Monday, 30 September 2013

3 reasons the Tigers will win their ALDS vs. Oakland (and 3 reasons they will not)

On paper, I do believe the Tigers have a better overall team than Oakland, but the home field edge is probably an equalizer. So I look at the odds of the Tigers winning the series about 50-50. I expect it to be close, but wouldn't be surprised if it isn't one way or another. It's just the nature of postseason baseball. It's very unpredictable.
                          Three reasons the Tigers

Sunday, 29 September 2013

My thoughts on the Lions 40-32 victory over the Bears Sunday

Lions Show playoff potential in victory over Bears: My Column on Lions in aftermath of victory.

Thoughts after 3rd quarter Bears, LIons

- Each week, Nadamukong Suh seems to play better. He is doing what the best defensive linemen in the NFL are known for doing, imposing his will on this game. He is giving rookie Bears' guard Kyle Long fits. He has had a sack. Suh has forced a fumble. He has done a terrific job of rattling Chicago QB Jay Cutler, who has typically lost his composure under pressure.
- The Lions' offense can't sit on

Thoughts halftime Bears, Lions

- I don't know if that fumble at the end of the half by LIons' QB Matthew Stafford forced by the Bears' Julius Peppers should be hung on offensive tackle Riley Reiff. It looked Stafford held on to the ball too long. It's almost like he has gotten too comfortable in the pocket.
- Seldom has an offense fit a player in regard to player personnel better than the Lions' does for Reggie Bush. There is

Thoughts after 1st quarter Bears, Lions

- Terrific play by Lions' safety Louis Delmas on the interception. He was aggressive, but not too aggressive. The Lions are crowding the line of scrimmage and daring the Bears to throw the ball deep. Could be a good thing for the Lions, though, in it could lead to some sacks.
- Jay Cutler throws a beautiful pass with a tight spiral and good velocity. The degree of his ability to throw the

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland deserves more credit than he gets

My column: 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Riley Reiff, Ziggy Ansah turning draft day disappointment into game-winning delight

My column:

The Detroit Tigers, Jim Leyland and his bullpen

Tigers manager Jim Leyland has long carried a reputation for being a master handling his bullpen. Of all the things strategic in nature, it's Leyland's biggest strength.
And it appears it will take all Leyland's skills in the postseason to carry the Tigers over the top.
In Monday's 4-3 loss at Minnesota, Leyland turned to a couple of the main ingredients he needs for the postseason.
It didn't

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Why it's no conicidence the Lions, finally, won at Washington

My column:

Thoughts after 3rd quarter Lions, Redskins

- If the Lions' lose this game today, it will be even more disappointing than last week's at Arizona. The Redskins are as bad as advertised. The Lions definitely need to start winning these type of games on the road. If they can't, the playoffs will be a pipe dream. This is a very important final quarter which could set the tone for the entire season.
- The Lions had their dream play in third

Thoughts halftime Lions, Redskins

- The good news is the Lions forced another turnover during the second quarter on a Chris Houston interception. Not taking away the ball might have been their biggest weakness last year during a 4-12 season. The bad news is the Lions did not take advantage of the turnover. No points. The Redskins were like a tree about ready to fall at the time. They would have gone down fairly early in this game

Thoughts after 1st quarter Lions, Redskins

- What a horrible start for the Lions. A sack. A sputtering drive. A pick 6. Everything the Lions didn't need to start this game happened. Brutal. But the Lions did a nice job of responding to the adversity with a long scoring drive. It was a good work by backup running back Joique Bell. The kid is a player and taking full advantage of his opportunity with Reggie Bush out.
- Honestly, the

Saturday, 21 September 2013

My thoughts on Michigan's 24-21 victory over UConn Saturday night

MSU plays just well enough to lose to Notre Dame

My column:

Mark Dantonio: Time to regroup

Thoughts after 3rd quarter Michigan, UConn

- Shane Morris has gone from unassuming freshman quarterback biding his time to perhaps the most popular man in Ann Arbor. Seriously, I wouldn't make a QB change at Michigan. It would be ridiculous. I'd give Devin Gardner time to sort things out. But it's a good thing Michigan has a bye this coming week. It's also a good thing the Wolverines' first Big Ten game is a very winnable one at home vs.

