By: Mike Feld
It’s an unmistakable feeling just about every Lions fan has been through: Whether watching a game from the stadium, the local watering hole or the comfort of the living room, spectators can feel the momentum of a contest shift at a drop of a hat.
According to Calvin Johnson, it’s not by accident.
The Lions’ wide out admitted to Stoney, Bill and Sara this week that the energy after a big play isn’t just a figment of one’s imagination. It’s something that everyone loyal to the Honolulu Blue and Silver can feel
“You feel the momentum when you’re out there; when you’re playing,” Johnson said. “Fans, you can feel it too. You can sense it when the momentum changes.”
Of course, CJ was talking specifically about the now infamous Matthew Stafford fumble that resulted in a second quarter touchdown. According to Johnson, the easiest way to combat the power shifts is to find another opportunity and seize it.
“You’ve just got to wait ‘til that moment or find that moment when it changes back,” Johnson said. “When it changes back, you’ve got to grab a hold of it and put your knee into your opponent’s throat.”
Losing momentum was just one of many elements the Lions were forced to battle. In all likelihood, there wasn’t one aspect that was as prevalent as the cold and snow that Lambeau Field provides.
Megatron could hardly notice the chill while playing, but when he wasn’t on the field, it was quite a different story.
“When you’re the field, you’re great,” It’s when you come to the sideline and you’re standing around and right before you go back on the field. Those would be the times where it’s like, it sucks.”
Another component Detroit had to deal with was yet another avoidable penalty. This time, running back Joique Bell was flagged for a 15-yard penalty after joining in on a touchdown celebration in the second quarter.
Head coach Jim Schwartz was notably critical of Bell following the game – something that seemed a bit out of the ordinary for the Lions’ front man.
Johnson understands the frustration of his coach. However, he did warn that inconsistent punishments of players can result in dissention among the ranks.
“You don’t want to do that in your locker room,” Johnson said. “When guys see guys getting treated differently, you kind of lose respect. Guys want to see everybody being treated the same. You want that. You want that as a team. If I mess up, I expect to get in trouble just like that other person.”
As a team, the Lions are hoping to get avoid further trouble this Sunday in Arizona. Detroit will face a reeling Cardinals team that has lost nine straight after winning their first four.
And if it couldn’t get any worse, the reeling Arizona roster hit rock bottom last week with a 58-0 loss to the Seahawks.
It seems like it should be an easy win for the Lions. Then again, there may not be a more dangerous team in the NFL than a vulnerable one.
“That’s why we’ve really got to put our hard hat on,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to come in; we’ve got to focus throughout the next two days of practice. When we go out there, it’s business as usual. We’ve got to go out there and execute our plays and just leave the dumb penalties [and] mistakes behind us. Those are the things that have been killing us all season.”