Monday, May 09, 2005

Eternal Optimism

What always seems to amaze me is how many pessimists there are around Lions message boards. Tonight on my favorite message board - The Den - I saw yet another thread that predicted the demise of Joey by the end of game 5. Since I tend to be an optimist, and since I love stirring the pot, here is my reply to that crazed scenario...


Dang, what a bunch of pessimists we have around here. As I tend to be rather optimistic about life in general, here is my scenario as to how things unfold...

Game 1 - Green Bay. Joey wins the starting job in training camp as he looks sharp compared to Garcia's typically dull TC performance. Against the Pack's WEAK D, at home, the Leo's come out swinging. The first play from scrimmage showcases to the entire NFL what the new Lions O is about as Joey hooks up with CRog on a 78 yard TD strike. The game is over by halftime as the Lions O cruises. Joey goes 18 of 25 for 343, 4 TD, 0 INT. KJ runs for 131 and 1 TD. CRog and Pollard both go over 100 1TD, BMW and Roy each snag a TD as well in this rout. Favre considers retiring before game 2. Lions 38, Pack 10.

Game 2 - @ Chicago. Lovie has had nightmares watching the Lions game film from week 1 as he has quickly realized that the Lions O has too many weapons to cover. He decides to risk it and blitz on every down. After the Lions start slowly with a 3 and out, followed by a pick that is returned for 6, the O gets moving. Showing a series of slants, screens and draws, The O neutralizes the Chicago blitz, and starts scoring. At will. The Bears are really wondering why they passed up on BMW as he has a Roy-like game against them, catching 10-145 with all 3 of Joey's TD tosses, and the Lions roll. Joey goes 24-33-296, 3TD, 2INT. KJ goes 26-121-1. Final - Lions 31, Bears 10

Game 3 - @ Tampa Bay. Chucky thinks his Bucs are ready for the Lions as he believes that the Bears over-blitzed, and the Pack is just horrible on D. The Bucs run a ball-control O, and eat as much clock as possible. The Lions O has it's first 'off' day, but off for this bunch is nothing like off in previous years. Tampa keeps it close by having a huge advantage in time of possession, and manages to squeak out a win despite a furious final drive that ends when Roy fumbles while trying to drag two defenders into the end zone. Joey finishes 15-22-196, 2TD, 1INT. Bucs 21, Lions 17

Game 4 - Baltimore. Billick has now seen the light as to what it takes to beat the Lions - ball control. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the team to do play a ball control game as they come into the game at -6 in turnovers. That trend continues. The Ravens D is very good and keeps the Lions O in check most of the game, surrendering only a CRog slant that he takes all the way for a 62 yard score. The Ravens O meanwhile gives up 2 Defensive TD's - Boss scoops up a J. Lewis fumble and takes it 36 yards, and Dre snares an out pattern for a 67 yard return. Joey has what will be his roughest day statistically of the season, going 18 of 33 for 205, 1 TD, 2 INT. But no one is calling for his head, save the most anti-Joey fans as the Lions win 27-3.

Game 5 - Carolina. That early season firestorm of O last happened 27 days ago, and many people think it was simply an aberration. The problem is that no one remembered to tell the kids that. For the second time in the season, the Lions score on the first play from scrimmage, this time to Roy as he leaps over one defender, snares the ball with one hand, pushes off a second defender as he's coming down, does a 360, and then skips into the end zone for a 69 yard score. The rest of the game follows a similar pattern as Joey has his biggest game as a pro - 32-37-411-5TD-0INT. All 3 WR's go for 100 1TD, KJ2 gets 1, and Bryson gets one. KJ doesn't score, but runs for 156 on 23 carries. Carolina has a hard time hanging onto the ball and the Lions cruise, 42-17

Game 6 - @ Cleveland. Ouch - the Browns come into the game 1-5, and haven't looked like they can do anything. Against the Lions, they play inspired football, as if their entire season depends on it. They jump out to a 14-0 lead off a KJ fumble. Then they try to play ball control and hang on to the lead. The Lions struggle for most of the day as the winds off Lake Erie are swirling around 35 mph. KJ has a bad day as he fumbles twice and only gets 72 yards on the ground. In the end, the Lions just have too much firepower for the Browns to contain as BMW snags 12-136 and scores 2 times and CRog takes another slant to the house. Lions 21, Browns 17

Game 7 - Chicago. The Bears didn't learn anything from their first game against the Lions. The Lions run a version of the spread offense and just have too many options for the Bears to contain. They try to play a 7 DB D for a while, hoping to slow the passing attack, and all it does is allow KJ to run for 227 and 3 TD's. Joey throws for a pedestrian 15-22-176-1TD-1INT, but it doesn't even matter as the Lions roll again. Lions 31, Bears 7

Game 8 - @ Minnesota. How ABC and ESPN wish they had the flexible schedule right now as this is the game of the week with both 7-1 teams facing off. Fortunately, the don't have the flex schedule that NBC will get in the next TV contract, because this game is over early. After a quick CRog score on yet another slant, Baby drills Pepper on the Vikes 2nd play of the game and knocks him out. Dre picks off the next 2 throws - both from Brad Johnson - scoring with one of them, and The Lions are up 21-0 with 6 minutes left in the first quarter. Garcia gets his first action of the year after Joey gets a cheap-shot late hit midway through the 3rd, and Mooch pulls him fearing of a concussion. It didn't really matter as this game was over long before that. Lions win, 45-20.

See, as easy is it is for some of you to predict that the Lions will get routed by assuming the worst, I can assume the best and forecast an amazing season. Doesn't even take a genius to make guesses like these. Do I believe that the season will unfold the way I have laid it out? No, of course not. I'm just tired of reading all the negativity and disastrous assumptions some people seem to keep making.

But it sure would be nice to see it unfold the way I dreamt here..

No comments: