|The no-call on this face mask ended the game and now Detroit is 8-5. (Getty Images)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
The Lions are 8-5 after a wild finish to Sunday's game against the Vikings, and remain in the hunt for a wild-card spot. Detroit's modus operandi this season has been to get down early in games, usually by two or three scores, and look completely lost in the process. Then, as if they suddenly remembered how to play football, get it together in time to pull out the victory.
We saw it frequently during the Lions' 5-0 start, less so in their ensuring 2-5 stretch. Against Minnesota it was just the opposite: Detroit went up 21-0 in the first quarter, and then held on for dear life, eking out the victory, 34-28, after the officials missed a face mask as time expired.
The Vikings had a chance to win it on the game's final play, but a Joe Webb fumble and an uncalled Lions' face mask (see the photo above), ended things with Minnesota just one yard short of the end zone.
We'll be hearing all week about that face mask by linebacker DeAndre Levy, especially since a penalty would've given the Vikings one more shot from the Lions' half-yard-line.
But the play before, one that saw Webb rush for a first down, almost made Detroit linebacker Cliff Avril the goat. With no timeouts and with Webb scrambling to get his players to the line of scrimmage to spike the ball and stop the clock, Avril inexplicably jumped offsides stopping the clock in the process.
(We wonder if Avril's momentary lapse falls under head coach Jim Schwartz's zero-tolerance policy for stupid plays.)
But these aren't Matt Millen's Lions; this team was able to overcome mistakes and even got some breaks along the way. And with three weeks to go in the regular season, they're right in the thick of things.
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