The Detroit Lions are 6-2 heading into the second half of the season. Is this a serious case of Deja vu or what? The Lions sat in this same position last season on top of the division and in control of their own destiny. The 2013 season turned into a Freddy Krueger nightmare as Detroit went 1-7 in their last eight games and missed the playoffs once again.
What is in the “Lions Den” here in 2014? Here is how I see the Lions’ second half playing out. Let’s see how close I get to being right. In the eight games left on Detroit’s schedule I see wins against Miami at home; along with Chicago, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota at home. They lose at New England and at Green Bay like they always do in Green Bay. That puts them at 10-4. The two games which are toss ups and could go either way are two road games at Arizona and at Chicago. Detroit wins one of those two and it’s an 11-5 season. Obviously if they lose both it’s a 10-6 record. The 10-6 will be enough to secure a playoff berth. However, an 11-5 record could secure a couple home playoff games. I know many of us Lions fans have seen this act before thus creating the famous line here in Detroit: Same Ole Lions! This statement is why there is cautious optimism surrounding this football team, me included!
Why do I feel this year has a different flavor and ending? The defense! Detroit’s defense is number one through eight games. When was the last time Detroit’s defense could say that, I ask? When you can play good defense in the NFL it always gives you a chance to win. The two men who have made this defense better in my opinion are Grover Quin and James Ihedibo or “Digs” as his teammates call him. The back end of the secondary has been the difference for the Lions’ defense. The injuries were numerous, but Detroit survived them and went 3-0 without Calvin Johnson. Who would have thought that was possible? Stafford is still erratic at times and that can be quite scary. The tight ends should be back this weekend and maybe Reggie Bush. This team is about to get healthy and that is huge.
One more thought: does anyone miss Ken Whisenhunt? Heck no and I hope he is enjoying coaching the 2-6 Tennessee Titans. I know Jim Caldwell is happy he is in Tennessee! I bet he wonders why he chose the Titans over the Lions’ job? Sure he does; trust me on that one.
Michigan State has the biggest game of its season on Saturday night in East Lansing. The Ohio State Buckeyes are coming to town. It’s a Saturday night prime-time game on ABC at 8 p.m.
The Spartans are going to absolutely destroy the “Yuck Eyes.” The Ohio State offense has not seen any defense close to what the Spartans put on the field. I feel as though that will be the difference. The Bucks’ defense is not very good and MSU should be able to run the ball at will, control the clock and rack up yardage. MSU is a threepoint favorite to win. Ohio State will need more than that. The crystal clear cheeseball says: Hold down the Couches 37 and Crushed Buckeye Nuts 20.
Michigan’s athletic director Dave Brandon resigns. That is step one and step two is getting rid Brady (Bunch of Losses) Hoke.
The Red Wings’ Jimmy Howard has a 1.95 GAA and Gustav Nyquist has a team-leading seven goals. The Red Wings are looking good here early in the season.
The Detroit Pistons have yet to get untracked losing their first three games of the season.
My NFL picks suffered for the first time this season. I will turn that around this week, I promise. Here they are:
CINCINNATI -6 over Cleveland
Jacksonville +6 over DALLAS
DETROIT -3 over Miami
Kansas City -1 over BUFFALO
San Francisco +4.5 over NEW ORL.
Tennessee +9.5 over BALTIMORE
N.Y. JETS +4.5 over Pittsburgh
Atlanta -1 over TAMPA BAY
OAKLAND +11 over Denver
ARIZONA -7 over St. Louis
SEATTLE -9 over N.Y. Giants
Chicago +7 over GREEN BAY
Carolina +6 over PHILA.
LAST WEEK:3-10 SEASON: 65-66-3
BEST BET: SAN FRANCISCO