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12/16/13. Ravens @ Lions. MONDAY NIGHT. 8:45pm, ESPN. Week 15.

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Another national microscope for the Lions as they

take on the SuperBowl champs in a must have game.

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Presents the following thread:

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(7-6) @ (7-6)

Your Detroit Lions

Vs.

The Baltimore Ravens

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NFC Conference

Week 15

Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.

Date: December 16th, 2013

Time: 8:45pm EST

This game is a presentation of:

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Radio Broadcast Provided by:

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Ch 112

Lions and Eagles Slowlights:

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Matthew Stafford's INTs doom Detroit Lions in loss to Tampa Bay Buccaneers

PHILADELPHIA -- Jeremy Ross plowed his way through the snow, even with cleats that felt more appropriate for date night than a touchdown dance.

Ross broke free on long punt and kickoff returns, sprinting to the 50 ... the 40 ... well, it was kind of hard of tell with about 6 inches of snow blanketing Lincoln Financial Field. But he was definitely headed the right way.

There was no doubt about his landing spot - both times in the powdery end zone, with celebratory snow angels for fun. "That was the worst I ever played in," Ross said. "The snow kept clogging the bottom of my cleats. I felt like I had heels on."

Ross didn't need snow boots, just some help from Detroit's offense. LeSean McCoy ran for a franchise-best 217 yards, including touchdowns of 57 and 40 yards, and the Philadelphia Eagles overcame Ross' two TD returns to beat the Lions 34-20 in a blizzard Sunday. Ross returned a punt 58 yards for a score in the third quarter and ran a kickoff 98 yards in the fourth.

Talk about cold snaps. The Lions fumbled seven times, losing three, with most of them coming on jumbled exchanges. Running back Joique Bell, who started for Reggie Bush, had two fumbles in the snow. Matthew Stafford, who was 10 of 25 for 148 yards, muffed five snaps. "It's not the same as a sunny day, that's for sure," Stafford said. "But you've got to make adjustments."

The Eagles sure did, scoring all 34 points in the second half. Playing in the same wintry mix, the Eagles recovered their only fumble.

"We were expecting the possibility of (bad) weather," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "But even waking up this morning, coming here today, nobody was predicting 6 inches of snow, or whatever we had." Detroit star Calvin Johnson passed Herman Moore for most yards receiving in franchise history on a 33-yard catch to the Eagles 13 late in the first quarter. Johnson came up with a face full of snow on the play. But Bell fumbled a few plays later at the Eagles 10 and Patrick Chung recovered.

The Lions stumbled in the snow from pregame warmups. They lost Bush for the day when he fell on the slippery field during warmups and re-injured his calf. Bush leads the Lions with 854 yards rushing. Snow began falling two hours before kickoff and intensified after the game started. Workers used shovels and hand-held blowers to clear off yard lines. Conditions were so poor neither team tried a field goal, and there were 2-point conversion attempts after seven of the eight TDs.

Philly fans that stuck this one out appeared to be having fun - some even lightly tossed snowballs at Ross after his second TD. But with temperatures in the 20s, there were some huge gaps in the second level and upper deck. The Eagles, looking to go worst-to-first in the NFC East, won their fifth straight game and took over sole possession of first place. Dallas can make it a tie for the top spot with a victory at Chicago on Monday night.

The Lions (7-6) have a half-game lead over the Bears in the NFC North. "It was tough handling the ball early on," Stafford said. "We had a couple of turnovers, but we have to be able to overcome those. You don't want to have them, but in a story like that, early on in the game you might have some, and we have to do a better job of holding on to it."

The Eagles finished with 299 yards rushing against a defense that didn't allow a TD on the ground in the previous eight games and came in allowing the third-fewest yards rushing per game (82.7).

"It was a big game and we didn't take advantage of the moment," linebacker DeAndre Levy said. The Lions collapsed in the fourth.

McCoy ran 57 yards up the middle for a tying TD, and Nick Foles connected with Riley Cooper on the 2-point conversion. Foles sneaked in from the 1 and Chris Polk had a 38-yard touchdown run to cap a 28-point fourth quarter for the Eagles (8-5). McCoy ran for 148 yards in the fourth quarter, and broke Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren's mark of 205 yards rushing against Pittsburgh on Nov. 27, 1949. "He was dominant," McCoy said. "It means a lot."

