Tag Archive | "Detroit Lions"

Lions players and fans, embrace Patricia


The Detroit Lions performance on national stage Monday Night Football was an off-the-rails implosion but it appeared to have a hidden message in it as well.

That message?

The players looked apathetic and uninterested in performing for their new head coach Matt Patricia. It felt like they were throwing their rookie head coach and his sharpened pencil under the bus. Were they? Well, several days prior to the kickoff there was a buzz around the league and locker rooms that the Lions’ players don’t like playing for the new coach and they were having a hard time adjusting to his style.

Why?

Is it because these veterans have been accustomed to easier practices for a super laid back guy, Jim Caldwell, who would rarely, if ever, get into their faces on a sideline or rip them a new one at practice like Patricia does? It seemed like a walk in the park playing for laid back Jim compared to say, a Bill Belichick type of a guy, or say, a Scotty Bowman authoritative type, but more on that later.

The Lions have grown accustomed to 9-7 seasons or appearing in one playoff game, even if it’s a loss, as being defined as a successful season. Because, you know, it’s hard to make the playoffs in the NFL. That is true but the good news for Lions fans is Lions GM Bob Quinn and Patricia would never be satisfied with that. That’s why Lions management brought them in.

Hey I get it! Everyone is up in arms after Monday night’s dumpster fire against a team that was 1-7 on the road last year. A team who started the youngest quarterback in modern era Week One ever.

Fans want accountability and who is the easiest target?

The head coach. So everyone, grab your pitchforks, storm down Woodward Avenue and chant “Fire Patricia now!” And start a hashtag on social media promoting to fire him too!

Wait a minute, people. Lets take a breath and think this thing through.

Patricia was the bearded pirate looking guy on the sideline and not the guys throwing the ball right into the numbers of the Jets defenders for five interceptions or the one shanking two field goals, or missing tackles, so yeah, thinking this through feels like a good thing.

Bottom line is, Matt Patricia is the guy this team needs right now.

Before you go on social media to tell everyone how big of an idiot I am for writing that, think about this familiar Detroit sports analogy and why the Lions need to buy into Patricia and his system.

Scotty Bowman came to Detroit with too many Stanley Cup rings to fit on one hand and loads of valuable experience, knowing what it takes to build a winner. But Bowman had a hardcore, authoritative coaching style, a style the Detroit players were not accustomed to and didn’t like. The type of style the Lions may need to snap them out of their funk and play at the next level.

Scotty began holding Red Wings players accountable, regardless who they were on the pecking order, and requiring them to buy into his new system. Many of the veterans didn’t buy into it and showed dissonance, playing below expectations. Bowman was his no-nonsense self and placed mega star forward Sergei Fedorov on defense until he learned to be a two-way player. He also traded several of the Red Wings star players. Dino Ciccarelli, Keith Primeau and Paul Coffey were all dealt in trades that shocked the NHL.

That same year, the Red Wings won their first championship in about a half of a century, breaking the longest drought in the NHL. Those were gutsy moves by Bowman. And not well received by the fans or the players when they happened but it shook the team up and brought a championship.

As experienced and deserving as Bowman was to gain immediate respect and total cooperation from the Red Wings players the moment he arrived, he didn’t receive that so imagine what Patricia is going through right now.

These are pro athletes. NFL. NHL. NBA. Whatever league they’re in, many have been pampered throughout their careers and many times need a swift kick in the ass to get motivated. Bowman did it and it worked.

So can Quinn and Patricia and I sense it may be coming. Don’t forget. These two came from the organization that trade Pro Bowl talent if they feel it’s best for the “team” – Google Randy Moss and Richard Seymour.

If the Lions want to get over the hump of mediocrity, they need to buy into Patricia‘s system. Makes no sense for them not to when a similar system brought a slew of championships to New England. Yes, the Patriots have Tom Brady but the Lions also have an able quarterback in place for the long haul with a new contract.

Patricia and Quinn are in Detroit for one reason, and one reason only. To bring the Lombardy Trophy to Detroit and put an end to decades of epic failure.

Bowman brought three championships to Detroit to end that historic NHL drought. Patricia and Quinn deserve a fair chance to break the Bobby Layne curse as well.

But it needs to start with the veteran Lions players showing maturity and being all in and making it known that they are. Making it known to the media and fans and owner Mrs. Ford. Quinn and Patricia deserve that respect from the players. And the fans deserve it. It worked for the Red Wings. It can work for the Lions.

In the meantime, Patricia is gonna need a bigger eraser after Monday night.

Follow Tom Ferda on Twitter @TomFerda

Posted in Features, NFL, Recent BuzzComments (0)

NFL preseason injuries piling up


With the preseason kickoff literally days away, many NFL teams have been bitten by the injury bug during this year’s camp.  When the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals start things off on Sunday night, the ‘Boys will be doing it without an integral part of their future. 

The Cowboys were the first NFL team to begin training camp and they were also the first to suffer a significant injury when rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant went down with a high ankle sprain on July 30th. Bryant, an Oklahoma State product, was drafted twenty-fourth overall and has drawn comparisons to Terrell Owens who was signed by the Bengals as a free agent.

