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 Killer's Korner 
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
PFT wrote:
Week Four Monday 10-pack
Posted by Mike Florio on October 3, 2011, 2:19 AM EDT
Mark Sanchez, Haloti Ngata AP

We’ve reached the quarter pole of the NFL season. I don’t really know what a quarter pole is, and I’m not sure of the specific sport in which a quarter pole is used. I think it’s horse racing. It could be car racing.

Or maybe it’s fishing.

Either way, that’s where we are right now. Every team has completed 25 percent of its schedule, and now the fantasy-football frustrations of the bye weeks begin. Here are 10 takes from the largest slate of Sunday games that will be played until the last Sunday of the regular season, on January 1.

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1. Big deficit? Big deal.

In the old (i.e., last year and before) NFL, a 20-point lead almost always translated to a victory. In the new (i.e., this year) NFL, when a team falls behind by 20 points, the reaction of the players on the losing team apparently is to rub their hands together and say, “We’ve got them right where we want them.”

Last week, two teams clawed their way out of 20-point deficits: the Lions at the Vikings and the Bills versus the Patriots. This week, two more teams came back from 20 or more behind: the Lions at the Cowboys and the 49ers at the Eagles.

It’s not as if the Vikings, Patriots, Cowboys, and Eagles are each constructed like the Oilers of the early ’90s. (OK, the all-pass, no-defense, weak-running-game Pats are close to being the Oilers of the early ’90s.) But in this throw-happy NFL, it seems as if teams have lost the formula for holding a 20-point margin when fewer than 30 minutes remain to be played.

For the teams that have pulled off what was once unthinkable, the jury remains out on the long-term value of that extra shot of confidence. The Bills followed their feat by laying an egg in Cincinnati. The Lions clawed out of a 20-point hole one week only to see the 20 and raise it by four the next.

Regardless, what we’ve seen this season is great for the game. What once was enough to get fans to change the channel no longer can be regarded as a done deal.

In other words, it truly ain’t over until it actually is over.


2. Roughing the passer should be subject to replay review.

During overtime of the first round of the 2009 playoffs, referee Scott Green was so focused on the question of whether Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers‘ arm was moving forward on a fumble that resulted in the game-winning touchdown for the Cardinals that Green didn’t notice a blatant pull of the face mask of Rodgers’ helmet.

During the second quarter of Sunday night’s game between the Jets and Ravens, referee Mike Carey was so focused on the question of whether Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez’s arm was moving forward on a fumble that resulted in a touchdown that put the Ravens up by 20 that Carey didn’t notice a blatant placement of defensive tackle Haloti Ngata’s helmet into Sanchez’s back.

It shouldn’t have happened that way. The flag should have been thrown, and the touchdown should have been wiped off the board. Ngata engaged in a clear violation of the rule against hitting defenseless players with a helmet, even though he didn’t hit Sanchez in the helmet. (Last year, Steelers linebacker James Harrison was fined $20,000 for a similar — but less forceful — hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees.)

So when the play was being reviewed, why didn’t Carey throw a flag then? It didn’t happen because whether or not roughing the passer occurred isn’t something that is subject to the replay rules.

That needs to change. Apart from what should be a stubborn desire to “get it right,” the NFL should have an even keener interest in ensuring that the safety rules are enforced. Since the question of whether a defensive player hit the quarterback in the helmet or with a helmet isn’t a matter of judgment or discretion, this important aspect of the league’s efforts to protect defenseless players should be added to the litany of passing-game particulars that can be reviewed via replay.

3. It’s time to bid farewell to McNabb.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier isn’t ready to bench quarterback Donovan McNabb. Frazier may be resisting because Frazier knows that, if/when McNabb is benched, he’ll also have to be cut.

McNabb won’t want to play second fiddle to a rookie on a rag-tag team. If Donovan is going to be a backup, he’d rather be a backup on a team that has a chance of playing in January. Or maybe he simply won’t be able to accept the fact that he’s no longer good enough to be anything more than a backup.

Either way, having McNabb around won’t help the development of Christian Ponder.

And even though plenty of blame can be placed on plenty of people in purple other than McNabb, the reality is that McNabb has led the team to zero wins in four tries — and in each game McNabb has presided over a blown lead.

