The NFL lockout is over and fans all over the state of Michigan are excited to start the 2011 NFL season. The Detroit Lions are getting the diehards excited about the new season with the new draft picks and the signing of some veteran football player to keep them going in the right direction under 3rd year Head Coach Jim Schwartz. Coming off the 2010 season which seen them win the final four games of the year gives the long suffering fans something to look forward to.
The 2011 campaign opened at Ford Field with the first exhibition game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday night. The Lions jumped all over the Bengals in the first four minutes of the game taking the opening kickoff and marching down the field for a 67 yard drive and scored on a Matt Stafford to Calvin Johnson touchdown pass. On the ensuing kickoff the Bengals fumbled the ball and the Lions recovered and then drove the ball into the endzone for a quick 14-0 lead. The game was basically over at that point. The starters for the Lions only played a couple of series and then the backups came into the game to show the coaching staff why they should make the 53 man roster.
The Lions drove the ball down the field early in the second quarter with backup quarterback Shaun Hill cart wheeling in for a touchdown to give the Lions a 21-0 lead. The Bengals only managed a field goal in the first half and then watched the Lions hurriedly move the ball down the field into field goal range. With 22 seconds left in first half a short completion got the ball to the seven yard line and the field goal team raced out to kick a field goal with no time left in the 1st half for a 24-3 lead.
The second half saw both teams using their entire rosters to get a look at all the players in camp. the Detroit Lions defense should be vastly improved this season. While picking up 1st round draft choice Nick Farley to shore up the defense line they also acquired linebackers Stephen Tulloch and Justin Durant to make them a solid unit. Calvin Johnson only player a couple of series to get some reps in and then watched the rest of the game from the sidelines. I see the Detroit Lions improving on their 6 - 10 record in 2010 possibly winning 9 games this season and qualifying for the NFL playoffs.
The Lions scored another touchdown and field goal from MSU alum Dave Rayner to give the Lions a 34-3 lead. The defense kept the pressure up all night to allow only a field goal from the Bengals. Things are going to be exciting down at Ford Field this fall and early winter.
16th November, 2023