Bryant who drew criticism for not carrying veteran Roy Williams’ pads in the ongoing NFL rookie ritual, was awarded jersey No. 88 the day after he signed with the Cowboys.  That number carries a lot of responsibility in Dallas as it was the jersey worn by legend Drew Pearson and eventual Hall of Famer Michael Irvin. Bryant is expected to remain on the sidelines for about six weeks, taking him out of preseason play and jeopardizing his ability to see action in the first game of the regular season. 

The Denver Broncos have been hit especially hard throughout camp including the injury of running back Knowshon Moreno.  Moreno was injured early and is expected to miss the rest of training camp and preseason play.

Joining Moreno is Elvis Dumervil who has been sidelined with an injured chest muscle.  Dumervil was the leader last season in sacks and was awarded for his efforts last month with a five year contract valued at just over $58 million dollars.  The contract is a record for his position as it offers just over $43 million in guarantees. 

Sources indicate that Dumervil may be out for five months, meaning it is likely he will miss the entire season.  Add to this dilemma the fact that Darrell Reid remains injured and has not yet participated in training camp and the Broncos are without a proven pass rusher as they enter preseason play.

There’s bad news for the Green Bay Packers too. Safety and four-year veteran Atari Bigby will need arthroscopic ankle surgery and will have the procedure on Friday.  Bigby is confident that he will not miss a significant amount of playing time but Packers Coach Mike McCarthy would not comment about a possible time table for a return. 

Staying in the NFC North, Detroit was riding high just days ago after the signing of second overall pick Ndamukong Suh.  With news that safety Louis Delmas has a lingering groin injury the celebration has become a bit more conservative as the severity of the injury remains a question mark to the Lions.

Delmas is a big piece of the puzzle for a Lions team that hopes to improve dramatically on the defensive side of the ball. Though Delmas admits that surgery has been discussed he is adamant that it is not the option he expects saying this on his Twitter account:

@LouisD_26 I am not having a season ending surgery dont believe everything you hear… click here to read more . . .

The Washington Redskins remain hopeful that Albert Haynesworth will be at full strength soon but he has not participated in training camp due to his inability to pass the required conditioning test.  The test was required for Haynesworth after he sat out on the mandatory mini-camp in June due to personal objections with new coach Mike Shanahan’s direction of the defense.

Haynesworth first failed the test on July 29th and 30th before sitting out the next two days and attempting it again on Monday before quitting due to knee stiffness.  Haynesworth has not attempted the test since Monday and an MRI was conducted that revealed no structural damage in his knee. 

Adding insult to injury is the fact that analyst Mike Golic passed the test with relative ease earlier this week on ESPN.  Golic is an NFL veteran who has been retired for sixteen years and currently works for ESPN. 

The Minnesota Vikings are on standby as they await the retirement decision of quarterback Brett Favre and the veteran says that decision is centered around his ankle injury.  Favre was rumored to have sent text messages to certain teammates and Vikings officials on Tuesday but was later found working out with the local high school team in Mississippi. 

However, on the same day as the rumors of retirement began, Vikings kicker and friend Ryan Longwell spoke to Favre and indicated retirement had never come up during discussion.  We have since learned that Favre will meet with Dr. James Andrews next week to discuss the success of his ankle surgery. 

While the actions of legendary quarterback Brett Favre would most likely be difficult for even the most skilled of gamblers to bet on, it seems clear from the statements of other Vikings players that Favre would be welcomed back to the locker room regardless of when the decision is made.

Used with permission of the author.

Cade Caldwell is an Atlanta-based sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, NFL, Recent BuzzComments (0)

NFL camp news, Favre says he’ll retire


Across our nation, teams and media outlets are buzzing with what has turned out to be eventful NFL training camps thus far. The most recent news coming out of the camps was Brett Favre allegedly telling Chilly and Zygi he is retiring and not to expect him in camp but more on that later.    

The preseason will officially begin for the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night and follows shortly thereafter for the remaining 30 NFL teams.  Many are left wondering if the issues and problems in camps can be conquered prior to game time.

The main news out of the Cowboys camp surrounds first round pick Dez Bryant. The rookie signed quick, was the first to show on the field the first day of training, then refused to carry veteran Roy William’s pads. The following week, Jon Kitna threw a pass behind the wide receiver and after getting hit on the play, Bryant is expected out with an injury that occurred on the play. Is the Lions’ curse hitting the ‘Boys in Dallas?

For the Detroit Lions after revamping the roster with several trades and FA signings, the primary obstacle remains signing Ndamukong Suh.  As the second overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Suh is likely to request quite a payday.  Last season, the Lions were faced with a similar obstacle as they worked out a record contract with University of Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford but that was signed the evening before drafting the No. 1 overall pick. 

Presumably, Suh or his agents were waiting on Sam Bradford to sign with the St. Louis Rams in order to gauge and asking price.  With Bradford recently signing for $78 million – $50 million of which is guaranteed – it seems likely that the Lions will have to show Suh the money.  Much of the speculation has been that Suh will ask for more than Bradford.  Suh’s agents claim this is not the case but continue to pursue what they believe to be market value for what many still consider the best player to come out of the draft.

The training camp season has been one of injury struggles thus far for the Philadelphia Eagles.  As of Monday, six starters were on the shelf during training camp with the most notable being DeSean Jackson.  Jackson went down on Saturday with a lower back injury and was carted off the field.  As of Tuesday morning, Coach Andy Reid has commented that Jackson is steadily improving. 

