When playing in our backyard as kids, we all knew the basic rules: maintain possession and have one foot in bounds for college and two for the NFL. It was simple, we didn’t have back judges or replays in the booth.
I recall when the NFL came up with this rule recently, I mentioned to a friend that this will cost a number of touchdowns a season. Not one week after the rule was introduced, Santana Moss had a once clear touchdown ruled incomplete since he slid into some sound equipment on the sidelines. loosening his grip on the football. The game is played within the confines of a field, but for one day, the Lions had a misguided rule cost them a chance at a road victory.
The NFL is a multi-billion dollar industry, a good portion of which they have no say about – gambling, some merchandise and non-wagering fantasy sports. When one team goes from a 5-point loser to a one or three point winner, that impacts a ton of people. It also impacts the psyche of a franchise looking to get things turned around when not playing at Ford Field. When Calvin Johnson ran around the back of the end zone like a little kid scoring the winning touchdown, he took all Lions fans with him. Number 81 knows all too well of the recent football history in this town and his run signified a release from the past, at least for the moment.
That Sunday in Chicago may mark a number of things for the 2010 Lions. Matt Stafford could be out for a significant amount of time with another arm injury. The Lions got very little rushing out of Jahvid Best, who seemed outmatched at times. It also showed that this team, when healthy, may be able to match with more teams than they have over the past five years. If Stafford’s injury isn’t too serious, the Lions might find themselves with more potentially game winning drives.