Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 10/30/11
DENVER So much for Tim Tebow mania. You can forgetabout that Lions team about to split apart at the seams and remind the wearyand worried faithful of all the times when they bungled away games and seasons. If there is such a thing as a big game in Week 8 of the NFL season, thenSunday's game at Denver qualified as one for the Lions. There was high drama among the Broncos with Tebow putting a pulse back in themoribund franchise in his second straight start at quarterback. And there were genuine concerns in Detroit that two straight losses both atFord Field, no less had the Lions on the edge of a downhill skid. Detroit responded by doing to the Broncos what good teams do to bad ones. Theypounded them early and never let up on the way to a 45-10 victory at SportsAuthority Field at Mile High. That sent the Lions into their bye week with a 6-2 record. Their next game isat Chicago on Nov. 13. There is some unique coincidence connected to the Lions' record. The last timethey were 6-2 was 2007, and they beat the Broncos 44-7 in Game 8. There is no comparison between this year's team and the Lions' of 07, who collapsedwith a 1-7 second half to finish at 7-9. The Lions are better in every area except one kicker. They had Jason Hansonin 2007, and they still have him. Not that it really mattered, but he made hisonly field-goal attempt a 50-yarder in the first minute of the secondquarter. The Lions had a plan Sunday and followed it. They were merciless in theirtreatment of both Tebow and the Broncos defense. They sacked Tebow seven times and turned two of his many miscues intotouchdowns. Cliff Avril had a sack, fumble recovery and TD return on the same play. ChrisHouston returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown. Yes, the Lionsdefense outscored the Broncos offense, 14-10. Quarterback Matthew Stafford started, despite missing part of practice duringthe week with a sprained right ankle. He was efficient, completing 21 of 30passes for 267 yards and 3 touchdowns 41 yards to rookie Titus Young, 1 yardto tight end and former Bronco Tony Scheffler, and 56 yards to Calvin Johnson. Stafford's passer rating for the game was 130.8. If he needed to make astatement about this being his team and he really didn't, at least for theguys in the locker room then he did it. In his postgame radio interview, coach Jim Schwartz sounded like a stockanalyst reporting that a Fortune 500 company's earnings were on target in aquarterly report. "We accomplished just about everything we wanted to do, mainly a win,going to the bye with momentum," Schwartz said. "We accomplished whatwe wanted to in the game plan. "The only time they got any yards or did anything was in garbage time atthe end." The Lions went after Tebow all game with their rush, leaving the cornerbackswith man-to-man coverage. Tebow couldn't solve the pass rush or the coverage. He ran often officially10 times not counting sacks and threw high, wide and short. In short, he was dreadful. The previous week at Miami, he played poorly for 55minutes before leading Denver on a comeback from a 15-0 deficit with two late TDpasses. The Broncos won in overtime, 18-15. Tebow could not follow that performance against the Lions. He didn't have fivegood minutes of football out of the entire 60. He completed 18 of 39 passes for 172 yards, a score and an interception. Hispasser rating was 56.8. Like last week's game against Miami, he played his bestball in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for Tebow, a few minutes of decentplay couldn't erase a 45-3 deficit. His erratic play was underscored by the fact that Denver didn't have athird-down conversion until the last play of the third quarter. By then, it didn't matter. The Lions had a 38-3 lead. After surrendering afield goal on the Broncos first possession, the Lions scored 45 straightpoints. The Lions were on a mission, particularly the defense. They've been angered by charges that defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is a dirtyplayer. After the game, Avril expressed how the players were upset about acharacterization of Suh on NFL.com, the NFL's official website. A story onFriday had the headline of "Good vs. Evil," and referred to Suh asevil and Tebow as good. "We didn't appreciate it," Avril said. Avril had his best game of the season, with two sacks, two forced fumbles, aquarterback hit and the touchdown return. Whatever the issues were, "Good vs. Avril" didn't work out very wellfor Tebow and the Broncos. That was good for the Lions.
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