Thoughts halftime Michigan, UConn

- What a disaster so far for Michigan. Honestly, UConn looks like the more poised of the two teams. And it is incredible the hapless Huskies have been able to move the ball this well, and have played this well overall, without wide receiver Shakim Phillips, who is out with a hamstring injury. He is easily the Huskies' best player. Who is that on? Wolverines' head coach Brady Hoke. His team wasn't

My thoughts on MSU's loss to Notre Dame Saturday

Thoughts after 3rd quarter MSU, Notre Dame

 - There are two ways of looking at Michigan State's scoring drive in the third quarter. One is was a long drive and the Spartans ran the ball effectively. Quarterback Connor Cook made a couple nice throws. Yet, it ate up more than half of the quarter and netted just three points. There just isn't much explosiveness to MSU's offense. However, the idea to win on the road, is to shorten the game

Thoughts halftime, MSU, Notre Dame

- The Spartans' defense is overrated from the stand point it is exceptionally stout until it really has to stop an opposing team. The first half of this game is a classic example. Notre Dame has many weapons, but the Fighting Irish offense was clearly perplexed. Then, at the end of the half, Notre Dame moved right down the field to take a 10-7 lead. It was kind of a snap shot of MSU's defense

Thoughts pregame MSU, Notre Dame

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Tigers are built for titles bigger than AL Central champions

My column:

Bigger picture for Tigers involves more than division title

Monday, 16 September 2013

Jhonny Peralta a left fielder? Now that's an interesting concept. My thoughts on it

Prince Fielder having a bad season? Not really

Any discussion about Detroit Tigers' first baseman Prince Field
er begin with his $214 million contract, but shouldn't end there.
Statistically, this has been his worst year since he was a young player. A legitimate argument can be made he isn't living up to his contract this season. I do see some validity in it because Fielder has to be an off-the-chart hitter to live up to his salary. He has

Sunday, 15 September 2013

My thoughts on the Detroit Lions' 25-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals Sunday

Typical Lions show up in Arizona: My column on Lions loss to Arizona:

David Akers: What a disaster Sunday

Thoughts after 3rd quarter Lions, Cardinals

There is a long-established formula for success in football. Have a big play on offense. Score on defense. The Lions have followed that today. The one missing part of the equation is the special teams. The missed field goals and Micheal Spurlock's returns are a concern. If the Lions were doing a better job with field position today, this game might be over. Instead, it's very tight.
- You have to

Thoughts halftime Lions, Cardinals

- I haven't heard anybody complaining about Riley Reiff lately, have you? He looks like a pretty good NFL player to me. Larry Warford, too.
- Few quarterbacks can throw seams routes as well as Matthew Stafford. It is probably the biggest factor separating him from other QBs. That type of pattern he hit Calvin Johnson on for a long touchdown during the second quarter was completely taken away from

Thoughts after 1st quarter Lions, Cardinals

- Horrible example of field goal kicking by David Akers. It was a decent drive by the Lions considering they started at their own five. Anything under 50 yards should be a high percentage attempt for an NFL kicker. OK. So there is somewhat of a pass for a 52-yarder. But the second try less than 50? Come on. No excuse for that. As for the injury problem, Akers had them last season. The Lions were

Saturday, 14 September 2013

The most disturbing aspect of Michigan nearly being upset by Akron Saturday

Michigan more lucky than good in victory over Akron. My column:

Thoughts after 3rd quarter, Akron, Michigan

- You run the ball well, good things will happen. Fitzgerald Toussaint broke off a couple nice runs (although one was called back because of a penalty) and the seas parted for the Michigan offense. It wasn't a coincidence.
- We've heard a lot about Jehu Chesson, but we've seen remarkably little of him until his third quarter touchdown. It was an impressive catch and run. Freshman tight end Jake

