Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Monday, November 06, 2006

Game Balls & Extra Laps - Week 9

Is there possibly anything to complain about, following a 30-14 victory over a team that appeared to be one of the best in the NFC? The Atlanta Falcons needed a win to keep pace with the competition in the conference, yet inexplicably came to Detroit and played one of their worst games of the season. (Really, just about every contender in the NFC took a crap on their chances yesterday. At least the Giants won - but barely.)

Though it's only the Lions second win of the season, one look at their upcoming schedule makes you wonder if this could be the start of something good.

Is a two-game winning streak too much to ask for? Not really, when Detroit's next two games are against San Francisco and Arizona. And even though Miami upset Chicago at Soldier Field (Joey Harrington? Was that you?), they've still been one of the biggest disappointments of the 2006 NFL season. A win on Thanksgiving Day is not out of the question.

But maybe that's being greedy. For now, savor the win. Appreciate a day when the teachings of Sgt. Marinelli's staff yielded some impressive results. The Lions' offense has been been putting up some good numbers for the past few weeks, yet couldn't stop anyone on defense. However, when both units on the team come together - putting points on the board, while keeping the opponent out of the end zone - this could be the team Detroit's been dreaming about for far too long.

Nothing but Game Balls for the boys this week. No Extra Laps, no late hours in the film room. It was that kind of day. One of the awards could go to Mike Furrey, who's enough of a threat to keep extra defenders away from Roy Williams. And he's exactly the type of hard-working, no-nonsense, make-the-tough-catch kind of player that Detroit can adoringly embrace with both arms.

But Furrey could get one every week. So from now on, unless otherwise noted, it should be understood that Mike Furrey always gets a Game Ball. Hell, these should be named the Mike Furrey Game Balls. There's a dirty joke begging to be made there, especially since I'm nursing quite the man crush on the guy, but I'm going to pass on it. Snicker amongst yourselves, tough guys, while we pass out the other awards after the jump.

Week 9 Game Balls

(not to be confused with these "Game Balls" - it was my idea first, right?)

♦ The defensive line – With three starters out, due to injury or suspension, it looked like a potentially rough day for the Lions. Could they possibly contain Michael Vick, who was superhuman in his last two games? Rod Marinelli was part of the Tampa Bay coaching staff that learned to make Vick miserable, and clearly the Sarge passed his wisdom - keeping Vick in the pocket so he couldn't run - onto his current Honolulu Blue-clad troops. Nice work, men.

♦ Jon Kitna – Sure, the 20-of-32 passing for 321 yards and one touchdown was impressive. Kitna is having the time of his life playing in Mike Martz's offense. (Imagine what he might do after a full year in the system.) And if there were any questions about Kitna's leadership, his fight with D'Angelo Hall (who was apparently picking on quarterbacks, rather than going at Roy Williams) in the third quarter - and the bruises he wore on his face afterwards - took care of those.

♦ Kevin Jones – A few weeks ago, I was able to stand by Jones' locker and listen to him say that he had to be himself. What did that mean? Was he a power back that would pound the rock or more of a speed back that would sprint for the corner? Well, he was both on his first touchdown run, bulling through the line before he broke free and juked past Chris Crocker to the end zone. So whatever the answer was, K.J. seems to have found it.

♦ Roy Williams – In the latest edition of The Sporting Noobs' Noobsletter (which you can subscribe to by e-mailing noobsletter@thesportingnoobs.com), I ripped on Roy for talking trash about D'Angelo Hall in the media. Even if you want to act like Chad Johnson, no one's paying attention when your team's 1-6. But I'm sure Hall took notice of Roy after #11 caught six passes for 138 yards. His 60-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown was the back-breaker.


  • At November 06, 2006 3:06 PM, Anonymous Evan said…

    Barring injury, I think Roy Williams will in many respects become something of a transitional player for the entire NFL.

    In my mind, he represents the first generation of player who's grown up watching not just Jerry Rice but also Michael Irvin, Terrell Owens, and Chad Johnson. And the result is a man that's kind of an enigma: He seems to be very much about judging himself by his on-field performance and using his staggering talent and being a contributing member of the TEAM, but he's got a fucking mouth on him just like Irvin, Owens, etc. He's flashy and makes a friggin' celebration out of every first down. Then he hands a ball and gloves to kids after every damn touchdown.

    In short, he seems to be a decent, hard-working, talented fellow who has embraced the contemporary sports culture of entertainment and excessive, self-indulgent celebration and trash talk.

    He doesn't treat it like he's unique or like it's special or like he's being cocky. It's simply part of the game to him, which I think came across in a Mitch Albom article a few months back.

    He's really the first top talent I can think of that is ostensibly both a team player AND a colossal showboat. One doesn't seem to get in the way of the other (yet) for him.

    He's got to be the NFL's wet dream. That one-handed grab yesterday was an amazing play. Add a 60-yard TD catch after which a kid gets a football (for which the NFL makes 500 bucks) and a little showmanship... He's the complete package.


    Kudos to the whole defense. If they can hold up and get a little better against some of these weaker teams, the Lions should really be ready to rock against some of those good (but not great) teams they play later in the season. For the first time in a while, I feel like the Lions might actually be BUILDING something instead of just fiddling around.

    We'll see, I guess. But man, when the offense is on, it's on. And the defense has some players who are really starting to step up -- Hall, Lewis, Sims, and Redding all look like great compliments to Bly and Rogers.

    They're so much more fun to watch and are arguably a better team than they were last year. It's nice to see.


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