Inside the Article:
Eric Vincent: What's good Detroit Sports Nation? I am Eric Vincent, your host here at the DSN News Desk. Thank you for being here. We appreciate your time and support, and if you could tell by the smile on my face, you know, it's victory formation Sunday for the Detroit Lions baby. And boy am I happy to be feeling in this mood.
After the horrible game that we had to witness last week against the Panthers, after fumbling away the choke hold that they had on a playoff opportunity, it's at least great to finally see the Detroit Lions snap back and get a huge victory against a much-needed division rival. Man, this is fun to see the Lions really take control of the game from the first quarter, the Chicago Bears scored 10 points out of the gate but didn't score in the rest of the game.
Justin Fields Was Anything But Impressive
After that, 41 to 10 was the final score. Detroit Lions put up 17 points in the second quarter and really didn't look back after that. They got a lot of pressure on Justin Fields. He got rolling on one or two plays early in the first quarter where he had big 60-yard runs, I think a 30-yard run after that as well.
And he was able to get the offense moving on his legs, but outside of that, the passing game. The Detroit Lions did a number on him defensively. And Detroit Lions fans had to see a lot of jokes and slander and weird, weird commentary from the Chicago Bears base of the NFL online.
Because we saw fans and media members crying about how they felt Justin Fields is a slept-on quarterback in the NFL. Like we sit up here talking about a Lamar Jackson-type QB. Like Justin, Fields is playing like Michael Vick or something like that. Justin Fields has been average at best from an individual standpoint performance. And that's only because he has the speed and the playmaking ability with his legs.
Outside of that Justin Fields is anything but impressive. And the Detroit Lions did a fantastic job of proving that on defense. I don't wanna ever hear about a quarterback being underrated if you can't throw for a hundred yards in a game. I don't care who you are. And again, mind you, this is a top 10, first-round pick, and he can't throw for a hundred yards? Against this Detroit Lions' putrid defense? That's led up and surrendered games to Bailey Zappe and Geno Smith.
You're telling me that almighty Justin Fields can't get a hundred yards throwing against the Lions? I don't ever wanna hear about Justin Fields again. I'm so happy the Detroit Lions swept the Chicago Bears out. This makes me feel so good. Hearing all that nonsense, seeing the Chicago Bears' Twitter post that last time we played the Lions video where it's the big run by Justin Fields, which is good.
They got that play in their media folder because if they had to get a play where he was throwing the ball, it's not a whole lot for you to really go off of for Justin Fields. And the Detroit Lions made him look exactly what he is, which is not that impressive. So shout out to the Detroit Lions' defense for what they did.
I love the way that they showed up, especially with how the game started off. They made a few little mistakes here, but they capitalized on the strength, the budding strength of their defensive unit. Which is their defensive line, man, seven sacks on Justin Fields today. And again, the narrative throughout the whole season was that the Lions had struggled against mobile quarterbacks.
You hang up seven sacks against Justin Fields in a game where you need this more than anything. This was a huge game. You get one from John Cominsky, you get a half-sack by rookie safety, Ifeatu Melifonwu I think I'm saying his name wrong. I apologize if I am. Half a sack for Aidan Hutchinson who also got a fumble recovery and an interception.
We're gonna talk about Hutch in a second. You get two sacks from Josh Paschal who just got back in the rotation showing that he can be assertive and effective in this rotation.
James Houston: Break Out Star
And of course, the breakout star all the way. This dude looks like the best defender in his class, and by God, he's a sixth-round pick.
James Houston, had three sacks today, eight on the year now officially. This dude has been unbelievable. And again, I'm so upset he hasn't been able to play the whole season. Because if we got to see a full spread of James Houston, who knows who said he couldn't be at 10 sacks right now? Who knows, who knows if he gonna be teetering around 12 at this point. With the creativity that he puts up on the defensive line. The unbelievable sudden burst that he has to close in on a ball carrier, whether it's a mobile cornerback or a running back, it doesn't matter.
