2015 Week 12 Review Detroit Lions Win On Thanksgiving

The Detroit Lions decided that the Kansas City game would be a turning point in their season as witnessed by their 3 game win streak.  Their destruction of a struggling Philadelphia Eagles team on Thanksgiving Day proved that they think they can win this season.  Matthew Stafford worked hard to silence his critics and Calvin Johnson looked to prove that he is still worth his salary as the two teamed up to help the Lions win 45-14.

The game started off slow with both teams struggling to move the ball.  In a battle of 2009 top 10 quarterback draft picks, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford struck first.  Near the end of the first quarter, Ameer Abdullah found a hole and raced for a 23 yard gain to start the drive off.  Two plays later Stafford then found running back Theo Riddick on a 23 yard pass.  After a few more short plays, Stafford and Riddick capped the drive off with a 8 yard touchdown pass.  Just like that, the Lions had a 7 point lead.  And just like that, the Eagles offense got the ball moving.  Mark Sanchez, the other top 10 quarterback of the 2009 draft, hit Jordan Matthews for 19 yards.  Demarco Murray then broke free for 19 yards.  Sanchez then hit Trey Burton for 43 yards getting them deep in Lions territory.  While they tried to hold, the defense ended up giving the Eagles their touchdown on a Sanchez touchdown pass to Brent Celek.  Just like that, the game was back to tied.

The Lions made every drive count after that.  The Lions drove the field and capped it off with a 2 yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate on a play where Tate made the defensive back look silly trying to tackle him before walking into the end zone.  The Lions held the Eagles and got the ball back.  They moved it down the field again, this time settling for a Matt Prater 48 yard field goal.  After holding the Eagles again, the Lions decided to add to their 17-7 lead.  Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter started picking the right plays and the Lions drove the ball on the Eagles again.  Stafford started the drive with a 9 yard pass to Calvin Johnson.  Ameer Abdullah ran for 10 yards, then Stafford to Johnson yielded them another 15 yards.  Theo Riddick got a rare carry for three yards before Eric Ebron got into the mix.  Stafford hit Ebron for 19 yards on one play, and them 9 on the very next.  Stafford then found Golden Tate for 5 on a critical third down before finishing the drive off with a 15 yard pass to Johnson for their first touchdown of the day.  The Eagles proceeded to take the game to halftime down 24-7.

With many Lions fans cautiously excited, the Lions slowly moved the ball eating away at the clock.  Stafford hit Johnson for 7 yards, Tate for 19 yards, Abdullah for 12 yards, Riddick for 11 yards, Abdullah for 9 yards, Johnson for 11 more yards and Riddick for 9 yards.  Stafford capped this drive by finding Johnson for their second touchdown of the day on a 4 yard pass.

The defense looked great holding the Eagles on seemingly every drive and Ziggy Ansah, who finished the game with 3.5 sacks, got one of his sacks and recovered a Sanchez fumble on the play to give the Lions offense the ball on the Eagles 14 yard line.  The offense did not let them down, with Joique Bell running for 11 yards on two plays, and Stafford hitting Johnson for their third touchdown of the day, this one for 3 yards.

Both offenses struggled to move the ball in the third quarter.  The Lions picked it up in the fourth quarter when Ameer Abdullah started the drive off with two runs, one for 9 yards and one for 4 yards.  Stafford then got Brandon Pettigrew the ball on a 21 yard pass.  Two plays later, Stafford found Joique Bell for 39 yards.  Bell finished the drive, and the Lions scoring, on a 1 yard touchdown run.  The score was now 45-7 and the game was basically over.  The Eagles did get one more scoring drive in garbage time on a 24 yard pass to Jordan Matthews but by then, the game was out of reach and the defense was playing a base prevent.

The Lions have the Green Bay Packers at home on Thursday Night Football and a win will put them at 5-7 and gets them a little closer to the playoffs which still seem out of reach, even if it still is mathematically possible.

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