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7 Delicious Reasons to Go See a Lions Game in Detroit

7 Delicious Reasons to Go See a Lions Game in Detroit


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Even if you don’t like football…

"Food people don't think about football, do they?" my husband asked me recently upon learning that a Cochon 555 event we'd be attending coincided with a big football game. I'd have argued the opposite — football people don't think about food. Stadium food in my (granted, limited) experience offered little for the food lover.

Click here to see the 7 Delicious Reasons to Go See a Lions Game in Detroit (Slideshow)

What do sports organizers think? That watery beer and processed food products are no doubt made up for by the excitement on the field? But then I heard about the offerings at Ford Field in Detroit, home to my Michigander husband's favorite team, the Lions. Food trucks, local barbecue, craft beer, and cocktails — what is this? Football and food can live happily together? And with that news I at last signed on to attend my first-ever NFL game (unfortunately for the heartbreaking loss against Cincinnati — what I wouldn't give to have been there for the awesome last-second comeback against Dallas the following week!)

The move to feature some of Detroit's iconic food purveyors — which include everything from Coney Islands and Corridor Sausage Co. meats to peanuts from Detroit's Germack Pistachio Co. and Good People Popcorn — is part of an overall Lions push to support their community. The "One Detroit. One Pride." slogan aims to unite the team, often an underdog itself, with the struggling — and persevering — city.

Besides behind-the-scenes efforts like buying office supplies from local companies and working on the ground with neighborhood initiatives, the Lions' local love means finicky fans will find plenty to cheer for at Ford Field. Here are a few of my favorite reasons food lovers should get to a Detroit Lions game.


Ask Kyle: On which Detroit Lions veterans have the most to lose in OTAs, and the crowded RB field

Ryan Broyles is entering his fourth season with the Lions. Could it be his last?

(Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)

ALLEN PARK -- All is quiet on the Detroit Lions front, which is exactly what you want this time of year. If you're in the news, it's probably for all the wrong reasons.

But OTAs do begin next week, which marks the first time the rookies will be on the field with veterans. It'll mark the debut for a guy like Lance Moore, who was signed last week and could push Ryan Broyles for a job.

And on that note, off we go:

Q: Which veterans have the most to lose in OTAs? -- mik

A: Excellent question, because there are a few, starting with Jeremy Ross.

He isn't much of a receiver -- he caught just 24 balls last year, despite playing more reps than every wideout except Golden Tate. His primary value is on special teams, but he was so ineffective there last year that Detroit has spent much of the offseason scouring the country for replacements.

The first thing Martin Mayhew did after selecting Ameer Abdullah in the second round of the draft was note his abilities on special teams. Hint, hint.

If Abdullah wins the return jobs, Ross, who isn't guaranteed a cent this year, is probably out. But he's not the only one on notice. He's not even the only receiver.

Ryan Broyles is facing a critical offseason as well. The former second-round pick missed 16 games his first two seasons in the league due to major leg injuries, then when he was finally healthy in 2015, he was a healthy scratch for all but three games.

Coach Jim Caldwell has said several times he loves Broyles' game, and thinks he could contribute this year. But the problem is Caldwell has also said Broyles doesn't play because Golden Tate fills virtually the same role in the offense, and in case you hadn't noticed, Tate is still on the roster.

So it's hard to see where exactly Broyles fits in -- if he fits in at all.

It's a numbers game, and Broyles could very well find himself on the wrong side of it. Detroit returns everybody from last season, plus added Lance Moore in free agency and gets back TJ Jones from injury.

There are five, maybe six jobs to split between Calvin Johnson, Tate, Ross, Corey Fuller, Moore, Broyles and Jones. Not to mention recent signees like Jarred Haggins and Erik Lora.

The other spot to watch is nickelback, where Detroit has added a boatload of guys to challenge Bill Bentley and Nevin Lawson. That includes Josh Wilson, whom some believe could be the leader to start here.

The Lions also drafted Quandre Diggs and Alex Carter, then touted both of their abilities to play the nickel. So Bentley is another veteran who could find himself on that roster bubble.

Q: How many RBs + FB will the Lions carry and will it be by committee? -- Jeremy

A: It'll be about five, give or take. Joique Bell, Ameer Abdullah and Michael Burton are basically locks, and it would be a total shock if Theo Riddick weren't in that group as well.

