DETROIT—Greetings from Mo-Town. The big story in town is the Lions are trying to win two games in a row for the first time since the advent of the forward pass. Everyone's picking the Lions because they're at home and the Bears haven't exactly done anything on the road. They've lost 11 straight. So that's what everyone's talking about. This and Kid Rock's new album.
This stadium is very cool. It's kind of a cross between an old industrial space and the field house at Evanston Township High School. I hope they're not going to make me do the 9-minute run, especially after the pulled pork sandwich they fed us for breakfast. I guess they like their BBQ here. I don't know.
One complaint, though: Ford Field is more secure than the Baghdad airport. "Sir, can you turn your laptop on for me?" "Sir, your cell phone...press 1, 2, 3, please." "Sir, no water in the stadium." No water? This is the Lions and Bears, for God's sake; they should be--could be--giving away these tickets.
On a football note, Marty Booker and Anthony Thomas are back. If you remember they were missing for the first Lions game two weeks ago. Also, center Olin Kreutz will play. I don't think there was ever any doubt.
For the Lions, they're still missing much of their secondary. Both Dré Bly and Jimmy Wyrick are out. In case you're wondering about the other guy on the Detroit roster with an accent egue on his name, linebacker Donté Curry is out as well.
OK, now that the BBQ pulled pork sandwich they fed us for breakfast has digested, it's time for football.
"Dee-troit has won the toss," referee Bernie Kukar says, and we're ready to go. Hey, a Bryan Knight appearance. The former starting outside linebacker nails Reggie Swinton on the kickoff coverage. The Lions will start on their own 26. Joey Harrington over-throws his receiver on first down. Az-Zahir Hakim jumps on second down followed by a Lions timeout. Detroit looks a lot like they did two weeks ago. Much booing early. Jerry Azumah shows blitz and then drops back. Harrington hits Cory Schlesinger out of the backfield and Azumah races in to make the tackle. The Lions are called for holding on third down and will kick. The PA guy announces "Paul Edinger deep for the Bears." Uh... McQuarters returns the kick 6 yards and the Bears will start at their own 39.
The Bears start with five wide, and then run some quasi-shenanigans, trying to hit Booker out of the slot a yard off the line. Chandler's pass goes high and that's that. Chandler then hits David Terrell for 8 yards. On third-and-2 Dustin Lyman lets a pass go off his hands and that series took all of about 10 seconds. Lyman is down.
They just showed a guy on the big screen with a blow-up skeleton doll in a Chandler jersey with a noose around its neck. Once he saw he was on TV, the guy punched the doll for a good 30 seconds as the crowd cheered. The Lions are 2-6, dude. Dial it down.
Are TV timeouts getting longer? I wouldn't doubt it.
Shawn Bryson runs left before being knocked out of bounds by Mike Brown. Gain of a yard. Harrington hits Scotty Anderson with Brian Urlacher on his back. Harrington's pass is long, wide and out of play. The real battle here is whether either team can get a first down. Bad punt. Thirty-two yards bad.
Chandler drops back, sees nothing and decides to run. He quickly hits the turf after 2 yards. Smart move. Is Anthony Thomas active? Where is he? Well, now he's under a pile of Lions. No gain on Thomas' first carry. At least that leaves the clock running. We had played just over 3 minutes of game time in over 20 minutes or real time. Not good. Chandler's throw is incomplete, bringing up fourth and killing the clock again. Can't get enough of punts and TV timeouts. The first first down in this tilt should be followed immediately by a trumpet fanfare and a ceremony at midfield.
Harrington's pass is too long and then Lance Briggs throws Bryson out of bounds for a 3-yard loss. Stopping the clock again. Oh, some excitement. Harrington is pressured but dumps it to Bryson who picks up 12 yards and nearly a first. But not nearly enough. Punt. But first a delay-of-game penalty.
From the 26, Terrell catches a 6-yard pass, gets nailed and then stands there doing some kind of shimmy while Chandler yells at him to get back in the huddle. False start on the Bears. Chandler hits Booker who falls over for a gain of 2. Chandler looks and looks before the pocket collapses on him. Barrett Green is credited with the sack. Another punt and this one doesn't even make it to midfield.
Harrington looks downfield but has to dump it to someone named Casey Fitzsimmons for 8 yards. Olandis Gary is dumped behind the line by Urlacher et al. Harrington has all day and hits a wide-open Scotty Anderson for 27 yards to the 18. A first down! Or course, this calls for razzle-dazzle. The Lions run some sort of reverse to Swinton who looks to throw and finally does to avoid a sack. The Bears were called for holding on the play. What's the down and distance? I'm so confused. Harrington throws one incomplete and we've got second-and-10 at the 14. Bryson catches a pass but is dropped for a 2-yard loss by Michael Haynes. Bryson picks up 9 but is stopped short of the marker by Bobby Gray. The crowd went something like "Oooooohhhhhh......awwwww #$*@!" on that play. Jason Hanson's 24-yard kick is good.
Lions 3, Bears nil
At this rate that field goal could hold up.
Thomas runs for 2 yards. Chandler hits Booker for 7. Third and short, whaddya got, Shoop? From the I-formation, Thomas runs right but there's a flag for holding on big ol' Aaron Gibson. That's a killer right there. Quarter ends mercifully.