And then even the other player that he's been making, just they're unpredictable and uncomfortable it seems. He drops back into coverage on his third sack. He drops back into coverage. He sheds the tight end who bumps him, and then he sees that Fields is spreading out and about to run. He closes in instantly as Fields continues to hold the ball, and he wraps him down and brings him down for a sack!
James Houston has been absolutely sensational. The steal of the draft, the monster, the problem child that they call him. He has been literally the definition of that. He explodes off your film every time you watch it. And you know what? I'm tired of protecting it and being humble at this point. Because I see people comparing him, I see people hyping him up and I try not to go too crazy on comps and things of the sort.
Anybody calling this man Von Miller at this point, I'm okay with it. If anybody has compared James Houston to Von Miller, at this point I'm okay with it. Because of his bend his sudden ability to, edge around a tackle to get in on the quarterback and bring him down by his legs, which is very Von Miller-like.
His ability to do creative moves off of the line, whether it's to skip to my Lou, or the spin move that he pulls off where he is able to bend and keep his legs, seems like he's paralleled out to the ground with his speed and his burst.
To me, I love Aidan Hutchinson and the thing I wanna talk about with Aidan is really important, but to me, I feel like James Houston is showing that to be the best pass rusher on this team right now.
I don't think that's a hot take, and I don't think that's a bad thing. I think. Aidan Hutchinson, I think, is putting himself higher and higher in the defensive rookie of the year conversation, just in his ways of how he affects the game in a plethora of different ways. He's a great pass rusher. He's giving support in run support.
He's dropping back in coverage again he got another interception. He's making plays outside of just one aspect. That's been the big argument for Sauce Gardner. Oh, Sauce has been so elite in coverage, as a rookie, and that's fantastic. But that's just one aspect of the game pass coverage, and it's good to see that from a rookie.
But Aidan's doing good at pass coverage, he's also doing good in rushing the quarterback and bringing down your ready game. Like he's doing a lot of different things. On top of that, creating turnovers to go with it. Me, I think he deserves to be at the top of that conversation. And you can even put James Houston in at this point.
Granted I don't think he'll win because he didn't play the whole season, but to me, he looks like the Detroit Loins' best pass rusher. And having that one-two dynamic, knowing you're probably gonna add another pass rusher this offseason, with the resources you have in free agency, or the draft, this defense is going to look terrifying sooner than later in two years.
You may be looking at a top-10 defense if this team continues to grow at the rate that we think it will. I'm so happy with the defensive line, man. Shout out to everything that they did.
The Offense Came To Play As Well
The offense came to play as well. This is a very good game, a very good showing by the offense in the pass game and the run game.
Because the run game has been invisible for the past few weeks. We haven't seen Jamaal Williams in the end zone in a while, D'Andre Swift looks like he's running in mud and running side to side instead of forward. We were seeing a lot of stagnant play in the run game, but now we finally see them revive and come back to life in the game where you needed it.
265 yards total, 145 yards for Jamaal Williams on 22 touches. Got his 15th touchdown of the season. I think he's one shy of passing Barry Sanders for the rushing total, touchdown record for the Detroit Lions. D'Andre Swift had a much-needed performance game that he had. I think he's settling in now as the second complimentary back while Jamaal Williams is carrying the majority of the rock cuz again, he got 22 touches today while D'Andre carried the ball 11 times.
Was also involved in the passing game, but again, he's taking on that scat-back role so they can keep him on the field and give him opportunities to operate in space and be that big game-playmaker that he is. And we saw it today, scored a touchdown on the run, ran for 78 yards, caught four passes for 39 yards, and got a touchdown out of it.
He was very involved in those two aspects as a two-way running back. And it was really encouraging to see that knowing he needs it too. He hasn't been very consistent with his game this season because of his health. But we see, behind this offensive line with the weapons around in this offense. He can be very dynamic when he is on the field.