Caldwell has already said he expects Riddick to be a bigger part of the fold this year. But I think it could end up being mostly as a pass-catcher. I could see a scenario where many of his reps came out of the slot.

Think of it this way: Detroit's running game was awful last year, finishing 28th. Reggie Bush struggled with ankle injuries for a couple months. And the Lions still gave Riddick only 20 touches on the ground.

If Detroit didn't think Riddick could help on the ground under those circumstances, I have a hard time seeing how it happens this year after adding Abdullah. Unless Riddick totally remakes his game, which I guess is possible. I'm just not banking on it.

That's one fullback, and three tailbacks locked up. That leaves about one spot for some combination of George Winn, Zach Zenner and Desmond Martin.

The Lions are looking for a makeover on special teams, and I'm betting the guy who wins that last job is a major contributor there.

Q: Riddick is being included as a "lock" to make the roster. While I think this is probably true, if he continues to show his basic value as a pass-catcher only, instead of runner going through the preseason, wouldn't it be wise to give the third RB slot to a guy who can actually run the ball? Seems like we got a few candidates to catch the ball out of the slot. Ameer and Bell would be enough of a threat in a two back set to keep the defense honest in my opinion. I like the recent trend of a meritocracy and think that this might affect Riddick if he doesn't improve his running. Thoughts? -- screenhit

A: That's a well-put question, and I don't totally disagree. I think Riddick would help solidify his place on the team if he could show more chops on the ground.

But I also don't think his job as the third back is in any kind of jeopardy, even if he's mostly a pass-catcher. Joe Lombardi values diversity in the backfield, and Riddick provides a totally different skill-set than Bell and Abdullah.

Bell can catch the ball, no doubt, and Detroit expects Abdullah to develop his pass-catching as well. But Riddick, a former receiver at Notre Dame, is easily the team's best receiver out of the backfield, and that's a valuable card to have up your sleeve.

Remember that gutsy 20-yard catch over the middle that helped spark the game-winning drive against Atlanta? Or the sliding touchdown catch that beat Miami? I'm not sure Bell or any other tailback on the team makes that play.

Q: Player(s) you are most looking forward to covering/interviewing this season? -- Stephen Nestorick

A: Covering a player, and interviewing a player, are two very different endeavors. For example, covering Ndamukong Suh has been one of the greatest treats of my career. Watching him plow through double-teams, and make no apologies for the way he went about it, was truly thrilling.

I mean, offenses were specifically designed to slow him down. The Bears went so far as to use a first-round pick on a so-called "Suh stopper." And he dominated anyway. It was athletic theater.

But interviewing the man was about as enjoyable as going to the dentist. He said nothing, and managed to do it with disdain at the same time.

Having said that, among the guys I'm looking forward to covering this year is Matthew Stafford. Year 7 is going to be such a critical one for him. And, of course, there's Calvin Johnson.

I'm curious to see how Laken Tomlinson performs, given the weight of expectation that will be placed on those shoulders. And I'm curious to see how the Lions choose to use Ameer Abdullah.

As for guys I'm interested in talking to, I learn more about the game of football from Glover Quin and Rashean Mathis than just about anybody else. Those guys are incredibly gracious with their time. They never say no to an interview. They'll stand there until every question has been asked, or the media gets kicked out of the locker room.

I'm also truly intrigued by Mathis' ability to continue to produce, even as he approaches his 35th birthday. Corner is such a difficult position, where the loss of a half-step could be the difference between a Pro Bowl and the bread line. Yet Mathis continues to just do his thing, year in and year out.

And, of course, there's Darius Slay. He interviews exactly how he plays the game. With a childlike innocence and exuberance. There is just no filter on that guy, and it makes for some highly entertaining interviews. Like, you know, this.

Q: What's the likelihood that LaAdrian Waddle plays Week 1? -- Louis Mazzei

A: I don't know, and I don't anybody does. Even Waddle. Because it's going to be close.

The Sept. 13 opener will arrive right around the nine-month mark since he tore his ACL. The average rehab time from that injury is a little more than 10 months, although some do it quicker.

Waddle is already running, which is a good sign, but straight-line running isn't usually the biggest hurdle. It's cutting and changing direction -- and for a lineman, planting.

Waddle has been slowed by an assortment of injuries since signing with Detroit two years ago, including elbow, knee, ankle, calf and brain issues. He missed time in 10 games last year alone.

