My Detroit Sports: My Lions Report #1

After a dismal preseason, the Lions going 1-4, the outlook for the 2018 season looked uncertain. The Jets had questions of their own, with a rookie quarterback leading the helm.

Monday Night Football, the stars were certainly out with Eminem serving as the honorary captain. Barry Sanders, Twitch streamer, Ninja and former ESPN analyst, Jemele Hill were also, among those in attendance. Detroit did not disappoint, early on, Quandre Diggs picking off Sam Darnold to run 37 yards to put the Lions up, 7-0.

The Jets would respond with a touchdown of their own, from Isaiah Crowell, tying the game at 7-7 to end the 1st quarter. Jets would add a field goal and another TD, Darnold connecting with Robby Anderson to put the Jets up, 17-7. Matt Prater would be the Lions lone offense, kicking a 21-yard field goal to conclude the half. Building off Prater, the Lions opted to have the ball in the 2nd half, winning the coin toss. The momentum would continue in Detroit’s favor when, quarterback, Matthew Stafford found Golden Tate for the 24-yard TD to tie the game, 17-17.

Detroit would not score again, getting ransacked to a 48-17, loss to start the season.

WEEK 1: Recap

On the road at Levi’s Stadium, the Lions faced the San Francisco 49ers. Week 2 provided to be too little too late, producing the same result.

Kenny Golladay and Matt Prater provided the offense in the early in the contest. Golladay with a 30-yard touchdown from Matthew Stafford in the first and Prater with the extra point and an additional field goal. The Lions were down 13-10 to close out the half.

Jimmy Garroppolo would put the Niners up even more, early in the third with a 11-yard pass to Garrett Celek. Prater would respond with another field goal, but Detroit couldn’t stop the bleeding, as Matt Brieda rushed 66 yards to the end zone. Enter the 4th quarter. Quarterback, Matthew Stafford turned it up a notch, as he’s done his entire career, finding Marvin Jones for the TD to cut the lead to 10.  Stafford threw another 15-yard pass to Michael Roberts, to put the Lions within 3, but the run would stop there as Detroit fell to 0-2 on the season.

WEEK 2: Recap

In Week 3, Detroit got the spotlight again in Sunday Night Football at Ford Field against one of football’s greatest dynasties, the New England Patriots. New England suffered the 31-20 loss to Jacksonville the week prior, but unfortunately for the Lions, the Patriots still have Tom Brady. The Michigan alum, had never lost against the Lions in his career, so Detroit would have to pull out all of the stops to defeat New England.

The Lions jumped out to an early lead against the Patriots. 2 field goals from Matt Prater and touchdown from Kenny Golladay came before the half, putting Detroit up 13-0. Glover Quin and Tavon Wilson came away with a huge stop, late in the 2nd quarter, holding New England to 3.

Tom Brady made things interesting, connecting with James White for the 10-yard touchdown, putting New England within a field goal to tie. Matthew Stafford would counter with a 33-yard TD of his own to Marvin Jones.

Prater added a pair of 30-yard field goals in the 4th to add to the lead. The Lions defense made sure the Patriots would not score again. A huge sack by Eli Harold and a Darius Slay interception in the 4th would seal the deal, as Detroit came away with the upset, 26-10, win over New England. Their first of the season and first win for new head coach, former New England defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia.

The story here, was rookie running back, Kerryon Johnson, the ‘Player of the Game’ ran for 16 carries and 101 yards. The Lions first 100-yard rusher since Reggie Bush in 2013.

WEEK 3: Recap

Fresh off their huge win against New England, Lions star wide receiver, Golden Tate, his wife Elise Tate and the Golden Future Foundation gave back to military veterans for the 4th annual, “Stars & Strikes” event held at Lucky Strike in Novi.

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In Week 4, the Lions traveled to Arlington to take on the Cowboys. Despite TJ Lang being taken out early with a concussion, Detroit was off to a good start when Matthew Stafford connected with Golden Tate for the 45-yard touchdown to put the Lions up 7-3 in the 1st quarter.

It would be all Cowboys from there, as quarterback, Dak Prescott added two touchdowns of his own, to Ezekiel Elliot (38 yards) and Geoff Swiam (1 yard). Dallas carried the 20-10 lead into the 4th quarter.

Fan favorite, rookie Kerryon Johnson would open the 4th with his first career touchdown. Golden Tate would make things interesting with a touchdown of his own, 37-yarder from Stafford to give the Lions the 24-23 lead.

However, it was too little, too late, as the Cowboys were able to get within field goal range for the Brett Maher 38-yard field goal, as time expired.

WEEK 4: Recap

As the calendar turned to October, the Lions returned home to face division-rivals, Green Bay Packers in a rather, “bizarre” game to say the least.

Green Bay won the coin toss, opting to defer the ball to Detroit. The Lions were unable to capitalize on the drive forcing the punt, however a Green Bay receiver deflected the ball and Jamal Agnew was able to recover at the 1 yard line, giving the ball back to Detroit. LeGarrette Blount was rush it in, giving the Lions the early lead.

And because it was so nice the first time (and first as a Lion), Blount did it again before the end of the 1st quarter.

