The champ has already been crowned. The Lions’ team is already set. Legitimate college football is being played. I get it.
You don’t have a valid reason to watch the Lions play the Bills other than to scream at your TV like the overemotional chick in one of those terrible girl movies whenever there is a cutaway to Jim Schwartz.
But there is some intrigue.
The first, of course, is the winner of the James Mungro Memorial Award presented by (sponsor pending). George Johnson will play. Probably a lot. And when you have an opportunity to witness the glory of George Johnson on a pass rush you don’t miss that.
With the starters playing a series or two, if at all, Johnson should be in a rotation with Darryl Tapp and Larry Webster for most of the game. Do you realize what we have here? Johnson has been dominating backups. Now all of the sudden he’s going against Buffalo’s third stringers. Jeff Tuel better get his diapers ready. Ol’ Georgie boy is coming.
Outside of Johnson, the two remaining JMMA finalists are fighting for jobs.
The Lions will likely take five backs: Either three running backs and two fullbacks or four running backs and one fullback. That leaves George Winn and even Jed Collins in precarious positions.
Let’s address Collins first. Jed appeared to have the starting fullback job locked up. Then the Lions signed tight end Emil Igwenagu and told him he’d be a fullback. This could be a sign that the Lions aren’t happy with Collins and are seeking a replacement, or that Collins’ job is so secure and he’s so valuable to the team that they wanted to sign another fullback to play in this game while they preserve mighty Jed from a needless injury.
With Winn there is no gray area. He’s fighting for his Lions life. He has probably surpassed Mikel Leshoure but he still has to leapfrog one more name on the depth chart to make the team. The name is Montell Owens. Owens is a solid special teamer with the added bonus of being able to play both running back and fullback.
Winn can’t just turn into a special teams wizard. He’s got to go all Merlin on kick coverage.
If watching kick coverage and special teams isn’t your idea of a good time, first of all you’re weird. Second, then watch Kellen Moore. He might’ve won the third-string QB job, but that doesn’t mean he’s on the team. Jim Caldwell had held three quarterbacks in just one of the four years he’s been a head coach or the Ravens’ offensive coordinator. Moore might need this game more than anybody outside of George Winn.
So, yes, I’m asking to watch a fullback and kick coverage instead of a Texas A&M-South Carolina college game between two ranked teams that actually means something. But you’ll also get to see Georgie boy destroy Carson Palmer’s brother.
Don’t do it for me. Do it for George. He’s the champ after all.
Plus, they’ll be plenty of time to keep up on the collegiate games during commercial breaks.
Whatever you do, congratulations. You made it. The NFL is a week away.