For the Washington Redskins, the primary issue has been Albert Haynesworth.  Haynesworth has been unable to complete the team conditioning test satisfactorily.  After initially failing the test twice, Haynesworth sit out due to knee soreness on Saturday and Sunday.  Haynesworth began the test on Monday but was unable to continue due to the knee issue.

The team conditioning test mandates that certain running drills are completed within an allowed amount of time.  While Haynesworth has been unable to successfully complete the drills, 47-year-old Mike Golic 16 years retired out of the NFL completed the drill on the ESPN network Monday. 

The Redskins – Haynesworth drama began in early June when Haynesworth failed to show up for a mandatory mini-camp due to his objections of the new defensive scheme. He later pocketed a $21 million bonus and demanded a trade.

Though the New York Jets believe they are Super Bowl contenders with or without Darrelle Revis many would argue that Revis will significantly increase those chances.  Revis has yet to show up for the Jets training camp and though various reports exist on the reasons for the holdout many agree that the main issue is total compensation. 

With 54 tackles and 6 interceptions last year with perhaps the largest coming during the Wild Card game that lifted the team over the Bengals, Revis is said to want either a short term deal with a large signing bonus or a long-term deal believed to be in the range of $30 million.

The running back position is now the area of concern for the Denver Broncos as starter Knowshon Moreno was recently carted off the field with what wound up being diagnosed as a “slight tear” in his right hamstring.  The Broncos remain convinced that Moreno will be back in 2 – 3 weeks but that seems like a best case scenario.  The team remains hopeful that Moreno will not miss any carries as the talent behind Moreno on the depth chart is unproven.

In Chicago, the Bears are learning a new offensive system and are getting newly acquired pass rusher Julius Peppers accustomed to the defensive system.  At this point in time, hope is high but the Bears will need to execute in all areas in a division as competitive as the NFC North.  After a dismal 2009 season, Bears fans are hopeful that the Martz offensive system will work to Cutler’s strengths. 

In Minnesota, the Vikings have learned that Brett Favre will retire for a third time.  However, many inside the NFL and owner Zygi Wilf are convinced Favre will return before all is said and done.  Regardless, the Vikings will need to look at the possibility of moving forward with Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels and Joe Webb as signal callers.  Behind Favre, the quarterback position in Minnesota is still unproven and training camp play has given no firm indication of who might be the projected starter should Favre stay true to his word.

Expectations are higher than ever for the Houston Texans.  Coming off of their first winning season in franchise history, the Texans are looking to make their first playoff appearance in the history of the team.  Many around the NFL point to the possibility that they may do it in impressive fashion – clinching the AFC South ahead of the Indianapolis Colts.  If quarterback Matt Schaub can continue to pass as he did last year only bright things should be expected for this team as the young talent continues to gain experience.

Competition in Arizona has led to many on-field fights as the team begins to adjust to life without Kurt Warner.  The expectation in Arizona is that Matt Leinart will be the signal caller for the start of the season.  When the Cardinals drafted Leinart the expectations were that he would someday carry the weight of the organization on his shoulders.  In the NFL, he has had mixed results with moments of despair and flashes of brilliance.  In any event, the success of the team likely hinges on how the team adjusts without Kurt Warner.

When the preseason begins this Sunday night, teams will have four weeks to adjust their roster to the best possible.  If the past few seasons have shown us anything expect new faces in the playoffs and a high level of competition across the league.

MORE NFL: Is Roger Goodell Losing his Big Stick? – Sports Climax

Jockey Hires Tebow, Boxers or Briefs? – Sports Climax

Used with permission of the author.

Cade Caldwell is an Atlanta-based sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, NFLComments (0)

NFL quarterbacks shattering records


Throughout the history of the National Football League the quarterback position has been one of great importance and in the minds of many NFL fans and the media the quarterback is usually the one to blame when things go awry.

While the game has traditionally focused on an even balanced attack consisting of passing, running and strong defense, recent statistics suggest this trend has shifted.

The passing game has exploded. 

During the 2009 season a total of ten quarterbacks passed for over 4,000 yards.  Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans compiled the most at 4,770 yards and nearly propelled his team into the NFL playoffs for the first time had it not been for several missed kicking opportunities earlier in the season. 

Also included in that elite list was Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings.  Though Favre had struggled with his decision on retirement earlier in the year, he led the Vikings to within one game of a Super Bowl appearance – a large part of which hinged on his arm. 

Among the other starters that exceeded 4,000 yards in 2009 are both Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts.  Not surprisingly, the Saints and Colts collided in the Super Bowl with Brees’ performance earning him the Super Bowl MVP. 

Interestingly enough, the leading rusher for the Super Bowl Champion Saints last season was running back Pierre Thomas with a total of only 793 yards.  A year earlier the Pittsburgh Steelers became Super Bowl Champ with another leading rusher with less than 1,000 yards in Willie Parker with only 791. 

The trend of recent NFL drafts supports this change in style of offense on the field.  In the 2009 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions drafted Matthew Stafford No. 1 overall with their first pick of the draft.  Placing the bank on the arm of their new quarterback, the Lions signed Stafford to $78 million, $41.7 million of that guaranteed, an NFL record. 

Later in the same draft, the New York Jets moved up with a trade and selected Mark Sanchez No. 5 overall.  Sanchez later signed a deal worth $50 million.  As the largest contract the Jets had offered in the history of the organization, the deal included $28 million in guarantees.  Sanchez became only the fourth rookie quarterback in NFL history to win his first playoff game. 