The Lions defense put the pressure on the Packers when Romeo Okwara came away with a sack and fumble on Aaron Rodgers. Devon Kennard with the recovery.

Okwara caused another Rodgers incompletion near the end zone, forcing the Packers to attempt the field goal. Mason Crosby would miss his third field goal of the day, holding the Lions lead, 17-0. The next Packers possession would be short-lived as DeShawn Hand came away with another Aaron Rodgers fumble, leading to a Stafford-to-Jones touchdown to end the half. But the Packers would not go down quietly, as Rodgers owned the 2nd half. Connecting with Marquez Valdes-Scantling for the 3-yarder, 2-point conversion to Jamaal Williams, followed by a Lance Hendricks touchdown, bringing the Packers within 10.

Matthew Stafford and Kenny Golladay would seal the win with a 5-yard touchdown in the 4th, giving the Lions the 31-23 win, heading into a much needed bye week. Mason Crosby went 1 for 5 in field goal attempts for Green Bay.

WEEK 5: Recap

We will be continuing to look for the best Lions fans in Detroit and on the road on Instagram, so keep representing the D and you could win this autographed photo of Golden Tate!

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My Detroit Sports: My Tigers Weekly ‘End of the Season’ Edition

In this season’s final edition of My Tigers Weekly, the Tigers got to say goodbye to some familiar friends and foes while trying to play spoiler in the Central races.

This entire season was a continuation of the process that began late in the summer of 2017. After an incredible stretch of AL Central dominance, it was time to rebuild and try to reach the World Series again with the next generation of players. It’s a painful process that involves losing a large number of games by giving young players playing time. The goal is to figure out who on the roster can play at the major league level when given a chance and also give those players the opportunity to gain experience. That’s why Ron Gardenhire was brought on board for the 2018 season. While losses are part of the rebuilding process, bad baseball shouldn’t be.

Uninspired play and bad habits prolong the process and create a losing culture. In that sense, we can qualify the 2018 season as a success. The Tigers were competitive in the majority of the games and there are players on the roster that you can point to as candidates for being part of the next Detroit playoff team. Nick Castellanos finished 5th in the AL in total hits while bumping his OPS up 43 points. Jeimer Candelario (19 home runs) and Niko Goodrum (29 doubles as a super utility player) also distinguished themselves in their first season playing every day. Joe Jimenez got off to a strong start and got an All-Star nod, while Spencer Turnbull’s 0-2 record and 6 ERA hid a callup who struck out 15 in 16 and 1/3 innings of work.

It’s also a success in terms of wins and losses. 3rd place in the division yet also 5th worst in baseball. That means Casey Mize will not be the only high draft pick in the Tigers farm system. If you can’t be one of the AL’s 3 100 win teams, at least avoid being one of the 100 loss teams. With that in mind, there are things to point to where you could call the season a win.

On the field the past 2 weeks, wins were harder to come by. The Tigers were able to delay the Indians clinching the AL Central for one night, winning the opener by a score of 5-4.

But sadly, the next day Cleveland’s offense awoke and with a 15-0 victory officially eliminated the 4 other teams in the division. After that, the season became more about the call ups getting an opportunity to play and watching September baseball at Comerica Park. After winning on getaway day in Cleveland, the Tigers came home for 7 games at Comerica Park. The Twins series was fans last chance to see long time rival Joe Mauer. While he hasn’t officially announced his retirement, taking the field one last time as a catcher makes it seem like he believes he won’t be in uniform next season. The Twins were able to take all 3 games in his last trip to Detroit. At least fans got to enjoy the last night of the popular promotion “Bark in the Park,” where fans can take their dogs to a game. The Tigers then played an emotional series against the Royals. Kansas City, who finished 5th in the Central, split the series with the Tigers. It was fan appreciation weekend, but the biggest moment was the last game of Victor Martinez. He chose to play his last game in front of the fans at home. On Saturday he took the field for the last time, manning 1st base for the first time since 2016. In his last career at bat he laced a double and was lifted for pinch runner Ronny Rodriguez. Some hugs and an ovation later, he returned to the bench to serve as a veteran voice for the remaining games of the season. The Tigers went on to win the game 5-4 in a fitting send off for a player who was an All-Star, silver slugger, runner up for MVP, and part of a World Series team as a reliable middle of the order hitter during the Tigers aforementioned period of contention this decade. After losing the next day, the Detroit finished the season with a 38-43 home record.

After losing 2 of 3 to Minnesota, the Tigers got a chance to play spoiler in the NL Central race. The Cubs needed the Tigers to win some games off the Brewers to help them secure the NL Central division title. Christian Yelich had other ideas, a 2 home run game was the start of a 3 game stretch where he tortured Tigers pitchers. The Tigers lost two close games 6-5 before succumbing in an 11-0 defeat on the last game of the season. Sorry Chicago! The 1-6 final road trip put the Tigers at 26-55 away from Comerica and 64-98 overall. A month of playoff baseball and the World Series will give way to annual awards, general manager meetings and hot stove action, and a short time later 2019 Spring Training …

Special shout out to our My Detroit Sports: My Tigers Weekly, ‘Fans of the Week’ winner, Ray Ainsworth! He represented the D, visiting all the way from Georgia and won an autographed, James McCann photo!

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