Thoughts halftime Michigan, Akron

-  Sure, it's natural to letdown after the massive win over Notre Dame last week. But come on, Akron is awful.
- If Michigan doesn't turn the ball over, this game is the expected rout already. Devin Gardner's interceptions in the second quarter were especially disappointing. He has the makings of an outstanding quarterback, perhaps one of the best in the country, but not if he doesn't start

My thoughts on Michigan and MSU games today

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Time for the Detroit Lions to exorcise ghosts from season's past

My column:

Suh, Lions: The road provides test

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Detroit Lions impressive in win over Vikings, but definitely leave room for improvement

My column:

Reggie Bush: Lions' debut worth shouting about

Thoughts atter 3rd quarter, Vikings, Lions

- Very impressive catch-and-run for a touchdown by Reggie Bush. Minnesota's safeties, particularly Harrison Smith, took poor angles in reaction to the pass. Bush saw a seam, and subsequently we saw his speed. He is one of the fastest backs in the NFL. If anything, his pure speed has been underrated. The Lions have done a good job of putting Bush in position to take full advantage of it. Now, part

Thoughts at halftime Vkings, Lions

The Lions are fortunate they are trailing by just a point. There is this "what if" quality about the Lions that is maddening. What if Sam Martin didn't fumble the snap from center? What if Calvin Johnson had actually hung on for a TD? What if Ndamukong Suh didn't try to throw a chop block on DeAndre Levy's interception return? What if Matthew Stafford's pass hadn't been tipped before being

Thoughts at the end of 1st quarter Vikings, Lions

- This game couldn't have started out any worse for the Lions. A promising Detroit drive stalling? A field goal snap fumbled by a rookie punter serving as holder? Vikings' All-Pro running back and longtime Lions' nemesis Adrian Peterson breaking off a 78-yard touchdown run? I understand a lot of Lions' fans began mumbling under their breath, or perhaps even screaming, "Same old Lions." I couldn't

No excuses left for Detroit LIons and head coach Jim Schwartz

My column:

Jim Schwartz: Seat couldn't be hotter

Impressive win over Notre Dame just the start for promising Michigan

My column:

Devin Gardner: Getting it done

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Thoughts after 3rd quarter Notre Dame, Michigan

- It wasn't long ago Jeremy Gallon seemed undersized and underwhelming, but it wouldn't surprise me if he is an All-Big Ten receiver. He had a big game against ND two years ago, but this is turning into one for the ages. He has really taken off since Devin Gardner became Michigan's primary QB.
- These are two well-drilled football teams. It's been an impressive game so far considering it is early

Thoughts at halftime Notre Dame, Michigan

- Devin Gardner looks exceptionally under control tonight, that's for sure. He is an outstanding scrambler, who runs with a great sense of purpose, rather than flash. His first-down completion in the face of pass rush to Jeremy Gallon for a first down midway through the second quarter was particularly impressive. But Michigan needs more production from its running backs to ease the load on him.

Thoughts after 1st quarter Notre Dame, Michigan

- The Wolverines' receivers have been excellent tonight, especially Jeremy Gallon. He has been quite a nemesis for Notre Dame, considering his long catch-and-run for a touchdown in the first quarter tonight, along with the way he stuck a dagger in ND's collective heart, along with Denard Robinson, in '11.
- Michigan was smart to loosen Notre Dame's defense with a couple early reverses, getting

The 15 greatest players in the history of the Detroit Lions

My column:

Little doubt Barry Sanders sits atop Lions' all-time list

Thursday, 5 September 2013

It's eye-opening how vulnerable Detroit Tigers might be in the playoffs

Is there reason to panic about the Tigers? No. But it would be naïve to believe the Tigers' recent struggles against playoff-caliber teams Oakland and Boston weren't telling. I'd still list the Tigers as the favorite to reach the World Series out of the American League, but it's hardly a given. That will be especially true if they aren't able to gain home field advantage. Boston and Detroit are

Why the Minnesota Vikings provide the perfect litmus test fort he Detroit Lions in NFL season opener

My column:

Lions need an early lead vs. Peterson, Vikings

Replay of our live chat this week on Michigan, MSU after season openers, Lions' upcoming opener and Tigers' issues. We do this every Monday 1 p.m. You participation is easy and encouraged.