In the 2010 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams passed up the opportunity to take college defensive star Ndamukong Suh in favor of selecting Sam Bradford.  Although Bradford has yet to agree to a deal it is expected that the Rams will offer a deal that will likely surpass the record received by Stafford a year earlier.

Although teams are more likely than ever to place a premium on a young quarterback during the draft, it doesn’t always work as expected.  In 2007, the Oakland Raiders selected JaMarcus Russell with the No. 1 overall pick of the draft after Russell had displayed a substantial amount of talent throughout his days at LSU and was highly coveted following the NFL Combine. 

After a long holdout, Russell and the Raiders agreed to a contract worth $61 million with $32 million guaranteed.  As a starter for the Raiders, Russell would finish a dismal 7-18 before being released in May 2010.     

What does this mean in terms of the growing popularity of the sport?  The NFL leads the way among all professional sports organizations in television ratings and will receive a combined total of $20.4 billion from FOX, CBS, NBC and ESPN.  The current terms of the deal are until 2011 for FOX, CBS and NBC with ESPN maintaining rights through 2013.  Between the four, the contract of ESPN is the most valuable at $8.8 billion.  For the first time ever, the 2010 Draft was aired in prime-time and reported a 30 percent hike in ratings.

In 2003, the league launched the NFL Network.  Many argue that the network is among the most successful of the networks devoted to the four major professional sports.  In 2010, the network began airing Canadian Football League games and will air the Grey Cup.  Some criticize that the league is airing CFL games in order to stir further interest in a full-time team in Canada. 

Despite whatever motive may exist, the league has shown an interest in international exposure evidenced by playing a regular season game annually in both Toronto and London.  Closer to home, the league often makes its presence felt in San Antonio. 

While the success of all four sports leagues is apparent, only the NFL could move forward in operations without a marketing department.  When such a successful product explodes on the field boosting television ratings to levels previously not imagined the surge in viewers and in the cash flow destined to come from networks can only be expected to inflate further. 

 As long as the pigskin is being tossed for a record number of yards the NFL can continue to expect the popularity to follow.  And in this economy, it is nice to have advertisers that are looking for you!

 Used with permission of the author.

Cade Caldwell is an Atlanta-based sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, NFL, Recent BuzzComments (0)

Lions President Tom Lewand busted for DUI


Detroit Lions President Tom Lewand became the latest Jocks Behind Bars member when he was arrested for DUI in Roscommon County, Michigan.

When the blue lights went on with no Kmart in sight, it was obvious it wasn’t for the latest “blue-light special” and it all went downhill from there for Lewand.

After pulling over to the curb and being questioned by the cops, Lewand, who police say had eyes that were “glossy and bloodshot” repeatedly denied he had consumed any alcohol but later at the police station, he blew about double the legal limit.

 The Reader’s Digest version goes like this. After leaving a nearby watering hole, Lewand drove really shitty, swerving over the lines and after getting pulled over he failed the field sobriety tests; according to the arresting officers.

If we were taking a poll, I might vote that Lewand somehow passed the tests until he was asked to balance on one foot. I can barely do that sober, but what the hell do I know; I sit here typing about this shit while those cops are paid to reach their quota, I mean figure all this legal stuff out.

After reciting the ABC’s up to the letter ‘S’ and counting forward and back, touching his nose, picking his ass and all that other stuff cops love to ask us to do hours after dark, he refused to take a breath test at the scene. That led to having the cuffs thrown on and a long, lonely trip to the slammer where Lewand is said to have blown a blood-alcohol level of .21 and .20, more than 2 1/2 times the legal limit. The legal limit in Michigan is .08. If only his Lions offense could register a score with a 21 in it!

When you listen to the tape, you can hear one of the cops ask Lewand how much he had to drink.

Lewand answered:

“Not a thing. No. No. I haven’t had a thing to drink in about a year and a half.”

Well that musta been some strong Mississippi grain alcohol to last that long since Lewand blew that .21 18 months after his last drink, according to him.

 Later Lewand added, “I’m happy to take whatever you want me to do, but review for me why I did not pass what you suggested I do.” After that remark a deputy offered Lewand two choices, blow in the tube or get busted and soon after, the cuffs went on.

Copies of the actual arrest documents can be viewed here.

Bob Hallauer, the owner of the Limberlost bar where Lewand had left minutes prior to being pulled over, told the Detroit Free Press that Lewand “was the victim of overzealous cops trying to raise money by issuing tickets on M-55”.

“Come on vacation, leave on probation — that’s what people say about Houghton Lake,” Hallauer said.

“The police wait for people to pull out of your parking lot and pounce on them.”

Roscommon County Sheriff Randall Stevenson defended his cops saying, “My officers do not sit on bars.”

Lewand has apologized saying he takes “full responsibility for [my actions]” and that he was “a person in active recovery.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to come down on Lewand saying the NFL policies apply to players, coaches, execs and everyone in the organizations.

The Tom Lewand mugshot has not surfaced on the net but when it does, you will find it here.

More Jocks Behind Bars here

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Jocks Behind Bars, NFL, The Mosh PitComments (0)

NFL Draft, Millen makes an ass of himself, again


As he has many times in the past, Matt Millen again made an ass of himself on NFL Draft day. No he didn’t select another wide receiver in matt millen funny signthe top of the first round. This time he drew attention after calling a Polish co-analyst a ‘Polack’ live on-air.