They've shown that with the creativity of Ben Johnson, with how nasty this offensive line is when you put him in a position to thrive in open space. He's a very effective player. The biggest run of the game, arguably, was not even one of the running backs. We finally got another Jamo sighting. And I don't like that they only give him one papa game to show what he could do because when you saw what he did today, you feel an itch to wanna see him touch the ball more and more.
And again, just like we were talking about with D'Andre. You wanna see him having an open space. Because, oh my goodness, Jameson Williams. On an end of the round, for 40 yards, where he's able to sprint and show off those wheels that made the Detroit Lions wanna trade up for him in the first place in the draft last season.
This dude shows to be as explosive as we thought it was gonna be. Now, granted, it's only been a limited sample size because they're still not giving them a whole lot of targets. And even when they do, for whatever reason, Jared Goff is skipping the ball in the ground and can't put it in his chest or throw it through his hands where he can even make a play on the ball.
Makes no sense to me. People wanna ride out with that, it'll be fine with it. It bothers me, but whatever. They got the win. It doesn't matter. We're not gonna get into that. The point is, I wanna see Jameson Williams have that big playability a little bit more often, and even if it's not that, just give him something where he's.
Shown to be effective or at least utilizing this offense, even if it's just like what we saw, it reverses quick little bubble screens or jet screens and gets him on, anything besides just the simple go routes. Like we know we can do the Go Routes, but you don't want to exhaust him by just doing that every other series when he plays.
Get him involved in other ways, man, he gives you more. He gives you way more, and I think it's time that the Detroit Lions start exploring that. Again, I don't want it to sacrifice what they're doing, but I think you're at a point where you can get him a little bit more involved. And looking at how Jared Goff is able to spread the ball around, I think he could have done that, but he did.
Again, this is a good job by Jared Goff today. 21 in 29, 255, 3 touchdowns. Took care of the football very well. Still has not turned it over. I think just about what, under 300 pass attempts. He has been very efficient and very methodical with the football. Again, there are some times when the offense can look a little stagnant with him, but this is not one of those games.
He was clicked on all cylinders. He had all time to throw it. His receivers were getting open. Found Amon Ra St. Brown for four catches and put him at 100 catches for the season. 100 catches for the season for Amon Ra, congratulations to him. Was able to find Brock Wright twice in the end zone as an effective red-zone target.
Unbelievable. Cause they just had TJ Hockenson and man, he was the first rounder and he was supposed to be that guy. But for whatever reason, we getting a better production outta three rookies instead of our first round, a tight end that we drafted who was supposed to be this pro bowler down for the Vikings.
So though, TJ Hockenson. Thank you, Brock Wright. We appreciate what you did today. Zylstra, who continues to make plays. Goff did a really good job of spreading the ball around. This is a game where he had the support of his run game behind him, and you needed that.
You don't want him to just be the sole purpose. Like he threw the ball 29 times today. I'm comfortable with that. If he's throwing between 25 and 30 times, that means the rest of your offense is moving methodically. So if he has to throw 40 times, Or 50 times, that means you're losing by a lot, or your run game is playing badly and you don't want to be in that kind of a position.
So I'm very happy to see that it was a complimentary day for the offense. Where the pass game and the run game were working together. So what does this victory mean? Where do we go from here? We go to one of the most stressful games that we go to anticipate and that we've dealt with in quite some time.
Detroit Lions Have Surpassed All Expectations
And before we get into that, I wanna be clear. Let's be fair Detroit Lions fans. The Detroit Lions have surpassed all expectations. All fair expectations. Before the season that was said, the Lions have passed, all of them. Mine were to see them play meaningful games toward the end of the season. It looks like you could be an explosive offense and be a bend, but don't break defense.
They have shown that. Even outside the record, you have shown that you are able to have that as your identity, and on top of that, you're doing it with your young foundational pieces that are growing every single week. So knowing that to me, the Detroit Lions have surpassed all expectations. Even coming up to this game where we are all excited, this is their first time that they can go above 500 since 2017, and this is their first time that they can sweep out Green Bay in meaningful games.
