Lions vs. Packers - Week 14

Hondo S. Carpenter

With temperatures hovering near 10 degrees and the fires in the tailgating lots all around historic Lambeau field warm, the Lions face off tonight against the Green Bay Packers. The Lions come in spiraling out of control, and the Packers come in with an unimpressive 2 wins that are deceptive. The Packers are a much better team than the record would indicate but have literally decimated due to injuries.

In the parking lots, the Packer faithful had signs and pictures of the much beloved Steve Mariucci hanging, calling for his hiring, and the firing of embattled coach Mike Sherman. Sherman, himself a good football guy, being held accountable for a terrible job as GM that he previously held with his head coaching duties.

The Packer faithful, perhaps the greatest fans in the NFL, also had fire Millen signs perhaps in a sort of unity with their frustrated fellow NFC North brethren from Detroit. Lambeau field, one of football’s holy sites, nestled into the Wisconsin dairy fields, held her faithful as the teams warmed up for this glorious game. Full from a diet of bratwurst and cheese curds, my partner Dave “the Arrow” Spencer and I sat comfortable in the press box watching the fans and the players freeze.

Is there room for hope? Kevin Jones ran off a 40-yard run (his longest of the season). After 8 plays and 67 yards, the Lions were unable to push it in for the TD, but Hanson hit a 19-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. With 11:03 left in the 1st quarter the Lions had the lead, but the great one, Brett Favre, had yet to touch the ball.

Favre lost the ball on second down of their first drive, and James Davis of the Lions recovered it. The Lions began at the packer 18 and once again proved themselves to be inept when it came to red zone scoring. Hanson, once again, saved the pitiful offense on a 7-play thirteen-yard drive that ended in a 23-yard field goal. With 7:11 in the 1st quarter, the Lions had a 6-0 lead, but also had the pitiful offense facing the gritty veteran Favre.

Favre, being the incredible competitor that he is, marched his Packers right down the field for the field goal. The drive lasted 9 plays and the 36-yard field goal was good. With 2:26 left in the 1st quarter the score was 6-3 Lions.

R.W. McQuarters took the ball on the kickoff to the Packers 16. The Pack picked up a holding penalty on the first play of the drive. The Lions, however, scored the first TD of the night on a 4-yard circus catch by Roy Williams who quickly did the Lambeau leap into the waiting arms of four Lion fans. The PAT was good, and the Lions had the 13-3 lead with forty-three seconds left in the 1st quarter.

The Packers drove the ball well against the Lions defense, but Jared Devries blocked a Ryan Longwell field goal! The Lions took possession at their own 29. Garcia, however, was unable to do anything with the gift from the defense, and the Lions had to punt on a 4 and out. Favre immediately went to work driving the Packers to a TD. The PAT was good, and with 4:56 left in the 2nd quarter the Lions had the lead 13-10.

The defense had played decent, but was unable to get any help from the pathetic Garcia led offense. The defense, in these conditions and in this environment (the best in the NFL), needs some help; something it hasn’t got all season.

While the offense continued to make the Lions’ fans want to puke throughout the 3rd quarter, the defense played strong. However, as the 4th quarter began, the tired defense gave up a field goal to Favre and the Packers, visibly exhausted. With 14:22 left in the 4th quarter, the Packers had tied the Lions at 13.

Roy Williams had told ESPN that the only way the Lions would win is to put the ball in the end zone for TD’s not field goals. Obviously, Olson and Jauron have no desire to win the head job as they have no clue what to do with this team and the same futility that got Mooch fired continues. The defense plays well, but the offense clearly stinks. Jauron is a good defensive co-coordinator but has failed here, as he did in Chicago, with this archaic offense. On 3rd and 7 going for 4 and other stupid decisions before him only confirms what many knew before he was named interim. He has no chance as the Lions’ permanent head coach.

The Lions, no thanks to Garcia or Jauron but thanks to the skill of Roy Williams, got the ball to the Packer 1. As expected, they failed to punch it in and with a critical 4th and 1, Jauron made a bad call to go for it. Garcia failed on a QB keeper and the Packers got the ball back.

So cold that I couldn’t even feel the cold anymore, I stood under the goal post as the Packers and All World QB Brett Favre scored the winning field goal in the over time period. “That was a real big win for us. It has been a long time since these fans have been that wild, and it was good to get that win,” said Favre. “We certainly are glad to win that ball game. At this level (NFL), any win is a good one,” said Packers’ coach Mike Sherman.

Once again, the Lions find a way to lose. Jauron certainly had no chance to be the head coach, but not since we had Morninweg, and he “took the wind” in Chicago, has a more stupid play been called than the Garcia sneak. I could maybe see a bootleg (maybe), but with this cold and the crazy loud fans, how do you take a chip shot from Hanson when the defense is killing them?

This was a coaching loss; almost as bad as the MSU vs. Ohio State debacle. Pathetic!


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