Cincy recovers after slow start to win 23-13 against a struggling Lions team.
Detroit hasn't played since Thanksgiving, and with injuries to Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford the extra few days off came at exactly the right time.
Given the Lions fast start it began to look like Stafford and Co had figured things out during their extra time off and were going to make a run. How wrong I was.
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson owned the First Quarter, connecting on a 54 yard touchdown pass. Cincy wasn't able to do anything to open the game. They couldn't get to Stafford, couldnt move the ball, the Bengals had only 46 yards during the first Quarter.
Boom! Lions up 7-0!
Then the Second Quarter began and everything changed. Rookie DE Michael Johnson batted a Stafford pass into the air and DE Jonathan Fanene caught the deflection cleanly and ran it back 45 yards for a score. On Cincy's next possession Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco connect on a 36 yard score.
Boom!! Bengals up 14-7, and they never look back!!!
On a side note, I have to give the Bengals defense some credit here. They are dominant, they are really really good, in every aspect of the game. Against the pass, against the run, they are extremely physical, after playing the Bengals you're just beat up. Coach Marvin Lewis has made no secret of his desire to model his teams after the Pittsburgh Steelers, and finally this season, I think he is successful in that mission. This team looks like a good Steelers team.
Chad Ochocinco had his best game of the year catching 9 passes for 137 yards and a score. Despite that, this game belonged to Cedric Benson, who returned after missing 2 games with a hip injury.
Cedric Benson carried the ball 36 times for 110 yards, and closed this one out in the second half with his hard running through the heart of the Detroit defense.
“I love carrying the ball that much,” Benson said. “It usually just means we’re putting a team away, and I love putting teams away. You know, you’ve got to put the hay in the barn. That’s what my old high school coach used to call it. And anytime we’re carrying the ball that much, I think we’re putting the hay away.”
And put away the hay they did.
Calvin Johnson also had a good game for the Lions, with 6 receptions and 123 yards and 1 touchdown, erasing any doubts about his knee.
Unfortunately for the Lions however, Matthew Stafford appeared to reinjure his non throwing shoulder and missed the last few minutes of the game. Daunte Culpepper filled in for the rest of the game, but didn't make much of an impact.
It may be time to consider protecting their investment and shutting Stafford down for the rest of the season. He's had some good experience on the season, showed some improvement as the weeks have gone on, at this point I think you can only do more harm than good by trotting the young gun out there every week.
Let the kid recuperate and get healthy. Detroit isn't doing anything this season, march Daunte Culpepper out there for the rest of the year and call it a Season. I know fans don't like to look at it that way, but, Detroit has alot invested in Stafford, they need to protect that investment.
About the Author
Written by Danny Shapiro
Danny Shapiro is 26 years old, married and a father to 2 boys, who he hopes one day to play MLB and support him and his wife in their old age. Danny's second love, mistress even, is sports and Danny is living his dream of being a sports writer right now, thanks to Prosportsblogging.com.