The Detroit Lions dispatched of the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 16-13 on Thanksgiving Day. After a clutch interception of Sam Bradford by Darius Slay, Detroit kicker Matt Prater put the game-winning field goal through the uprights as the final seconds of the game ticked away. Obviously, this set off huge celebrations at Ford Field and in living rooms all over the Detroit area as the Lions (who had just defeated the Vikings for the second time this season) were now in sole possession of first place in the NFC North.
Not everyone was happy about the outcome of the game, however. Minnesota linebacker Chad Greenway had some choice words to say about the officiating and how it contributed to the Lions ability to convert on key third down situations.
“They had some success. A lot of it was (Matthew Stafford) running. They did have some success on short routes, but really a lot of that success came with him running and them holding the absolute crap out of us. That happened multiple times to keep drives going for them.”
For the record, both teams were penalized five times in the game. Quite frankly, Greenway’s words ring a little hollow when you consider that a pass interference call and a suspect spot on a failed 4th down conversion in the first half really cost the Lions. If there was any perceived favoritism regarding the officiating in this game, I’m pretty sure that there are plenty of people who would argue that it was, in fact, the Lions who were fighting uphill in this game.
For his part, Matthew Stafford conceded that he is far from a running quarterback. He is just out there trying to do what it takes to help the team. If that involves running, so be it.
“But I’m not thinking about it. I’m not thinking, ‘Oh, here’s a good opportunity to get out and strut my stuff.’ I’m just trying to help our team get first downs. I mean, the first run I had today had like eight jukes and went nowhere, so it’s nothing special. I’m just trying to help us gain yards, man. That’s what it’s all about.”
Greenway did come clean at the end of the interview. Perhaps his emotions got the better of him and this is all just sour grapes. It’s understandable, especially considering that Detroit won the other game against Minnesota this year in highly improbable fashion in overtime. Hey – maybe he’s just upset because the Vikings have come up on the losing end of four of their last five games.
“At the end of the day, they’re [Detroit] a good football team. It was a great football game, one of those games you want to end up on top.”