Sunday, November 7, 2010
Wrap-up: Jets 23, Lions 20 (OT)
By Kevin Seifert
Hitting a few points on a wild game at Ford Field:
What it means: Late Sunday afternoon, it appeared the Detroit Lions were poised to leapfrog the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North standings. They held a 20-10 lead fourth-quarter lead over the New York Jets amid a raucous Ford Field crowd, while the Vikings trailed the Arizona Cardinals 24-10. Alas, at the end of the day, the Lions were 2-6 and the Vikings were 3-5 after a crazy turnaround befitting the Lions' recent history.
StaffordWatch: Quarterback Matthew Stafford did not return after re-injuring his right shoulder in the fourth quarter. Coach Jim Schwartz said the Lions are "going to take a pretty serious look at it," prompting questions about whether Stafford will be shut down for a period longer than the five games he got the last time. I have no questions about Stafford's toughness, but I think it's fair for all of us to wonder why his body has been so brittle in the first 1 1/2 seasons of his career.
Numbskull play: Of all the crazy things that happened in the fourth quarter and overtime, the one I can't get over is linebacker Julian Peterson's blatant and inexcusable hit out of bounds against LaDainian Tomlinson with about 40 seconds remaining. The mistake in essence put the Jets in range for the game-tying field goal. The Lions use a number of young players who might have made that mistake, but it was stunning for it to be a veteran like Peterson who apparently had no idea where he was on the field.
Suh kick: The novelty of having defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh attempt an extra point after a Jason Hanson injury quickly gave way to some serious questions. Why is Suh, not punter Nick Harris, the backup kicker? Why wouldn't you go for two points in that situation? Schwartz said "we have a lot of confidence" in Suh but admitted he was put in a difficult situation. "He went out there without any warm-ups," Schwartz said, "where a kicker that's not playing a position generally has time to take his time. Probably should have called a timeout, given him time to get ready." Had the Lions made the kick or a two-point conversion, the Jets would have been playing for a touchdown instead of a field goal at the end of regulation.
What's next: The Lions play at the Buffalo Bills next Sunday.