Though the lead blown on Sunday was never very sizable, he still failed to hold it. Then, when there was a chance to win the game late, he threw four straight incomplete passes in Kansas City territory.

With the Vikings possibly on track to pick quarterback Andrew Luck, the Vikings need to figure out whether they need him. And the only way to do that is to figure out whether they want Ponder.

4. Luck sweepstakes feature a team that doesn’t need a quarterback.

If the 0-3 Colts end up with the first pick in the draft, they may or may not take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. The presence of the first pick in the 1998 draft, Peyton Manning, will be a major factor in the decision-making process.

If the 0-4 Rams — who are now destined to go 0-7 with upcoming games against the Packers, Cowboys, and Saints — finish in the top spot, they surely wouldn’t take Luck only two years after landing Sam Bradford.

Or would they? Widely regarded as the best quarterback prospect since Manning (if not even better), a complete meltdown in St. Louis could cause owner Stan Kroenke to re-evaluate every job in the organization. If Kroenke decides to hire a new head coach and/or G.M., all bets would be off on Bradford, the last of the draft-day lottery jackpot winners.

Of course, Luck has some say on this one. With another year of eligibility remaining at the college level, he could decide to renew his disability insurance policy and wait one more year before jumping to the next level, if he’s not happy with the prospect of playing for the team that holds the first overall pick in the draft once the 2011 season ends.

5. League’s concussion procedures continue to cause skepticism.

Time and again, we see a player who apparently has suffered a concussion, but whose injury receives a different label altogether. Whether it’s neck or head or jaw, teams know that mere utterance of the “c” word knocks a guy out for the entire game.

On Sunday, the Steelers said that linebacker James Harrison suffered an eye injury. Harrison insists that he didn’t suffer a concussion, claiming that the forehead pad in his helmet hit him in the eye after he made a tackle.

The only problem with this is that the injury appeared to happen on a helmet-to-helmet hit from Texans left tackle Duane Brown, and the video doesn’t show any padding sliding into Harrison’s eye. And he didn’t make the tackle on the play.

Though it could be a matter of semantics, a football player’s desire to play football — coupled with a team’s reluctance to apply a tentative diagnosis that could shut him down automatically — surely influences the handling of borderline cases. Mild concussions can’t be diagnosed with an X-ray or any other medical instrument. It’s a judgment call, and it would be naive to assume that decades of the exercise of medical judgment in a manner that allows football players to play football would go completely out the window, especially in close cases.

As a result, truly independent neurologists should be making the assessment of players who may have concussions, and all doubt should be resolved in favor of keeping the player out, unless and until there is clear evidence that no concussion has been suffered.

Of course, that procedure should apply only during a game. At some point, a lucid player who is suffering some post-concussion symptoms should be permitted to assume the risk of incurring another concussion. But in the heat of the battle, any player who possibly has had a concussion should be yanked from the game and prevented from returning without proof that he’s indeed concussion-free.

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6. Cris Carter was right, after all.

When ESPN’s Cris Carter inadvertently omitted Lions receiver Calvin Johnson from an off-the-cuff list of the top five receivers in the NFL and then opted to dig in his heels instead of admitting his error, Carter was right. Sort of.

Johnson isn’t one of the top five receivers in the NFL. He’s in the top one. He’s the best, without question.

In his first three seasons, Johnson’s talents had been obscured by the fact that he was the lone bright among Matt Millen’s cruel joke of a football roster. But there was no denying his potential, even though the Raiders haven’t received nearly the level of criticism they deserve for passing on the guy who already is better than Fred Biletnikoff, Cliff Branch, Tim Brown, and every other standout Raiders wideout combined.

Johnson now has four straight two-touchdown games, tying Carter’s record and putting Johnson on pace for 32 in 2011. And yet he still sees periodic single coverage.

Then again, it may not matter. Single, double, triple. It doesn’t matter. He’s Randy Moss with more meat on his bones and a better attitude. (Can you imagine how Moss would have pouted and moped and metastasized his way through a 0-16 season?)

Johnson is, simply put, the new standard for NFL receivers. We all want to witness something historic. Right now, in Detroit, we are.


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7. Giving thanks for Thanksgiving.