They just did it with the Bears by sweeping them, and it puts you that much closer in lockstep to getting in a playoff spot. Now the Detroit Lions are gonna need some help. They need the Seahawks to lose at least one game. The Seahawks either have to lose today against the Jets or next week against the Rams.
One of those two games has to come down to it because the Commanders already lost. So at this point, the Detroit Lions are ahead of them in the wild card seating. But if they were tied with them in terms of record, then Seattle would get in because of the tiebreaker in terms of how they beat the Lions early in the season.
So they need some help from the Seahawks. Which is another reason why I feel like the Detroit Lions should be playing with feeling like they're playing with a little bit of house money. Because to me, getting into the playoffs does not define what the Detroit Lions have done so far this year. That doesn't define it to me.
It's icing on the cake and it's gonna look and sound good. But to me, seeing this young team and this young coaching staff and these players gel together through adversity to start the season and to put themselves in this position where these games matter and they're playing great football on both sides of the football.
I think you're in a position where, since they lost to the Panthers, they need assistance and help from other teams in terms of losing. So whether they make the playoffs or whether they beat the Packers does not decide how this season goes? No. We could be setting ourselves up for an SOL-type feeling in terms of our expectations and wanting to beat the Packers and put one in the heart of Aaron Rodgers once and for all.
We would love that more than anything. I'll drink a whole gallon of this to make it happen, I promise you. But I think at this point we need to be a little bit fair in terms of what we're seeing with this young team. We want them to beat the Packers. I think they can beat the Packers. I'll double down on that.
I think they will beat the Packers. I think they will. Green Bay's catching a bit of a buzz with their momentum. They're playing well, their run games coming alive, and their defense is coming alive. I still think the Lions can beat them. I still think it's possible. I just think it's necessary to say that this young team has surpassed expectations at this point.
Now, if they come out and get whopped by 25 points or 28 points, then yeah, we'll have a different conversation. But I think based on what we see up to this point, I think the Detroit Lions have surpassed expectations, and considering that they now need assistance from other teams, I think it helps me sit back and say, you know what?
They're playing with a little bit of house money at this point. They're playing for an identity. They're playing to establish who they want to be in the future, not necessarily in this playoff push, because we don't know if they're gonna get there. So to me, it feels like they're establishing their identity heading into the future with the resources you have in the draft.
With free agency money that you have to deal with and foundation players that are young and fit the nature and the identity of this city and of this team. I think that's important to keep in mind in this game. We are all excited. We wanna put the stake in the heart of Green Bay. We wanna put them down just for good.
I know. But it's important to keep that in mind as well. It's important to keep in mind where this team is going and where this franchise is. It's important to separate your hopes for the franchise in terms of our history as Detroit Lions fans and what we're seeing with this young team that has already past expectations for this season.
That's how I look at it. And I hope you guys see it the same way, but I wanna hear from you. So talk to me in the comment section. I'd love to hear your thoughts about the game, your thoughts heading into next week against the Packers, where you think the Detroit Lions are this season, and what you think is gonna be the conclusion of the year.
I want to hear from you in the comment section. Make sure you like the video as well and subscribe to the channel as we ramp up on our way to 6,000 subscribers on our YouTube page. Help us make that happen. We would really appreciate it. Make sure you locking in on our social media as well. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, all of the above.
Search and follow Detroit Sports Nation and lock in with me as well @IamEricVincent. Thank you all so much for being here. I appreciate your support. We'll be unpacking more of the Detroit Lions Game tomorrow on Beyond the Box at seven o'clock with me and AJ Riley. We'll also be talking about some Michigan football and plenty more NFL coverage in the making as well.
Make sure you're tapping. Monday at seven o'clock with me and AJ. Thank you guys so much for being here. I really appreciate your time. It's victory formation, man. It's victory formation. I hope you feel as good as I am, and I'll see you again soon as we're right back with another update from the DSN News Desk.
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