The Detroit Lions can’t seem to catch a break this season.
After starting the year 2-0-1, the Lions played a great game against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, but ultimately lost when Patrick Mahomes led his team to a touchdown in the last minute.
Then on Monday Night Football, Detroit nearly led the game wire-to-wire against their division rival, the Green Bay Packers, before Aaron Rodgers engineered a game-winning drive of his own.
The Lions scored the game’s first 13 points, before allowing the Packers back into the game to end the first half. With just over seven minutes remaining in the first half, Green Bay scored it’s first touchdown.
They then kicked a field goal before halftime, cutting the Lions lead to 13-10.
Detroit would extend their lead once again though, kicking three field goals compared to one by Green Bay, to carve out a 22-13 lead with just over 12 minutes left in the game.
Rodgers would score the first touchdown for either side in the second half, capping off a long drive with a great pass to Allen Lazard for a 35-yard touchdown.
Lazard is a great story, as he was signed by the Packers off the Jaguars practice squad last year. He was eventually placed on the Packers practice squad too, but earned a promotion to the active roster and had a big impact on Monday.
He led Green Bay with four catches and 65 yards, while picking up the first touchdown of his career.
The Packers ended up getting the ball back and would make the most of it, kicking a walk-off field goal to win.
While the Packers won this game with a comeback, what everyone is going to be talking about is the officiating that gave them that opportunity.
In both of Green Bay’s last two scoring drives, they were bailed out on failed third downs when a penalty flag was thrown to extend those drives.
Each of the penalties was called on Lions stud edge rusher Trey Flowers, as the referees called illegal hands to the face on No. 90.
You can see that Flowers never touched the face of either lineman on those plays as they were blatant missed calls by the refs.
What makes those calls worse is that the Packers linemen who were protecting Rodgers were actually the one’s using putting their hands in the face of the Lions pass rush.
If those flags aren’t thrown, the Packers would have to convert fourth downs to keep those drives alive, instead of being handed first downs.
After the game, the media met up with Flowers to ask him about those calls. Flowers was very careful not to say anything about the officiating that would get him fined by the NFL, but his face really says it all.
On the other hand, the Packers gladly accepted those officiating gaffes, as it helped them advance to 5-1 on the season.
The Packers will face a well-rested Raiders on a short week, as Oakland is coming off a bye.
Meanwhile the Lions will play another division rival, returning home to face the Minnesota Vikings.
Colin Kaepernick to Workout for NFL Teams on Saturday
We are three years removed from when Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem, creating widespread controversy.
The movement Kaepernick sparked was very divisive, as he hoped to bring light to racial inequality and police brutality in this country. While Kaepernick was lauded as a hero by some, he was also antagonized by others and ultimately became a martyr for his cause as he lost his job because of his protest.
No team in the NFL has been willing to sign Kaepernick since he became a free agent in 2017, but maybe tides are turning as the NFL has set up a workout for Kaepernick to meet with all teams interested in his services.
It is worth noting that Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL in 2017, claiming that team owners were colluding to keep him out of the league. The trial never went to court, with the two sides agreeing to a confidential settlement in February.
While the NFL is giving Kaepernick another opportunity to return to the field, it is fair to question if this is a disingenuous ploy.
Reports indicate that Kaepernick’s representation was told of his workout on short notice and only had a few hours to accept the invitation. It is also being held on a Saturday, which is atypical for this type of a workout.
The odds are still stacked against Kaepernick, with a return to the NFL not being guaranteed just because some teams are going to watch him workout.
One team would still have to be brave enough to bring on all of the publicity that would come with signing Kaepernick, which teams have been hesitant to do in the past.
Still, the bottom line is that Kaepernick is far more talented than some of the quarterback’s we have been watching play over the last couple of years and should still be playing in the NFL.
In Kaepernick’s last season, he had a great 4:1 touchdown to interception ratio with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions thrown.
While he may not be a top starting quarterback in the NFL anymore, it is hard to believe he couldn’t outperform someone like Bryan Hoyer, who just lost a game for the Indianapolis Cots on Sunday.