Notes:

Johnson had three catches for 49 yards. ... Neither QB was sacked. No kicking points were scored in an NFL game for the first time since 1956.

NFC North Standings:

Chicago (8-6) .571

Detroit (7-6) .538

Green Bay (7-6-1) .536

Minnesota (4-9-1) .321

Lions Injury News:

Calvin Johnson WR Knee Limited Participation in Practice Probable

LaAdrian Waddle T Elbow Full Participation in Practice Probable

Israel Idonije DE Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable

Reggie Bush RB Calf Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Darius Slay CB Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Doubtful

Chris Houston CB Toe Did Not Participate In Practice Doubtful

Ezekiel Ansah DE Shoulder Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

John Wendling S Illness Full Participation in Practice Probable

Louis Delmas S Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Probable

Ravens Injury News:

Elvis Dumervil LB Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Brynden Trawick S Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Lardarius Webb CB Abdomen Limited Participation in Practice Probable

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Flacco hasn't been great this season but I could see him lighting us up with so much of our already poor secondary hurt.

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If Chicago or Green Bay had lost, I feel like there would be more optimism about a lions win.

Are people really all that upset that 9-7 might not be good enough?

This a home game on Monday night against a mediocre team and the lions are favored by something like six points.

This one is a win.

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If Chicago or Green Bay had lost, I feel like there would be more optimism about a lions win.

Are people really all that upset that 9-7 might not be good enough?

This a home game on Monday night against a mediocre team and the lions are favored by something like six points.

This one is a win.

It's like you just became a Lions fan. You're charlie brown wanting to kick the football right now.

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It's like you just became a Lions fan. You're charlie brown wanting to kick the football right now.

To be fair, it is Lions fashion to win this game (our hardest remaining game) and then losing the next two to just barely miss the playoffs.

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To be fair, it is Lions fashion to win this game (our hardest remaining game) and then losing the next two to just barely miss the playoffs.

True. However the Lions have shown the propensity to embarrass themselves on national TV. That is why I am so pessimistic.

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They have squandered winnable games all year.

The Bears beat them and we owned the Bears this year, but that really means nothing. They are a pretty good team. We are a pretty good team. Can we freaking hold onto the ball? If we do, we win, period.

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Hypothetically the playoffs start tonight for this team.

The only way I see the Lions losing tonight is if they get out coached. Which is a big possibility. Harbaugh is real good at coaching football. He has taken his team to the playoffs every season since 2008. The year he was hired.

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The only way I see the Lions losing tonight is if they get out coached. Which is a big possibility. Harbaugh is real good at coaching football. He has taken his team to the playoffs every season since 2008. The year he was hired.

The Lions should have the talent to even overcome questionable coaching, but the Lions always find a way. I expect a fantastically coached game with a handful of "dumb" thrown in from the players causing a loss.

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True. However the Lions have shown the propensity to embarrass themselves on national TV. That is why I am so pessimistic.

I still remember how embarrassed they were on thanksgiving.

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I still remember how embarrassed they were on thanksgiving.

Like I said, I try not to fall for the Charlie Brown routine. There is always a setup.

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It's like you just became a Lions fan. You're charlie brown wanting to kick the football right now.

I understand that it's cute to point to the Lions' history and declare same old lions after every loss.

But if this is truly how one is supposed to approach every lions game, I question why anybody who feels that way would even bother watching.

From my perspective, I don't really care how terrible they were 10, 5, or 2 years ago. It is a different team.

I don't believe in the ford curse or any of that nonsense.

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But if this is truly how one is supposed to approach every lions game, I question why anybody who feels that way would even bother watching.

I am not really sure the point of this line of questioning. Each person obviously has their own views and choose to watch for different reasons. But I think a central theme to being a Lions fan is a large dose of pessimism. Most optimism is guarded, if any exists at all.

I love the Lions, they disappoint even more than the Maple Leafs, but I don't feel my pessimism is without justification. You can say it's a new year, new players all you want, but I just look at how things actually happened. And what happened is the Lions were 6-3 and division control and have gone 1-3 with 15 turnovers and now find themselves in 2nd place with 3 games to go.

I think it would be naive to be optimistic.

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.....

From my perspective, I don't really care how terrible they were 10, 5, or 2 years ago. It is a different team.