For years, the early game on Thanksgiving has featured the Lions playing at home. For years, the game has been inconsequential.

This year, it could be the biggest game of the season.

The 4-0 Packers and the 4-0 Lions won’t meet until the fourth Thursday in November. There’s a chance (slim, but a chance) that they’ll both be 10-0. Even if they aren’t, there’s a good chance that they’ll both have a lot more wins that losses — and that their pair of holiday games (Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day) will be the difference between the No. 1 seed in the NFC and a wild-card road trip to San Francisco.

Speaking of San Francisco, the Harbaugh family reunion set for Thanksgiving night should be a pretty good game, too. If only the Dolphins weren’t playing at Dallas, it would be the best tripleheader the NFL has ever seen.


8. So much for the Romo re-set button.

After Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo led his team back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit against the 49ers in Week Two, I said that I wanted to see him do that against an eilte team before I’d declare his late-game demons exorcised.

He got his chance against the Lions. And what happened was so much worse than failing to deliver in the clutch.

There would have been no need for clutch play at all if Romo hadn’t collapsed under the weight of a 24-point lead. Even then, he had a chance to save the day, and he didn’t get it done.

Romo surely will have more good days and bad days over the course of the season, but it’s impossible to shake the sense that they’ll win just enough times so that he can deliver defeat when the chips are down in the postseason.

9. Bengals end a long streak of Buffalo futility.

The last time the Bengals beat the Bills before Sunday, the man who wears No. 14 in Cincinnati was only 14 months old. Between January 8, 1989 and October 2, 2011, the Bills had beaten the Bengals 10 straight times.

It was the longest streak of futility by one team against another team.

Of course, it only became the longest streak last Sunday. After the Bills beat the Patriots.

What could be more fitting in this crazy, upside-down season than the Bills beating the Pats for the first time in 16 tries than the Bills then losing to an inferior team that had previously lost 10 straight to Buffalo?

10. Victor Cruz call was the right one.

Sunday’s most controversial call came in Arizona, site of one of the biggest wins in Giants’ history. Receiver Victor Cruz fell down, got up, and left the ball behind.

Cardinals defenders, who foolishly failed to touch Cruz while he was down given that he could have gotten up and kept running, recovered the ball.

Though many disagree with the decision (some, like Tony Dungy of Football Night in America, strongly), the rules support the decision that was made. A play ends when a runner “declares himself down by falling to the ground, or kneeling, and making no effort to advance.”

That’s what Cruz did. He fell to the ground, and he made no effort to advance. Play over.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... 10-pack-2/

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October 3rd, 2011, 9:58 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Siefert wrote:
Free Head Exam: Detroit Lions
October, 3, 2011
By Kevin Seifert

After the Detroit Lions' 34-30 victory Sunday at the Dallas Cowboys, here are three issues that merit further examination:
1. Last week, we introduced you to ESPN’s win probability tool, which uses 10 years of NFL play-by-play data to estimate the likelihood that a team will win at a given point in the game. The data revealed that the Lions, at their lowest point against the Minnesota Vikings, had a two percent chance of winning. If possible, their predicament against the Cowboys was worse. According to statistical analyst Alok Pattani, the Lions’ chances of winning when they fell behind 27-3 in the third quarter was one percent. That means in comparable situations over the past 10 years, NFL teams have lost at a rate of 99 times out of 100. Those figures add some statistical context to what we already know: The Lions have won consecutive games in extraordinarily rare fashion.

2. Here’s an example of the Lions’ progress. At about this time last year, I wrote about coach Jim Schwartz’s unfounded confidence in his defense. He punted the ball away in a two-point game against the Green Bay Packers, hoping his defense would stop the Packers offense and give his team another chance to score in a two-point game. The Packers ran out the final 6 minutes, 32 seconds. Sunday, Schwartz’s confidence in his defense was rewarded. He had Jason Hanson kick a 51-yard field goal with 4 minutes, 22 seconds left, a score that still left the Lions trailing by three points. This time, the defense got the ball back in one play on linebacker Stephen Tulloch's interception. Said Schwartz: "Part of that was having confidence that Jason would make it. And part of that was knowing we had three timeouts in our pockets and we could use them to get the ball back for our offense." But it’s a moot point if the defense can't stop the Cowboys’ offense.