There are plenty of teams that could use Kaepernick’s services this season and beyond. The question is if any team will actually jump at the same opportunity they have shied away from for three years now.
Seahawks Give the San Francisco 49ers Their First Loss in NFC West Showdown
The San Francisco 49ers cruised through the first half of their schedule, winning eight-straight games to start the season.
Featuring a great defense and a dynamic running game, the 49ers looked like the best team in the NFC before facing their toughest test of the season on Monday night against their division rival, the Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle has a solid defense in their own right, but the distinguishing factor proved to be the quarterback position, as Russell Wilson is having an MVP-caliber season.
Wilson ended up getting the job done, handing San Francisco their first loss in an overtime affair.
If you want any indication of how back-and-forth this game was, take a look at the win probability chart as momentum shifted countless times throughout the game.
San Francisco jumped out to an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter and really dominated the entire half in general.
One big turning point came in the second quarter, as Jadeveon Clowney scored the first touchdown of the game for Seattle on a fumble recovery.
Clowney had to be the Seahawks MVP in this game, as he was constantly blowing up plays at the line of scrimmage.
The stats don’t even tell the full story of how incredible Clowney played, putting Jimmy Garoppolo in terrible positions all night long.
Seattle began to run away with the game in the second half, scoring 14 unanswered points to a take a 21-10 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Then it was Wilson’s turn to have a costly fumble, as DeForest Buckner made an incredible play for San Francisco to score a momentum-shifting touchdown on a strip-sack.
The Niners converted the two-point attempt to cut Seattle’s lead to a field goal, once again making it anyone’s game. Ultimately each team traded field goals, with San Francisco sending the game into overtime at the end of the fourth quarter.
Seattle won the coin toss to receive the ball first in overtime and Wilson promptly marched his team down the field in search of the game-winning touchdown.
Wilson then made the most shocking mistake of the day, throwing just his second interception of the season.
Garoppolo was able to get his team into field goal range, but unfortunately for San Francisco, starting kicker Robbie Gould was injured and unable to play this week.
That put rookie Chase McLaughlin on the field in the most pressure-packed moment of the season and the young kicker folded under that pressure.
To get a better understanding of how wide left the kick was, here is the view from the tunnel.
The missed field goal opened the door for Wilson and the Seahawks, as they ultimately got the job done to win their second-straight overtime game.
The win opens up the NFC West division race, as the Niners now have just a half game lead on the Seahawks for first place.
Seattle now has their bye week, so they could be in first before they take the field again on November 24th.
The best part of this season’s rivalry between the Seahawks and the 49ers is that the two teams will meet again for the last week of the season, with the division and a first-round playoff bye likely hanging in the balance.
After watching this Monday night game play out, this matchup has proven to be must-watch television moving forward.
Former Michigan State Star Receiver Charles Rogers Dead at 38
Former Michigan State Spartans and Detroit Lions wide receiver Charles Rogers has reportedly passed away at 38 years old.
Rogers’ former teammate Chris Baker confirmed the news on social media, after speaking with the family.
Rogers was a superstar at Michigan State, putting together an incredible two-year run with the Spartans. He still holds school record for his 27 touchdowns, as well as owning the record for most receiving yards in a game with 270.
Randy Moss held an NCAA record for 13 consecutive games with a touchdown catch, until Rogers broke the record during his career.
Across two seasons, Rogers caught 135 passes for 2,821 yards and 27 touchdowns.
In 2002, Rogers won the Fred Biletnikoff Award for being the top receiver in the nation and was a unanimous All-American.
Rogers made one of the great catches in history of college football in a game against Notre Dame, beating double-coverage to make a remarkable catch at the back of the end zone.
Following his collegiate career, Rogers was selected with the second overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.
Due to a combination of injury and substance-abuse related issues, Rogers’ NFL career never quite panned out, as he played 15 games across three seasons before being forced into early retirement.
Rogers is survived by his eight children and mother Cathy.
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