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Officials give game to the Bears

By Imperical Evidence

Video of controversial call below.

Watch the lower left corner at 6 and 7 seconds in to see the original touchdown signal by the official that was over turned by another official.

Well, there were many bad things and some good things in this game.

The defensive line played as advertised, with Corey Williams getting one sack, Ndamukong Suh getting one sack, Sammie Hill getting one sack, and Turk McBride getting one sack.

The Lions defense caused four Bear fumbles, three of which were turnovers. Cutler threw one interception, when he threw into triple coverage.

The offense of the Lions left a great deal to be desired, with poor run blocking and a total of one yard per carry average, for 21 yards. That's the entire game rushing total.

Matthew Stafford felt pressure early, and checked down on a regular basis. Jeff Backus gave up pressure on the first Lions drive, which lead to a Bears penalty, roughing the passer on Julius Peppers, and a Lions first down. The Image to the right shows Peppers blowing by Backus on his way to hitting Stafford in the helmet. That's a rough way to earn 15 yards and a first down.

Matthew Stafford was injured by a hit, also delivered by Peppers, after blowing by Jeff Backus. Peppers is shown once again in route to Stafford. When he gets there, he drives Stafford into the ground. Stafford suffered an undisclosed injury to his throwing arm, more will be known on Monday when he has an X-Ray and MRI on his right shoulder.

Stafford completed 11 of 15 passes for a total of 83 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

Shaun Hill came in to finish the game, and at times looked lost. He was also sacked on a delayed blitz by Brian Urlacher, for several reasons. I need to break that sack down, as it shows a few faults with the Lions offense. The image at the right shows how the Lions were lined up on offense, with Best in the backfield. The top circle is around both Peterman and Raiola, the right guard and center respectively. The bottom circle is around Sims, the left guard. Notice Peppers is lined up against Gosder Cherilus, the Right Tackle. The Bears move Israel Idonije, a defensive tackle, to the right end position and line him up against Backus. Back to the Raiola and Peterman, they end up double teaming the other defensive tackle.. Hill, the back-up QB, dosen't see the delayed blitz. In the next image on the right, we see Cherilus and Backus both getting beaten, and Best on his way to chip and release into a route.
Urlacher is well on his way to Hill through the gap created by Sims, the Lions Right Guard, with his block that pushes everything across the middle.

In the last image, we see from top down, Cherilus is beat by Peppers, the pink X is Peterman and Raiola, doubl teaming a DT, the light yellow X is Sims, the red X is Urlacher on his way to a sack, and the yellow X at the bottom is Backus, also beaten on the play.


Hill, the back-up QB, fails to see the delayed blitz, so does Raiola. Best also fails to pick up the delayed blitz on his way into his route. Lots of mistakes, but it gets worse. Backus and Cherilus were both beaten on that play, and even with no blitz that play probably results in a sack. The Lions offense and Scott Linehan failed
to recognize that the Bears ahd shifted their defensive front, and failed to see a delayed blitz.

Linehan looked to employ a safe, short yardage offense, and he failed to attack the Bears defense, and be creative in any way. Linehan also failed to make any adjustments to the Bears defense. This game was almost a total failure on offense.

The lone bright spot on offense was Jahvid Best, and his two TD runs. His other runs were doomed to failure, with little to no run blocking. He managed a long run of only 8 yards. Don't put it all on him, Lions fans, look at that offensive line and the failed running game for the last 6 years, at least.

I posted a win prediction of 5 games for the Lions, but if Stafford misses any length of time that just will not happen. The ball has to come out fast, and Stafford is the only Lions QB comfortable enough with the Linehan offense to accomplish that task.

Jim Schwartz failed on several counts in this game, with the decision to try for more at the end of the first half instead of running out the clock for starters. Schwartz has also been a staunch Backus supporter, something I find disturbing to say the least. Backus is not nor has he ever played well enough to be considered one of the games better left tackles.

Note to Martin Mayhew, Backus needs to go if you expect Stafford to lead the Lions into the future, and if it isn't too late as it is. Dominic Raiola continues to display lack of skill in reading the defense, which he needs to adjust the offensive line. He also continues to display a lack of run blocking that demands action.

On a brighter note, the Lions defense almost won this game against the Bears, holding the Bears to no points for most of the second half, desperately defending a fragile lead. They almost pulled it off, too, despite giving up lots of yards. The secondary was hitting hard, causing turnovers. The goal line stand by the defense on first and goal inside the one yard line by the Bears is something I will remember. Once more, I must state that the Lions defensive secondary will not be the weak spot on the team many in the media would lead us to believe. They have youth and potential, something the offensive line is lacking.

So, at the end of the game, when Calvin Johnson caught that TD pass by Shaun Hill, I was on cloud nine. By any definition of process of the catch, Calvin Johnson caught that ball, maintained posession all the way to the ground, and even displayed the catch with one hand, much like a baseball player would do. While rolling over to get up, he even places the ball on the ground. Now, if he is doing that for leverage to get up, or to celebrate his TD, the process of the catch was completed before the roll.

Now, Mr. Schwartz, the fact that you decided not to go after the officials for that horrible call is horrendous. Maybe sometimes you just have to take the hit in the wallett and defend what is right, instead of just giving up on a win. After this game, I am on my way off the Schwartz band wagon. How would Rex Ryan have reacted after that call? If the coach dosen't stand up for the team, don't expect his players to stand up for him.

Aonther article I found that could better explain the way the defense played can be found here.

I also found this article on Mlive to be accurate.


  1. Any forward pass becomes incomplete and ball is dead if:

    (a) Pass hits the ground or goes out of bounds.

    (b) Pass hits the goal post or the crossbar of either team.
    A forward pass is complete when a receiver clearly possesses the pass and touches the ground with both feet inbounds while in possession of the ball. If a receiver would have landed inbounds with both feet but is carried or pushed out of bounds while maintaining possession of the ball, pass is complete at the out-of-bounds spot.

    The rules on a catch, and the link to prove validity.

  2. Update to Stafford story -- no X-rays were taken at the stadium because the Lions had no access to an X-ray machine. X-rays and MRI Monday.

  3. I am confused here...If a WR catches the ball, gets two feet down and then goes out that is a catch right? Did anyone else see CJ's hand hit the out of bounds in the back of the end zone while he still had complete control of the ball? Isn't that the same damn thing? Either way even from every explanation of the rule I have heard it should be a TD. Bad interpretation on the ref's part.

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