3. When the NFL regular season schedule was revealed, we noted how difficult the Lions’ opening stanza would be. From that post: "The Lions would be for real if they enter their Monday night game against the Bears with a winning record." The games were all winnable on paper, but the Lions appeared particularly proud Sunday that their 4-0 start came courtesy of three victories on the road. "It was a tough first four games," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "You look at three of four on the road. The one at home was against a playoff team last year [the Kansas City Chiefs] with tons of talent. Every game in the NFL is tough, but being 4-0, you can’t get any better than that."

And here is one issue I still don’t get:

You’ll hear a lot this week about receiver Calvin Johnson's first touchdown. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan had drawn up the play in anticipation of favorable coverage. The Lions didn’t get it, as Johnson was double-teamed, but Johnson still gave Stafford the signal to throw him the ball. The catch was incredible, but more egregious to me was the Cowboys' decision to leave Johnson in single coverage against Terence Newman later in the game on the winning play. "To tell you the truth," Stafford said, "I was really surprised. I’m throwing it to him every time, four downs in a row, I don’t care, if they give me that coverage." I would, too. Kudos to Johnson for beating unfavorable matchups as well as capitalizing on single coverage. And phooey to the Cowboys for an inexplicable coverage decision.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_ ... t-lions-19

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October 3rd, 2011, 10:40 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
MLive wrote:
Detroit Lions players, coaches agree team has yet to play best game

ALLEN PARK -- There's a simple explanation to why the Detroit Lions fell behind by at least 20 points in two consecutive games, only to come back and win in the end.

But it's not something fans may have considered: they meant to do it.

"We're just trying to challenge ourselves just to see if we can do it," Brandon Pettigrew explained after Detroit rallied from a 24-point deficit to beat Dallas on Sunday. "No, I'm playing. That's not what's happening at all."

All joking aside, while the Lions tight end is happy with the results of both games - Detroit also used a second-half rally to top Minnesota - putting themselves in the position to begin with is not something he wants to get in the habit of doing.

"We're not starting out fast," Pettigrew said. "That's really hurting us. Playing from behind like that is putting more pressure on us. There's definitely room for improvement."

Lions coach Jim Schwartz wouldn't get into specifics regarding where he felt the team needed to improve, but there's no doubt he agrees with his tight end. Detroit obviously makes some adjustments to what the other team is doing once the game starts, but he doesn't think that explains the circumstances of the last two weeks.

"It was a little bit to adjusting at the beginning of the game, but that's not the whole thing," Schwartz said at his weekly press conference. "The game's played for 60 minutes and you have to be able to play all 60 of them. We've had some where we've started well and didn't finish well and we've had others where we've not started well and finished well.

"We still have yet to play a complete game. We have yet to play our best from start to finish. We've still got a lot of work to do. We have the talent to do it, but we've still got a lot of work to do."

To a man, Detroit's players agree the team's slow starts are making life more difficult than it needs to be. And more difficult than it should be, considering their talent.

"It's not something we want to do because we have the talent and ability to run people out of the gym," said cornerback Eric Wright. "So we have to find a way to eliminate mistakes, play more consistent, and not always come from behind because we don't have to. We really don't have to. We have yet to play our best game, and we're just waiting on that. But we can definitely build off this (win over Dallas)."

Wright loves the never-say-die attitude he and his teammates have displayed, though.

"We're gutting a lot of games out, just winning on the character of these guys," he said. "Nobody wants to lose. We don't have quitters; we have a team full of guys that are positive and optimistic. It showed in the past two games, but it's obviously not the way you want to win, but you have to find a way to win sometimes, and we did twice on the road."

Defensive tackle Corey Williams can't put his finger on what's causing the up-and-down play on the field, yet he would concur it's something that can't go on if Detroit plans on maintaining its place alongside Green Bay as the only undefeated teams in the NFL.

"I don't know," Williams said. "It's just something we've got to fix, though. Against Minnesota, we come out slow and they had to fight back.

"Like coach tells us, we haven't played our best football yet. We haven't played a full four quarters yet. There's no telling what we could do once we put together four quarters. We've just got to start out faster because you can't always expect to come back in the end. Especially in a 16-game season."