I don't believe in the ford curse or any of that nonsense.

It's a better team, but it's playing from the same script. It's not that Ford is cursed - he's just been incompetent as a football executive himself and at hiring football executives to run his team in his stead. Mayhew is the first GM since who knows when who has drafted some guys who could play the game but he has hooked himself to a coach who doesn't seem to care if the lions get better at the things they are worst at. You don't have to invoke mysterious forces to understand the Lion's problems.

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I understand that it's cute to point to the Lions' history and declare same old lions after every loss.

But if this is truly how one is supposed to approach every lions game, I question why anybody who feels that way would even bother watching.

From my perspective, I don't really care how terrible they were 10, 5, or 2 years ago. It is a different team.

I don't believe in the ford curse or any of that nonsense.

I don't believe in the "ford curse or any of that nonsense" either, but I do believe in poor ownership that led to poor managing. I think ownership plays a huge role in how successful a team...

Did you think Al Davis's Raiders were going to win another Super Bowl after he become borderline senile? Or the Cowboys with their carousel of coaches and philosophy changes under Jerry Jones? I don't think it should surprise anyone that it wasn't until after Robert Kraft took over ownership of the Patriots in 1994 they started winning and subsequently built a dynasty, when they hadn't made the playoffs in the seven years prior to that. Competent owners hire competent GM's who hire a competent coaching staff, etc. etc.

It starts at the top and our owners could care less about winning, they made that apparent when they didn't even interview a single candidate before hiring Matt Millen's right hand man. It isn't a curse, its just poor management.

Edited by EchO

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It's a better team, but it's playing from the same script. It's not that Ford is cursed - he's just been incompetent as a football executive himself and at hiring football executives to run his team in his stead. Mayhew is the first GM since who knows when who has drafted some guys who could play the game but he has hooked himself to a coach who doesn't seem to care if the lions get better at the things they are worst at. You don't have to invoke mysterious forces to understand the Lion's problems.

His drafting history is extremely suspect. I would classify him as below average, hopefully Brian Xanders continues to have input as I think our most recent draft has by far been our best under Mayhew.

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I am honestly trying to think what could have happened this year where I would not have been saying SOL after the 6-3 start.

I really think it comes down to that Tampa game. We win that game and I am not thinking SOL even after the loss last week.

I was at the Bengals game and that blew...losing on the last play like that, but Cinci has proven to be a pretty good team....the Philly game? Whatever. We fell apart bigtime. Pitt is also a decent team.

Tampa is 4-10 FFS. THAT was the SOL game right there that keeps me thinking SOL until the next game. That game being tonight. We win...I will breath easy. We lose and in my mind it is the SOL no matter the outcome. Even if we win the division somehow...because it would take the Bears screwing the pooch to help get us there when we had the division by the throat pretty much all year. I will be irate if we lose tonight.

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I am not really sure the point of this line of questioning. Each person obviously has their own views and choose to watch for different reasons. But I think a central theme to being a Lions fan is a large dose of pessimism. Most optimism is guarded, if any exists at all.

I love the Lions, they disappoint even more than the Maple Leafs, but I don't feel my pessimism is without justification. You can say it's a new year, new players all you want, but I just look at how things actually happened. And what happened is the Lions were 6-3 and division control and have gone 1-3 with 15 turnovers and now find themselves in 2nd place with 3 games to go.

I think it would be naive to be optimistic.

I'm not sure how it is naive to be optimistic when the line is 6.5 or 7 points in the lions favor.

Unless you believe in magic or curses or whatever.

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I understand that it's cute to point to the Lions' history and declare same old lions after every loss.

But if this is truly how one is supposed to approach every lions game, I question why anybody who feels that way would even bother watching.

From my perspective, I don't really care how terrible they were 10, 5, or 2 years ago. It is a different team.

I don't believe in the ford curse or any of that nonsense.

I agree with most of what you're saying here Shelton, BUT... this is where the hangup for me, and I think many other fans lies:

It is a different team.

Yes, this is a different team, but it's starting to exhibit too many of the "same old Lions" problems. Let's take a snap shot after week 10:

Lions: Relatively healthy, just swept the Bears. They have a 6-3 record, leading the division, with a pretty soft schedule ahead of them.

Bears: Some key injuries, just lost Cutler again. Lost to the Lions again. 5-4 record.