The jab at Ron Jaworski was all in fun, we can be sure of that, but the lack of common sense Millen continues to show on draft day is another story.

Millen, the former CEO, or whatever fancy title he and the Lions office gave him at the time, was jawing it up with Jaworski on the air and somehow got into a conversation about fried bologna sandwiches.

Millen then blurted out:

“Ask any Polack from Buffalo how they like them, right Jaws.”

Jaworski who was known as the “Polish Rifle” during his playing days with the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t seem to take offense but the question here is, were these analysts getting as far away from NFL Draft talk as possible to divert the audience’s attention away from Millen’s past draft history?

We can’t blame them if they were. You can almost feel the football fans in Detroit cringing every time Millen talks football especially on draft day and after his latest gaffe, he may have further isolated himself from the great Polish community of Hamtramck, Michigan.

A lot of people outside of Detroit say Matt Millen is a decent NFL commentator even after the train wreck that occurred with him as the engineer but when it comes to the NFL draft, come on networks, let that settle in for a second and think about who you are putting in front of the public to present an “expert” opinion.  

Bottom line is, seeing Millen with a mic in hand working as a draft analyst was more awkward than the asinine comment he made. It’s as absurd as Tiger Woods giving a course on fidelity.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™

Posted in NFLComments (7)

NFL 2010 Schedule


Week 1
Thu. Sep. 09
Vikings at Saints, 8:30 PMnfl logo

Sun. Sep. 12
Dolphins at Bills, 1:00 PM
Colts at Texans, 1:00 PM
Lions at Bears, 1:00 PM
Falcons at Steelers, 1:00 PM
Browns at Buccaneers, 1:00 PM
Bengals at Patriots, 1:00 PM
Broncos at Jaguars, 1:00 PM
Raiders at Titans, 1:00 PM
Panthers at Giants, 1:00 PM
49ers at Seahawks, 4:15 PM
Cardinals at Rams, 4:15 PM
Packers at Eagles, 4:15 PM
Cowboys at Redskins, 8:20 PM

Mon. Sep. 13
Ravens at Jets, 7:00 PM
Chargers at Chiefs, 10:15 PM

Week 2
Sun. Sep. 19
Ravens at Bengals, 1:00 PM
Buccaneers at Panthers, 1:00 PM
Bills at Packers, 1:00 PM
Dolphins at Vikings, 1:00 PM
Bears at Cowboys, 1:00 PM
Eagles at Lions, 1:00 PM
Cardinals at Falcons, 1:00 PM
Chiefs at Browns, 1:00 PM
Steelers at Titans, 1:00 PM
Seahawks at Broncos, 4:05 PM
Rams at Raiders, 4:05 PM
Patriots at Jets, 4:15 PM
Texans at Redskins, 4:15 PM
Jaguars at Chargers, 4:15 PM
Giants at Colts, 8:20 PM

Mon. Sep. 20
Saints at 49ers, 8:30 PM

Week 3
Sun. Sep. 26
Bills at Patriots, 1:00 PM
Falcons at Saints, 1:00 PM
Lions at Vikings, 1:00 PM
Browns at Ravens, 1:00 PM
Cowboys at Texans, 1:00 PM
49ers at Chiefs, 1:00 PM
Titans at Giants, 1:00 PM
Steelers at Buccaneers, 1:00 PM
Bengals at Panthers, 1:00 PM
Eagles at Jaguars, 4:05 PM
Redskins at Rams, 4:05 PM
Raiders at Cardinals, 4:15 PM
Chargers at Seahawks, 4:15 PM
Colts at Broncos, 4:15 PM
Jets at Dolphins, 8:20 PM

Mon. Sep. 27
Packers at Bears, 8:30 PM

Week 4cheesehead
Sun. Oct. 03
Jets at Bills, 1:00 PM
Seahawks at Rams, 1:00 PM
Panthers at Saints, 1:00 PM
Lions at Packers, 1:00 PM
Bengals at Browns, 1:00 PM
Ravens at Steelers, 1:00 PM
Broncos at Titans, 1:00 PM
49ers at Falcons, 1:00 PM
Colts at Jaguars, 4:05 PM
Texans at Raiders, 4:05 PM
Redskins at Eagles, 4:15 PM
Cardinals at Chargers, 4:15 PM
Bears at Giants, 8:20 PM

Mon. Oct. 04
Patriots at Dolphins, 8:30 PM
Byes: DAL, KC, MIN, TB

Week 5
Sun. Oct. 10
Buccaneers at Bengals, 1:00 PM
Falcons at Browns, 1:00 PM
Giants at Texans, 1:00 PM
Chiefs at Colts, 1:00 PM
Packers at Redskins, 1:00 PM
Jaguars at Bills, 1:00 PM
Broncos at Ravens, 1:00 PM
Bears at Panthers, 1:00 PM
Rams at Lions, 1:00 PM
Saints at Cardinals, 4:05 PM
Chargers at Raiders, 4:15 PM
Titans at Cowboys, 4:15 PM
Eagles at 49ers, 8:20 PM