"Playing a full game" may be a sincere explanation as to what the Lions need to do to avoid another roller coaster ride in the next game, but it's not clear what that means, specifically.

For Schwartz, who has done his best to maintain consistency in every aspect of how he deals with the team just wants to see it play out on the field.

"Just play your best for four quarters," Schwartz said. "First of all, you're never going to have every single play go right for you. This is the NFL. There's going to be plays in there every other team is going to make, and the other team is going to earn and there's mistakes that you're going to make.

"We just need to play more consistently for four quarters. Nobody ever plays a perfect game and that's foolishness to think so, but we can chase that."

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October 4th, 2011, 11:19 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Siefert wrote:
MNF in Detroit: The Lions' yin and yang
October, 4, 2011
By Kevin Seifert
Image
Tim Heitman/US PresswireJim Schwartz, known for his intense sideline demeanor, has one of his calmer game-day moments.

If a football team takes on the personality of its head coach and quarterback, then the Detroit Lions are the NFL's most bipolar franchise.

On one end, the Lions are coached by an emerging sideline madman. Already this season, coach Jim Schwartz has been caught cursing at officials, taunting opposing players and creating a postgame fist-pump that has risen to cult status in Detroit.

On the other end, quarterback Matthew Stafford's unflappable steadiness has lent serenity to the huddle even as the Lions faced 20-plus point deficits the past two weeks. If his biography didn't confirm that he grew up in Dallas, I would swear Stafford spent his formative days surfing somewhere in northern California.

"We take on Matt's personality out there on the field," receiver Calvin Johnson said. "I always say that Matt is cool, calm and collected in the huddle, no matter what the situation is."

Monday night, the nation will see for itself when the Lions host the Chicago Bears at Ford Field.

To be sure, Stafford has displayed the enthusiasm of a 23-year-old during the exciting moments of the Lions’ 4-0 start. More importantly, however, he hasn't hung his head in moments of despair. After throwing an interception to end the Lions' first possession Sunday at Cowboys Stadium, Stafford simply walked off the field, slapped his hands together and checked in with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan to explain.

Asked about the pass after the game, Stafford shrugged and said: "It was the right read. Just threw a bad ball."

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Matthew Stafford
Timothy T. Ludwig/US Presswire


Matthew Stafford's cool and measured demeanor provides a nice countermeasure to Schwartz's more fiery approach.
Asked how he handled a 27-3 deficit in the third quarter, Stafford said: "I think everyone was thinking, we've got to make some plays. That’s the way it is."

I'm sure some people would prefer a more fiery attitude from a team's on-field leader, but I tend to think that Stafford's perspective is a critical element for this team. An excitable young quarterback is far more likely to force throws and make mistakes than one who mostly avoids the emotional roller coaster of a typical game.

That's especially true, of course, when the head coach is going berserk on the sidelines. We first discussed Schwartz’s sideline demeanor after his first season with the Lions, noting he was once the epitome of sideline concentration during his tenure as the Tennessee Titans’ defensive coordinator.

Like many new head coaches who hand off play-calling duties to assistants, Schwartz filled his game-day void by berating officials and falling prey to the disappointments of his rebuilding team. At the time, Schwartz insisted that his sideline icons were Tony Dungy and Tom Landry and said: "When we get this team the way we need to be, you'll see a lot different me. Because if you look at me for all my years in Tennessee, I wasn't that guy with veins popping out of my head. But you can only do that when you have good players and you have confidence in them and they know you really well."

So much for that.

At the end of the Lions' Week 3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, FOX microphones caught him telling referee Ron Winter’s to "learn the [expletive] rules!"

And in the third quarter last week, Schwartz took exception to Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant's trash-talking to Lions players during a break in the action while officials reviewed his 34-yard catch. Schwartz had immediately challenged it, and when referee John Parry reversed it, Schwartz took of his headset and pointed at Bryant.

His lips were easy to read.

"Hey, hey," Schwartz screamed. "How about that? Incomplete, you mother [expletive]!"

Asked about the episode Monday, Schwartz smiled and said: "I don't think Dez Bryant had a catch after about midway through the first quarter."

