Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/20/11

Three weeks ago, Kevin Smith was sitting on his couch, out of the NFL.  Today he scored three touchdowns to lead a Lions comeback.  The running back who is now in his second stint with Detroit rushed for 140 yards and added 61 yards through the air.  Smith also scored the game clinching touchdown as the Lions overcame a 17 point deficit to beat the Carolina Panthers 49-35.

Smith stole the show in Detroit today, ripping off long gains with elusiveness and strength.  Smith looked as good as ever, racking up 201 yards on 20 touches- 10.0 yards per touch.  Quarterback Matthew Stafford also came alive in the second half, and ended up throwing for five touchdowns and 335 yards.

The stories will be about another fantastic Lions comeback, but the real story is another Dr. Jackal- Mr. Hyde performance by the Detroit Lions.  In the first half the team looked dismal, turning the ball over on all three of their first possessions.  The last team to do that?  Well, the Lions became the first.  Defensively the Lions looked sluggish, allowing quarterback Cam Newton to control the game.  Newton had both a rushing and passing score in the half, and led his team to a 27-14 lead at the break.

Special teams were again a problem- Kealoha Pilares (who???), the rookie wide receiver from Hawaii, ran back a kickoff 102 untouched yards for a touchdown right after Kevin Smith got the Lions on the board with a 28 yard touchdown catch from a screen pass.

Can Kevin Smith replace Jahvid Best and restore the Lions run game?

I don’t know what Jim Schwartz is feeding the Lions at halftime, but once again, the second half was a different story for Detroit.  The team stepped up on offense right away, scoring two touchdowns in the first ten minutes of the second half.  After a poor first half that included two bad interceptions, Stafford finally played to his potential.  He made a few laser-like throws, including a nice toss to tight end Brandon Pettigrew with 2:32 left that broke the 35-35 tie.

The defense also stepped up forced three second half turnovers, including two crucial interceptions in the final two minutes.

The win was crucial for the Lions, and with how well they played in the second half, they deserved the win.

My problem is this: if the Lions continue to play such poor football in the first half, they will not be able to comeback against good teams.  You can’t start slow against Green Bay or other contending teams and win.  The Lions HAVE to get much more consistent if they want to make the playoffs.  Even second tier teams such as Oakland and San Diego (Lions play both these teams down the stretch) won’t be particularly easy to comeback on from 17+ down.

The good news is that the Lions got a win in a must win situation, and may have found Jahvid Best’s replacement in Kevin Smith.  However, the bad news is that the Lions are still not quite there in terms of consistency.

That said, if they play like they did in the second half for a whole game, look out Green Bay.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker