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ndamukong suh
monday night football
jay cutler
calvin johnson
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Motor City Monday Night
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Last night was at long last, their turn to shine in the national spotlight.  For too long the folks of Detroit have been 2nd class citizens when it came to sports, not to mention what was happening to their beloved city.  The last time that Monday Night Football was headed to Detroit Rocky City was shortly after 9/11.  It was in October 2001, they did not yet have their new stadium Ford Field.  The game was produced by ABC, not ESPN as it has been since 2006.  In fact, only three current players were on that team in Jeff Backus, Dominic Raiola, and kicker Jason Hanson.  A lot of other things have changed since then as well.

No longer are these the Lions of the Wayne Fontes era, when his best play was "hand it to Barry".  They are now loaded with young talent on both sides of the ball.  A wide receiver in Calvin Johnson who is in the conversation as the best in the game.  Jahvid Best is still a work in progress running between the tackles, but proved once again that speed kills.  Ndamukong Suh is nothing short of a monster, who wrecks havoc anywhere he goes.  However, what this season is going to come down to is the QB Matthew Stafford. If Stafford can manage to stay alive and play in most of the games this season, they should find success.

The offense wasn't as explosive as it has been in recent weeks when it fell behind and had to race to catch up.  Their first touchdown however was quite explosive.  Stafford tossed a rocket down the field into the waiting hands of Calvin Johnson who had run past a double team.  I've heard it before, but now it can be believed, Calvin Johnson is the most uncoverable player in the league. Best also ripped off an 88 yard run right up the gut in the 2nd half which would put the team up for good. 

The defense, led by Suh, harassed Chicago QB Jay Cutler all night long.  Even when he wasn't pressured, he acted as if he was, and was running around all night long just trying to let go of the ball before he would be crushed.  The crowd did its part by helping to lead the Bears into nine false start penalties.  Six of those came in the first half.  They did give up one touchdown throw, but it was on a broken play that Cutler did a nice job on.  Other than that, the defense shut them down.

Wether or not they can keep up this frenetic pace at 5-0 remains to be seen.  What will remain however is the excitement that these players bring to the field every single week.  Some pundits are slow to crown them as am I, but the proof most definately will be in the pudding these coming weeks.  They have upstart San Francisco in town next Sunday on a short week for the Lions.  That will be a good test to see where they actually stand in the heirarchy of the NFC.


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