Actually, he caught one more -- a 6-yard touchdown in the second quarter. But the point was taken. Bryant didn’t sustain his hot start, or justify his trash-talking, thereafter.

To be clear, Schwartz’s sideline demeanor has never pushed him over the edge or left him unable to do his job. The Lions’ 4-0 start has been characterized by aggressive but sound game management.

And away from the field, Schwartz has a pretty monotone conversational style. His news conferences suggest he has a future in filibustering if he ever decides to step down from coaching. In reality, he is a young coach whose first head-coaching offer came from what was, at the time, the worst franchise in the league. Like everyone else in the Lions organization, he has taken a special measure of pride in their resurrection this season.

But that's how it has worked so far for the 2011 Lions. The coach gets 'em fired up while the quarterback keeps 'em level-headed. So far, it's been a perfect combination.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_ ... g-and-yang

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October 5th, 2011, 9:34 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Ty wrote:


By Ty Schalter(Featured Columnist) on October 5, 2011

During a 24-game stretch from 2001-2003, Detroit Lions couldn't win a road game. It was the longest such streak in NFL history. In 2010, they broke their own record, losing 26 straight away games. But with a streak-ending win in Tampa Bay last season, the Lions transformed into road warriors.

That win started the Lions five-game road winning streak, longest in the franchise's nearly eight-decade history. Counting preseason, the Lions are 5-0 on the road in 2011, outscoring opponents 133-117.

They've managed two consecutive road comebacks of 20 points or more, the first time in NFL history. The Lions have ended a decade of road woes with impressive away victories this season.

But the Lions have been invincible at home.

The Lions have played dominating, lights-out football at Ford Field in 2011. Including preseason, the Lions have decimated their opponents 116-16. They've taken the ball away 10 times, and only surrendered it twice. The sellout crowds have been rowdy; surely more so for next week's Monday Night Football game.

Sitting at 4-0 after three road games, the Lions have the second-best scoring offense, the eighth-best scoring defense and the second-best scoring differential in the NFL. Now, the Lions start a three-game home stand against the Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons (20th, 10th and 23rd in scoring differential respectively).

If the Lions step it up at home as much as they have been, they should have no trouble dispatching the Bears and Falcons. The 49ers defense will be a tough test—but they haven't faced an offense nearly as powerful as the Lions'. The Lions defense is just as good, anyway; they're allowing 19.0 points per game compared to the 49ers' 18.8.

After that stand, the Lions have just four more home contests. Three of those four games are against the Carolina Panthers, the Minnesota Vikings and the San Diego Chargers; collectively they are 4-8.

The Lions should be favorites, if not heavy favorites, in six of their seven remaining home contests. With the way they've been protecting their house, they should live up to that billing.

The only terrifying foe standing in between the Lions and a perfect home campaign are the reigning World Champions: the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers are still in Super Bowl form; they are the only team besides the Lions yet to lose a game. At 37.0 points per game, their high-flying offense is the only unit putting up more points than the Lions. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is making his case for NFL MVP, too: he's thrown 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

The Lions won't play scared. Last season, the Lions beat Rodgers and the Packers in Detroit, 10-3—despite starting their third-string quarterback, Drew Stanton. Combined with the Lions' 28-26 loss in Lambeau Field, the Lions actually outscored the Packers while splitting their two-game series . . . all while Matthew Stafford didn't play a down.

The Packers are at least as good as they were last season, but the Lions are markedly better. Jim Schwartz has said he wants the Lions to put "barbed wire" around the Thanksgiving Day game, to make sure the pride and tradition of Detroit's annual showcase is upheld.

The NFC North title—and even home field advantage in the playoffs—could be on the line. If the Lions are going to bring it for any game, it will be Thanksgiving.

If the Lions play as well on that day as they've played at home so far, the Lions will go undefeated at Ford Field this year.

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October 5th, 2011, 11:46 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
All this hype is really scaring the Hell out of me.....

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October 5th, 2011, 2:21 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
m2karateman wrote:
All this hype is really scaring the Hell out of me.....

Me too :shock:

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October 5th, 2011, 2:46 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
I carried this over from the SI thread, and it seems appropriate for here.

Reading Growlers post has led me to a question:

Can a head coach seal the locker room?


If I were Schwartz, and I had a young team that is in the process of doing something spectacular, I would do absolutely everything to insulate my guys. Seal the locker room, restrict media coverage, and begin talking with the team about why I as the HC had done just that.

I understand that these are mature men, but if winning is the goal, there is a time to celebrate, and that's in Feb. I honestly believe that this team needs to be on lock down in regards to the media. I'm sure ESPN, and other media types would claim censorship, and the people have a right to know, but it's not documented in the Constitution so no they don't necessarily have a RIGHT to know.

Am I being to harsh? We've seen a good thing come (finally) to the city of Detroit in our Sports Rennaisance (Lions and Tigers) and I think everything should be done to keep the team grounded, hungry, and insulated from the hype. Thoughts?

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October 5th, 2011, 3:38 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
m2karateman wrote:
All this hype is really scaring the Hell out of me.....


I just don't think its completely deserved yet. 4-0 is great, but I'd like to see some more solid, if not dominating wins before I'll believe undefeated at home or 10-0, or even playoff bound. If they played in the NFC west they'd be halfway to a division title, but the north is another story.

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October 5th, 2011, 10:45 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
The difference with this Lions team is that their success is based on talent, which has been accumulated through smart drafts, trades and free agent acquisitions. They have intelligent, experienced coaches. In other words, this isn't a fluke: we're seeing the results of a lot of hard work. While we'll eventually lose some games, I don't see the overall tone or direction of the team changing any time soon.

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October 6th, 2011, 7:06 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
PFT wrote:
Lions defense expects to get Durant, Fairley back in mix
Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on October 7, 2011, 8:43 AM EDT
Nick Fairley, Ndamukong Suh AP

Calvin Johnson and the offense get a lot of attention, but the biggest difference for Detroit this year is on defense.

The Lions are second in the league in turnovers and have played against the pass very well despite a relatively slow start to the year from Ndamukong Suh. That defense could look even better Monday night with the return of two key players.

Starting linebacker Justin Durant, who has been a good run defender for the team, was back at practice Thursday. He’s passed all his post-concussion tests and looks ready to go. Bobby Carpenter started for him last week.

Rookie first round pick Nick Fairley will make his NFL debut, according to Michael C. Wright of the ESPNChicago.com. The Lions won’t confirm Fairley’s status and it’s unlikely he’ll play a huge role in his first game. Fairley missed the entire preseason with a foot injury.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... ck-in-mix/

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October 7th, 2011, 9:09 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
NFL.com wrote:
Talent takes backseat to desire in Lions' return to respectability
By Albert Breer NFL Network
NFL Network Reporter
Published: Oct. 6, 2011 at 04:45 p.m.
Updated: Oct. 6, 2011 at 11:16 p.m.

Consecutive comebacks from 20-point deficits on the road don't happen without a team having a pretty strong will. In fact, until last week, consecutive comebacks from 20-point deficits didn't happen in the NFL, period.

Now, they do, and in Detroit of all places.

Nobody could forecast the kind of dramatics the 4-0 Lions staged against the Vikings in Week 3 and Cowboys in Week 4. But that they clawed and fought to the end, even in a seemingly impossible situation, has been the plan all along.

"You learn more about them in these situations, sure," Lions president Tom Lewand said. "But there's a reason we drafted and signed the guys we did. They're tremendously talented and high-character fighters. Whether it's drafting Calvin Johnson or [Ndamukong] Suh or Matthew Stafford, or signing guys like Nate Burleson and Kyle Vanden Bosch, we were trying to build a really strong group of guys that fight. Even guys who step in, like Bobby Carpenter, are like that.

"Everyone has a role, and they experienced that last year. Some guys weren't starting at the beginning of the year, or weren't playing at all, and had key roles in December. It showed them that all 53 can have a role to win on Sunday. You make it count on Friday afternoon, and you'll make it count Sunday in the second quarter. Sure, they're talented. But they also have a lot of fight."

The word "fight" kept coming up with Lewand. When describing his team. When describing individual players. When explaining the city.

