Hey there football fans, and welcome to the NFL Down Under ‘Team of the Week’ column for Week 4. As our loyal readers we figured we should hear which team you think played best each week, instead of having us rant and rave in our narrow-minded and subjective ways. Every Tuesday we will send out a Facebook post and tweet, and based on your responses the team with the most mentions will be crowned weekly champion.
The NFL Down Under Week 4 Winner Is-
The Detroit Lions.
Record- 4-0. Week 4 Result- Detroit Lions 34 – Dallas Cowboys 30. After trailing 27-3 early in the third quarter, the Lions stormed home to post 31 of the last 34 points in an absurd comeback victory. The win was greatly attributed to Detroit’s brilliant defensive work (with two INT return TDs in the third quarter alone), alongside the fact that Tony Romo can’t quite keep it together. Divisional Standing- First in the NFC North, +59 point differential.
Standout Players- Have you met Calvin Johnson? His eight receptions for 96 yards and 2 TDs helped get the Lions over the line, including a spectacular grab in the endzone with triple coverage. Rob Ryan was hating life after that one. Matt Stafford had a poor first half but came alive in the second, finishing with 240 yards, 2 TDs and an INT. It wasn’t his best game by any stretch of the imagination, but his mental toughness and resilience were commendable. The Detroit defence – particularly in the second half – was ruthless as per usual and it is these players who are defining and shaping the character of the team. Stephen Tulloch had 12 tackles (10 solo) while DeAndre Levy registered six of his own. Kudos to Bobby Carpenter and Chris Houston for both registering a pick-six, too.
What It Means- Well, the Lions are 4-0 for the first time since 1980. Not only have they got off to a perfect start, but they’ve done it with three games on the road. But are they for real? Not yet. Matt Stafford was 9 from 23 at the half, and the Lions couldn’t get anything going on either side of the ball. Eliminate the slow starts and step up the run game and they’ll be a terrifying prospect no matter where teams play them, home or away.
Fun Fact- Calvin Johnson has caught two TD passes in every game so far this season. He’s the second player in NFL history to do so (Cris Carter – 1995). Considering not even triple coverage can stop him from scoring, there’s only one option left for opposing teams. Forfeit the game. You just can’t win.
Next Week- The Chicago Bears enter Ford Field to take on the roaring Lions in Week 5. It should be a great matchup, provided Detroit can contain Matt Forte. Given current form, confidence and general swagger, I take the Lions to win comfortably.
Final Thought- Thank god Kyle Vanden Bosch didn’t react to Ndamukong Suh angrily fly-kicking the bin over and consequently spraying him with rubbish during the game. Suh reacted after being penalised on a 3rd and 3 situation giving Dallas a crucial first down. If Vanden Bosch is a bull, Suh’s Godzilla. Don’t make him any more angry.
Reader Speak- "Who do you think was the team of the week?"
tomrobbin92 (via Twitter)- Detroit. They’re no longer proving that they’re the real deal, they ARE the real deal. Marcel Amadeus Zonino- The Lions. To come back from (another 20+ point deficit) to destroy the cowboys and have a 4-0 lead (first time since the 1980's apparently) is just pure awesome. Also they played against the Cowboys.
What do you think? Are the Lions for real? Drop us a comment below.