By James Herold
‘Twas the night before Halloween, a cold, chilly 30-degree day outside, but a warm and comfortable game inside domed Ford Field in Detroit. The now 6-2 Detroit Lions took down the now 3-5 Las Vegas Raiders 26-14, as a part of ESPN’s Monday Night Football Weekly Coverage.
The first place National Football Conference North leading Lions were stalled on three early drives, turning the ball over three times, missed a field goal and still won the game by double digits.
As I entered the stadium, I was greeted by several stadium workers giving out Lions Defensive End, Aiden Hutchinson bobbleheads.
Hutchinson is a former University of Michigan Defensive End and No. 2 Overall Pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
I then got a picture with six Detroit Lions cheerleaders before heading into the main part of the stadium near the field. There, ESPN’s Monday Night Football’s Crew consisted of analyst Scott Van Pelt, former Washington (then Redskins, now Commanders) quarterback Robert Griffin III, and other commentators.
By halftime, the Lions were up 16-7 after a firsthalf of missed opportunities in the red zone and only settling for field goals, then finally scoring a touchdown towards the end of the half. By the end of the game, Detroit improved offensively especially with their running game as their defense dominated most of the game. A pick-six interception for a touchdown by the Raiders in the third quarter was quarterback Jared Goff’s only huge mistake.
Goff had completed 26 of 37 passes for 272 yards with an 18-yard strike to tight-end Sam LaPorta for a touchdown that put Detroit up 16-7 late in the first half. Wide-receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown had six catches for 108 yards. Raiders’ quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who in the past week missed six quarters because of a back injury, was 10 of 21 for 126 yards. Even when Garoppolo had time to throw to an open receiver, he would misfire, as he did when wide receiver Davante Adams was all alone deep down field late in the game. When that series ended, the standout receiver slammed his helmet on the sidelines and sat disgustedly on the bench. “This was definitely a bad day,” Garoppolo said. “I just have to be smart with the ball.”
As for the Lions, running back Jahmyr Gibbs ran for a season-high 152 yards and a touchdown, tight end Sam LaPorta had eight receptions for 57 yards with a score. “We wanted to get Gibbs going,” said head coach Dan Campbell. Campbell also praised the defense, “When your defense plays that good, you can overcome that.”
After the game was over, a sea of Lions fans gathered by the east end zone chanting, “Go Lions!”, 6-2, and chanting at Gibbs. The Monday Night Football crew had a postgame show, Van Pelt spoke with Gibbs about his thoughts on the game.
This was definitely a game to remember as a Lions fan. After a bye week (week off from playing), the Lions will take on the Los Angeles Chargers on the road in Inglewood, California (a suburb of Los Angeles), Nov. 12 at 4:05 p.m. The Raiders will take on the New York Giants at home in Las Vegas, Nov. 5 at 4:25 p.m.