Mon. Oct. 11
Vikings at Jets, 8:30 PM
Byes: MIA, NE, PIT, SEA

Week 6
Sun. Oct. 17
Browns at Steelers, 1:00 PM
Saints at Buccaneers, 1:00 PM
Dolphins at Packers, 1:00 PM
Chargers at Rams, 1:00 PM
Ravens at Patriots, 1:00 PM
Chiefs at Texans, 1:00 PM
Lions at Giants, 1:00 PM
Falcons at Eagles, 1:00 PM
Seahawks at Bears, 1:00 PM
Raiders at 49ers, 4:05 PM
Jets at Broncos, 4:05 PM
Cowboys at Vikings, 4:15 PM
Colts at Redskins, 8:20 PM

Mon. Oct. 18
Titans at Jaguars, 8:30 PM
Byes: ARI, BUF, CAR, CIN

Week 7
Sun. Oct. 24
Eagles at Titans, 1:00 PM
Bengals at Falcons, 1:00 PM
Browns at Saints, 1:00 PM
Steelers at Dolphins, 1:00 PM
Rams at Buccaneers, 1:00 PM
49ers at Panthers, 1:00 PM
Redskins at Bears, 1:00 PM
Jaguars at Chiefs, 1:00 PM
Bills at Ravens, 1:00 PM
Cardinals at Seahawks, 4:05 PM
Raiders at Broncos, 4:15 PM
Patriots at Chargers, 4:15 PM
Vikings at Packers, 8:20 PM

Mon. Oct. 25
Giants at Cowboys, 8:30 PM
Byes: DET, HOU, IND, NYJ

Week 8
Sun. Oct. 31
Packers at Jets, 1:00 PM
Broncos at 49ers, 1:00 PM
Jaguars at Cowboys, 1:00 PM
Dolphins at Bengals, 1:00 PM
Panthers at Rams, 1:00 PM
Redskins at Lions, 1:00 PM
Bills at Chiefs, 1:00 PM
Titans at Chargers, 4:05 PM
Vikings at Patriots, 4:15 PM
Seahawks at Raiders, 4:15 PM
Buccaneers at Cardinals, 4:15 PM
Steelers at Saints, 8:20 PM

Mon. Nov. 01
Texans at Colts, 8:30 PM
Byes: ATL, BAL, CHI, CLE, NYG, PHI

Week 9
Sun. Nov. 07
Buccaneers at Falcons, 1:00 PM
Saints at Panthers, 1:00 PM
Bears at Bills, 1:00 PM
Jets at Lions, 1:00 PM
Dolphins at Ravens, 1:00 PM
Patriots at Browns, 1:00 PM
Chargers at Texans, 1:00 PM
Cardinals at Vikings, 1:00 PM
Giants at Seahawks, 4:05 PM
Chiefs at Raiders, 4:15 PM
Colts at Eagles, 4:15 PM
Cowboys at Packers, 8:20 PM

Mon. Nov. 08
Steelers at Bengals, 8:30 PM
Byes: DEN, JAC, SF, STL, TEN, WAS

Week 10
Thu. Nov. 11
Ravens at Falcons, 8:20 PM

Sun. Nov. 14
Texans at Jaguars, 1:00 PM
Vikings at Bears, 1:00 PM
Panthers at Buccaneers, 1:00 PM
Lions at Bills, 1:00 PM
Jets at Browns, 1:00 PM
Titans at Dolphins, 1:00 PM
Bengals at Colts, 1:00 PM
Chiefs at Broncos, 4:05 PM
Cowboys at Giants, 4:15 PM
Seahawks at Cardinals, 4:15 PM
Rams at 49ers, 4:15 PM
Patriots at Steelers, 8:20 PM

Mon. Nov. 15
Eagles at Redskins, 8:30 PM
Byes: GB, NO, OAK, SD

Week 11
Thu. Nov. 18
Bears at Dolphins, 8:20 PM

Sun. Nov. 21
Packers at Vikings, 1:00 PM
Redskins at Titans, 1:00 PM
Cardinals at Chiefs, 1:00 PM
Ravens at Panthers, 1:00 PM
Bills at Bengals, 1:00 PM
Lions at Cowboys, 1:00 PM
Texans at Jets, 1:00 PM
Raiders at Steelers, 1:00 PM
Browns at Jaguars, 1:00 PM
Seahawks at Saints, 4:05 PM
Falcons at Rams, 4:05 PM
Buccaneers at 49ers, 4:05 PM
Colts at Patriots, 4:15 PM
Giants at Eagles, 8:20 PM

Mon. Nov. 22
Broncos at Chargers, 8:30 PM

Week 12
Thu. Nov. 25
Patriots at Lions, 12:30 PMLions
Saints at Cowboys, 4:15 PM
Bengals at Jets, 8:20 PM

Sun. Nov. 28
Titans at Texans, 1:00 PM
Buccaneers at Ravens, 1:00 PM
Jaguars at Giants, 1:00 PM
Panthers at Browns, 1:00 PM
Steelers at Bills, 1:00 PM
Eagles at Bears, 1:00 PM
Vikings at Redskins, 1:00 PM
Packers at Falcons, 1:00 PM
Chiefs at Seahawks, 4:05 PM
Dolphins at Raiders, 4:05 PM
Rams at Broncos, 4:15 PM
Chargers at Colts, 8:20 PM

Mon. Nov. 29
49ers at Cardinals, 8:30 PM

Week 13
Thu. Dec. 02
Texans at Eagles, 8:20 PM

Sun. Dec. 05
Jaguars at Titans, 1:00 PM
Broncos at Chiefs, 1:00 PM
Redskins at Giants, 1:00 PM
Bears at Lions 1:00 PM
Falcons at Buccaneers, 1:00 PM
Saints at Bengals, 1:00 PM
Bills at Vikings, 1:00 PM
Browns at Dolphins, 1:00 PM
49ers at Packers, 1:00 PM
Raiders at Chargers, 4:05 PM
Rams at Cardinals, 4:15 PM
Cowboys at Colts, 4:15 PM
Panthers at Seahawks, 4:15 PM
Steelers at Ravens, 8:20 PM

Mon. Dec. 06
Jets at Patriots, 8:30 PM

Week 14
Thu. Dec. 09
Colts at Titans, 8:20 PM

Sun. Dec. 12
Bengals at Steelers, 1:00 PM
Falcons at Panthers, 1:00 PM
Packers at Lions, 1:00 PM
Patriots at Bears, 1:00 PM
Browns at Bills, 1:00 PM
Giants at Vikings, 1:00 PM
Raiders at Jaguars, 1:00 PM
Buccaneers at Redskins, 1:00 PM
Seahawks at 49ers, 4:05 PM
Rams at Saints, 4:05 PM
Dolphins at Jets, 4:15 PM
Chiefs at Chargers, 4:15 PM
Broncos at Cardinals, 4:15 PM
Eagles at Cowboys, 8:20 PM

Mon. Dec. 13
Ravens at Texans, 8:30 PM

Week 15
Thu. Dec. 16
49ers at Chargers, 8:20 PM

Sun. Dec. 19
Bills at Dolphins, 1:00 PM
Eagles at Giants, 1:00 PM
Redskins at Cowboys, 1:00 PM
Browns at Bengals, 1:00 PM
Jaguars at Colts, 1:00 PM
Texans at Titans, 1:00 PM
Saints at Ravens, 1:00 PM
Chiefs at Rams, 1:00 PM
Cardinals at Panthers, 1:00 PM
Lions at Buccaneers, 1:00 PM
Falcons at Seahawks, 4:05 PM
Broncos at Raiders, 4:15 PM
Jets at Steelers, 4:15 PM
Packers at Patriots, 8:20 PM

Mon. Dec. 20
Bears at Vikings, 8:30 PM

Week 16
Thu. Dec. 23
Panthers at Steelers, 8:20 PM

Sat. Dec. 25
Cowboys at Cardinals, 7:30 PM

Sun. Dec. 26
Patriots at Bills, 1:00 PM
49ers at Rams, 1:00 PM
Ravens at Browns, 1:00 PM
Lions at Dolphins, 1:00 PM
Jets at Bears, 1:00 PM
Redskins at Jaguars, 1:00 PM
Titans at Chiefs, 1:00 PM
Seahawks at Buccaneers, 1:00 PM
Vikings at Eagles, 1:00 PM
Texans at Broncos, 4:05 PM
Colts at Raiders, 4:05 PM
Giants at Packers, 4:15 PM
Chargers at Bengals, 8:20 PM

Mon. Dec. 27
Saints at Falcons, 8:30 PM

Week 17
Sun. Jan. 02
Dolphins at Patriots, 1:00 PM
Buccaneers at Saints, 1:00 PM
Panthers at Falcons, 1:00 PM
Cowboys at Eagles, 1:00 PM
Raiders at Chiefs, 1:00 PM
Titans at Colts, 1:00 PM
Jaguars at Texans, 1:00 PM
Bengals at Ravens, 1:00 PM
Bears at Packers, 1:00 PM
Vikings at Lions, 1:00 PM
Giants at Redskins, 1:00 PM
Steelers at Browns, 1:00 PM
Bills at Jets, 1:00 PM
Chargers at Broncos, 4:15 PM
Rams at Seahawks, 4:15 PM
Cardinals at 49ers, 4:15 PM

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Ex-Lions Rogers Slammed With $6.1 Million Judgement


DETROIT, Mich. – Former Detroit Lions receiver and Michigan State Spartan star Charles Rogers (pictured in one of charles rogers mugshothis mugshots on the right) was ordered by a judge to repay an astounding $6.1 million back to the Lions, but you gotta wonder, where a guy like Rogers is gonna get that kinda cash at this point of his life.

After stumbling out the gate and spending a majority of his first few seasons injured and on the sidelines in Detroit, the team suspended Rogers for substance abuse in 2005 then was canned by the team the following season.

The second overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, Rogers is a classic example of tremendous talent being flushed down the toilet and is one of the biggest busts to ever come out of MSU (Google Tony Mandarich).

Since Rogers’ release, the organization has been trying to recoup two-thirds of his $9.1 million signing bonus and finally got the ruling they were hoping for.

U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook agreed with an NFL arbitrator saying the amount must be repaid.

Although the Lions’ attorney refused comment after the decision, Michael Cafferty, a lawyer for Rogers, says his client would like to play football in Canada and share some of his pay with Detroit.

In and out of trouble much of his career, Rogers at one time was believed to have retired his bong but later was found out cold at the wheel of his running vehicle, sitting at a stoplight. In January he was sentenced to 93 days in jail for violating a court order to stay sober and that wasn’t the first sentence thrown at the player (Google: Biggest draft busts in the NFL).

