but gained just 8 yards before Kitna was sacked on fourth down.
Then, the Packers' Ahman Green fumbled at the 32 with 54 seconds left. The Lions got to midfield and Kitna heaved a pass that fell incomplete into a crowded end zone.
''We got it going in spurts - you saw glimpses of what's coming - but we didn't get it going enough, and that's unfortunate,'' Kitna said. ''We left a lot of points on the field.''
The Packers (1-2) scored just enough to give McCarthy his first victory as an NFL coach.
''That's the way you're supposed to spend Sunday afternoon,'' McCarthy said. ''It's great to get the first one. I'm looking forward to more.''
Favre connected with Jennings on Green Bay's second drive for a 7-0 lead. He found Donald Driver open in the third quarter for another TD and threw to Green early in the fourth for a 31-21 lead. He reached the milestone in his 228th game, one more than Marino needed to throw No. 400.
Favre finished 25-of-36 for 340 yards with three TDs with no interceptions. Jennings caught three passes for 101 yards and a TD.
Jennings did most of the work on No. 400. Favre threw a short pass to Jennings and the rookie turned the third-down play into a 75-yarder by eluding Jon McGraw with a spin move and sprinting past Dre' Bly on the sideline.
''As young as I am, to become a part of that greatness, it puts a lot of joy in my heart,'' the 23-year-old Jennings said. ''I had to make sure that I went and got the ball back. I flipped the ball, and had to go see where the ball was. I definitely gave to him.''
Kitna was 25-of-40 for 342 yards with two TDs and an interception that was returned for a score. Roy Williams had seven receptions for a career-high 138 yards and a score.
Detroit made it 7-all on the ensuing possession when Kitna dumped a pass to Shawn Bryson, who easily got past safety Marquand Manuel for a 37-yard score.
Manuel made up for the missed tackle on Detroit's next drive by intercepting a deflected pass and returning it 29 yards for a TD and a 14-7 lead.
''I saw pass interference,'' Kitna said.
Detroit tied it again when Kitna lofted a pass over Williams' shoulder in the end zone on the last play of the first quarter.
That was one of the few highlights for the Lions, who have lost an NFL-high 62 losses since 2001.
Marinelli acknowledged it might be harder to get his positive message through to his team, but said he continue to stay upbeat.
''That's just how I am,'' he said. ''I'll just keep pounding. I'll go back to work and find a way to do this thing.''
Defense: --- F. No interceptions in the first three games. No sacks in the last two. Giving up a total of 7 touchdowns the last two weeks to Rex Grossman and Grandpa Favre??? That is just inexcusable! Can anyone tell me where Kalimba Edwards has been the past three games? Not only was he a draft bust, but Millen decided to resign him this past offseason! Shaun Rogers, who was so dominating in the Seattle game revered back to the Shaun Rogers of old and has been a non factor. As many people feared, the Defense is going to the unit that will end up costing the Lions when it matters most.
Special Teams: --- D. I think it is safe to say that Eddie Drummond has "jumped the shark." It has been a few years since he was a dominant kick and punt returner. I think it is time to give someone else a shot of returning kicks and punts. Still, it does not help out when the coverage is so piss poor. And what on earth has happen to punter Nick Harris? Last year he had only a couple touch backs. This year he already has four, including two against the Packers. At least Jason Hanson made his only field goal attempt.
Coaching: --- D. It is hard to grade the coaches when they don't have the talent to work with. Still, I cannot figure out why they do not give Mike Williams a chance to do something. Putting him in for a few plays is inexcusable.
Overall: --- F. The Lions let a golden opportunity to pick up their first win slip away. At 0-3 and with road games at St. Louis and Minnesota coming up, it is safe to say the Lions will be 0-5. It appears very likely for the 6th consecutive year under Matt Millen, the Lions will fail to win more than six games. Until the Fords can see that Millen has been a complete failure (a Randy Smith in disguise), the Lions will continue to fall into the bottomless abyss. All I can say is: Go Get em Tigers!!!