That city, once a capital of American industry and now fallen on hard times, will get one of those games that's more likely to turn into an "event." The Lions' ancient rival from Chicago comes to town for Detroit's first Monday night game in 10 years. Based on how bad the Lions have been since the new stadium opened in 2002, it's easily the biggest Lions game in Ford Field history.

It was just three seasons ago that the Lions became the first 0-16 finisher in NFL history. Matt Millen was blown out as GM that September, and Martin Mayhew assumed the role, with his promotion to the position full-time and Lewand's promotion to team president coming shortly after that disastrous season ended. At that point, it was pretty easy to question why holdovers were in order.

"Was the losing difficult? Absolutely. No one sets out with the idea of losing," said Lewand. "It's hard to lose. It's hard to go through a season like we did. But at the same time, you learn every day, and adversity can be a fantastic teacher. So many of us learned a lot about ourselves, about each other, about what works and what doesn't. It was easier to focus on those things through adversity.

"But we said this at our first press conference -- 'Don't judge what we say. Judge what we do.' We were just trying to put a bunch of good days under our belt. That's the way to do it. You focus on working."

Owner William Clay Ford emphasized to Lewand and Mayhew that they find someone with a common philosophy to be the head coach. So Lewand and Mayhew established criteria and, after interviewing a dozen candidates and having sessions with Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in both Nashville and Detroit, it became clear. "Jim hit the bull's eye on most of, if not all, the criteria," Lewand said.

But there was another piece to Ford's approach that was key. Where he was too patient in the past with Millen and even Wayne Fontes, his willingness to allow the process the new regime was putting in place to grow was vital.

Remember, even after the 0-fer year was behind them, problems followed. Schwartz was 4-24 as head coach when the Lions hosted the Packers last Dec. 7.

"He told us to put together a plan, stick with it, and be disciplined with it," said Lewand. "A hallmark of Mr. Ford's approach is consistency, and it's subject him to criticism. But it was truly important here in our ability to be successful."

The result has been a team that's not just good now, but figures to be good for the foreseeable future. Stafford is 23, Suh is 24 and Johnson is 26. Other key pieces, like safety Louis Delmas (24), DeAndre Levy (24) and Brandon Pettigrew (26), are also young.

And they're not done growing.

"We were fortunate to win (the past two weeks)," said Lewand. "And we gotta get to the point where it's not cause for a ticker-tape parade when you win a regular-season game. We gotta win the close ones, and do it on the road, which we did. But we also have to learn from those mistakes, and find a way to put together four quarters of consistent football."

Three years ago, all that would've constituted Grade-A nitpicking.

For the record, Lewand is from Detroit and has had a chance to enjoy how the city has embraced the team. But what's most important, he said, is continuing to adhere to the promise he made at a handful of town hall meetings in the area, that the Lions would "work hard and do it the right way."

"Do I feel like we've got good players? Absolutely. But I'm not getting in the prediction business on where we're going next. That's not what this has been about," Lewand said. "We've got a good group here, and it's really the same group we had in 2009. Knowing I go to work with those folks every day, and know how we're all dedicating to building a winning program is tremendously satisfying.

"But we haven't accomplished anything yet."

If the past two weeks are an indication of the fortitude of this group, though, it won't be long before they do.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8 ... ent_stream

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October 8th, 2011, 7:46 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Seems like an appropriate place for my first post, given the nature of my request. I want a pic of Killer as my avi. Can't upload it from MLive, because it says that it's not JPEG, but "png." Anyone help me? Thanks!

Oh, & GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LIONS!!!!!!! SCREW THE BEARS!!!!!! 5 AND 0, BABY!!!!!

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"I'll see you when the Lions are 7-1." Killer Kowalski, 29 August 2011.


October 11th, 2011, 12:49 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Welcome to the board. If you link me to the picture I can convert it from a .png to a .jpeg at the right size for an avatar.


October 11th, 2011, 1:10 am
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Water Boy
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
DJ-B wrote:
Welcome to the board. If you link me to the picture I can convert it from a .png to a .jpeg at the right size for an avatar.


Let's see if this works:


http://media.mlive.com//avatars/10/28.png

That's directly from MLive, obviously, so it should be good. Many thanks!

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"I'll see you when the Lions are 7-1." Killer Kowalski, 29 August 2011.


October 11th, 2011, 2:25 am
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