More Mugshots: Jocks Behind Bars – Sports Climax

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™

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NFC North Gap Narrowed After Bears and Lions Free Agency Moves


While NFC North rivals the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers were forced to sit idle during the free agencyKyle Vanden Bosch bidding wars, the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions were the most aggressive teams on day one.

Lovie Smith and Da’ Bears snatched the biggest prize of the day when they signed defensive end Julius Peppers to a six-year contract worth a maximum $91.5 million. The five-time Pro Bowl player will receive a record $42 million guaranteed.

In addition to Peppers, Da’ Bears also snatched running back Chester Taylor from the Vikings signing the rusher to a four-year deal worth $12.5 million with $7 million guaranteed.

Knowing the importance of granting quarterback Jay Cutler more time to throw, they also added blocking tight end Brandon Manumaleuna from the San Diego Chargers.

Not to be outdone, the Detroit Lions made a few quick moves of their own, signing three sure starters when they inked deals with two defensive linemen and a No. 2 wide receiver.

Wanting to shore up a defense that was last in the NFL in points allowed and total yards, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz personally visited Tennessee Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch at 12:01 AM on day one of free agency and convinced the Pro Bowler to sign with the team.

While Vanden Bosch and his agent were working out the details of a four-year, $26 million deal, the Lions also inked a $25 million contract with Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Nate Burleson.

Burleson played in 13 games for the Seahawks last year, catching 63 for 812 yards and three touchdowns and is expected to free up Calvin Johnson from the double and triple coverage he sees on a weekly basis.

Joining Vanden Bosch on the Lions’ defensive line will be Cleveland Browns Corey Williams, another proven starter who was obtained by a trade.

With the Lions adding these proven veteran linemen to their defense and with the team expected to use their No. 2 overall selection in the upcoming 2010 NFL Draft to select defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy, you can throw last year’s dismal defensive stats out the window.

These aggressive moves by the Bears and Lions are certain to make the NFC North more competitive.

Minnesota lost a huge piece of their offense when Taylor left and while Brett Favre sits on the fence in Minnesota still contemplating a return, The Green Bay Packers lost Pro Bowl defensive lineman Aaron Kampman to free agency as well.

© 2010 – Sports ClimaxTM

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Stafford Leads Lions to Dramatic Last-Second Win


DETROIT – The Detroit Lions may have found the leader they have been searching for over the past few decades and that leader staffordmay have accomplished a near-impossible feat; winning over the Detroit media.

On his home field in a game against the Cleveland Browns, Lions rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford had been battling all afternoon to lead his team back from a 24-3 deficit and it ended in dramatic fashion.

Down 37-31 Stafford had no timeouts remaining, needed to get into the end zone from the Cleveland 32 and had only :08 seconds to do it. What happened over the next several minutes may become Stafford’s defining moment.

Stafford took the snap and scrambled Favre-style, avoiding an aggressive rush while trying to find an open receiver. He avoided one rusher, then another as the clock ticked to :00. Stafford saw the Browns’ 305-pound lineman C.J. Mosley barreling in at him but stood tall, planted his feet and threw the desperation pass.

As the ball sailed towards the end zone, Mosley crushed Stafford into the Ford Field turf. The rookie quarterback laid flat on the turf, grimacing in pain with an apparent shoulder injury but the Hail Mary pass was answered in the form of yellow hankies blanketing the end zone.

Pass interference on the defense.

While Stafford was helped to the sidelines where team doctors attempted to look at the injury, Cleveland decided to call time out to set up their defense as Lions back-up quarterback Daunte Culpepper was stepping up to the line to take the game’s final snap.

“I heard time-out over the loudspeaker and knew that was probably my only chance of getting back in,” Stafford said. “It was my left shoulder. Don’t really need it to throw.”

The doctors attempted to keep Stafford down to examine and determine the type of injury but Stafford refused to stay down. When he told the doctors to help him up, they refused until he demanded.

“Once one of them helped me up,” Stafford said, “they weren’t going to stop me.”

Lions coach Jim Schwartz must have had a tremendous amount of information swirling through his head. His back-up quarterback was in the huddle on the field, his starter with an obvious injury demanding on returning for the final play, his team needing a touchdown to win, no timeouts remaining.

Ignoring the pain, Stafford found the energy to push his way back onto the field, took the final snap and thread a bullet to tight end Brandon Pettigrew for a touchdown, his record 5th of the game and a 38-37 victory. Stafford also finished with a career-high 422 passing yards.

See dramatic comeback video on NFL.com here.

Schwartz was nearly lost for words during some of the post-game. “[Stafford] popped up, and all the team doctors said, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.’ I said, ‘What does he have?’ They said, ‘We don’t even know.’

Stafford, his shoulder wrapped in ice, elaborated more during post game. “I was in some good pain, but the play goes on. It didn’t feel good, but I didn’t care. It was one play. I knew I didn’t have to play too much, just one snap, and try to throw a TD.”

“I’ve never been a part of [winning with no time on the clock],” said Stafford. “I’ve been a part of some close ones at the end, obviously, but that was wild.”

Wild? Yes. 

True courage? Yes.

Defining moment? Time will tell and more importantly, the Detroit Lions may have finally found their leader.

Related Articles:

No Doubt Now: Stafford Strong Enough to Lead – Detroit Free Press

Stafford Shows True Grit in Beating Browns – The Detroit News

Schwartz: X-Rays Negative on Stafford’s Shoulder – DFP

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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