Packers: Lost Rogers for an unknown period of time. 5-4 record.

Since then, despite both the Bears and Packers not having a starting QB and the Lions facing some weak opposition at times, the Lions have gone: 1-3. The Bears have gone 3-2 and the Packers have gone 2-2-1. The Lions had everything setup for them... they were two games ahead of the Bears, one game ahead of the Packers. They had a relatively easy schedule. But they screwed the pooch.

They lost to the Steelers, a 6-8 team. Yeah, it's hard to win on the road, but they could have won this game... should have won it.

They lost to the 4-10 Bucs... at home!

Win those two games and the division is all but sewn up. Heck, win one of them and you'd still sitting pretty. Instead we're in a "must win" situation tonight to keep up with the Bears and Packers. That's why so many of us are feeling the "same old Lions" bit. Yeah, this is a different team, but the SOL was never about a specific year of the team. Rather it's about the Lions always seeming to find a way, no matter what players they have, not matter what coach or man sitting int he GM chair... they always seems to find a way to screw it up.

I hope I'm wrong... I really honestly do. I'll be thrill if two weeks from today I'm eating crow and saying I shouldn't have doubted the Lions. But right now, I can't feel optimistic. Maybe I'm doing the "sour grapes" thing, but I'd rather expect the worst and be surprised than to hope for the best and be disappointed... again.

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I am also frustrated that they went 1-3 over the last four games. I'll save my comparisons relative to the bears and packers until after this game. A win and they have gone 2-3 over five games and still lead the division, taking advantage of the two game lead they built.

They haven't screwed the pooch yet.

That being said, it wasn't really a two game lead. It was a 1.5 game lead, effectively. There is really no such thing as a round number lead when the NFL uses tiebreakers.

I don't have a problem using "same old lions" to describe what has happened. I have a problem using it to describe what is to come.

What has happened this season is starting to resemble the 2000 season. But this is also par for the course across the NFL. There are only a handful of teams every year that you can rubber stamp into the playoffs. Everyone else has to show up and win the games on the schedule.

The bears were 6-6 if I remember correctly. If they end up winning out to go 10-6, good for them. I don't care about their QB being hurt. Obviously they have a good backup. They also blew an OT game against the terrible Vikings. Same old bears I guess. I forget how they did in the playoffs last year.

The packers also only managed a tie against the Vikings, and then got embarrassed on national tv against the lions. If they win out to finish 9-6-1, good for them.

The lions, if they win tonight in a game in which they are clear favorites, will have the same chance to win out and claim the division. And whichever of the pack or bears that wins out will end up with nothing.

So let's stop claiming that the lions screwed the pooch. It hasn't happens yet.

6-3 doesn't mean ****.

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So let's stop claiming that the lions screwed the pooch. It hasn't happens yet.

6-3 doesn't mean ****.

They had the opportunity to put the division away with a weak couple of teams. They didn't, they screwed the pooch there. That's all I'm trying to say, not that they screwed any shot at the division. As of right now, they still control their destiny. Win out, they win the division. But imagine with they won both those games:

Lions would be at 9 and 4. Just one win in the last three means they take the division over the Bears and Packers even if they both win out the rest of their games. Instead we're in "near must win" for each game of the rest of the season. They had a shot at putting away the division, they didn't.

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This will be three straight weeks I can watch the game!

Baltimore radio doesn't know what to make of this game, pretty split down the middle. Detroit has the front 7, but no secondary to stop the passing game. Baltimore can't run, but Flacco has weapons, especially with TE Pitta being back now. Baltimore's D isn't close to what it was, so the Lions should be able to move on them, although if Bush is out it will be hard. Like usual this is most likely going to come down to Turnovers.

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They had the opportunity to put the division away with a weak couple of teams. They didn't, they screwed the pooch there. That's all I'm trying to say, not that they screwed any shot at the division. As of right now, they still control their destiny. Win out, they win the division. But imagine with they won both those games:

Lions would be at 9 and 4. Just one win in the last three means they take the division over the Bears and Packers even if they both win out the rest of their games. Instead we're in "near must win" for each game of the rest of the season. They had a shot at putting away the division, they didn't.

The 'yet' part of that post was pretty ...funny? Ironical? I guess it depends on what happens. I am expecting this:

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As usual, but I am hoping for this:

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