So my guess is Detroit will take its time with him, to ensure he's fully healthy before he takes the field. The same could be said of just about every player with just about every injury, but I do think the Lions will be especially patient with Waddle to give him the best shot at staying on the field once he's back.

He could be available for Week 1. But if I were a betting man, Iɽ lean toward him missing at least some time.

Q: What features do you look for in your sweater vests? -- Todd Greenspoon

A: I tend to prefer sweaters that resemble household appliances. Maybe a lamp shade. Possibly a shower curtain. Whatever's in my grandmother's closet, really.


Lions vs. Falcons: Matchups to watch, key questions heading into Week 7 game

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford scrambles for yardage against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton) AP

ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions are back on the road with a chance to get back to .500 against the Atlanta Falcons. Both these teams won last week, turning in their best all-around performances of the season.

The Falcons fired coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff two weeks ago. Raheem Morris, the defensive coordinator, replaced Quinn as interim coach. With that said, let’s dig into some matchups to watch while trying to answer some key questions heading into Week 7:

Offensive player to watch: RB D’Andre Swift

Swift is fresh off his career’s best performance and appears primed to handle more touches out of the backfield. He ran 14 times for 116 yards and two touchdowns against the Jaguars. Not bad for someone who entered with only 12 carries on the season coming in.

While the running back rotation shouldn’t change much in terms of snaps, expect to see Swift get additional chances out of the backfield. He remains involved in the passing attack, but last week’s game was the first he seemed like part of the game plan on the ground. Adrian Peterson still managed to handle the most, taking 15 carries for 40 yards and one touchdown.

It’s getting harder and harder to ignore Swift’s efficiency when compared to Peterson, no matter how well the veteran has performed in short-yardage situations. The rookie averages 6.1 yards per attempt with 2.19 yards after contact on each carry. Peterson has eight runs of more than 10-plus yards but gets 4.1 yards per attempt. The best example of the veteran’s strange season comes from the Week 3 game in Arizona. A.D. ran 22 times for 75 yards, not bad, but 27 of those yards came on one carry. Last week’s game could represent a shifting of the tides to a more evenly distributed load, but the confidence in Peterson from the coaching staff is hard to ignore, so we’ll see.

Defensive player to watch: LB Jarrad Davis

Jarrad Davis was down to 11 snaps last week, but he’s playing mighty fine in his sporadic role. There’s a chance he sees the field more on pass-rushing downs with edge defender Julian Okwara heading to injured reserve. The third-round rookie had seen his role increase each week but hit injured reserve with a leg injury.

It’s important to reiterate Davis has seen the fewest snaps of his career in three straight games before overhyping his performance. But, he’s taken full advantage of each rep and could carve out an increased role to continue his standing as one of the toughest players to get a handle on.

He racked up three pressures and two tackles on 11 snaps last week, earning one of the highest grades (95.2) from Pro Football Focus seen around these parts in quite some time. He was the top-graded linebacker in all of football last week and could get another shot at a more consistent role with pass-rushing reps opening up.

4th down and Davis is at the JACK. He stunts inside and while he misses the sack (that will come with more experience), he gets up and pursues Minshew, forcing the timetable. pic.twitter.com/Pr3FLn3cak

&mdash Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) October 20, 2020

Rookie to watch: DL John Penisini

John Penisini has continued to see his role increase with each game, leveling out with more than 20 snaps in consecutive weeks. Detroit’s defensive line stuffed the run last week in Jacksonville, and the sixth-round rookie enjoyed the best performance of his young career.

Jaguars running back James Robinson ran 12 times for only 27 yards last week. Penisini finished as the fifth-best interior defender against the run in Week 6 per PFF. He also received some props from his coach, with Matt Patricia saying the rookie’s improved play has allowed them to move pieces around on the defensive line more.

“I thought it was good to put him in the middle and see how that anchored some things for us to allow those other guys, like you said, to move around, and maybe be in some different positions," Patricia said earlier this week. “It was good to see. I thought he played well. He’s strong. He can play very low to the ground. He does a good job with his hand placement. It was good to see for his first chance to get a lot of reps out there and play really well. We’ll see how that goes going forward. I was proud of him for going out and compete hard.”

Trey Flowers (EDGE 90) does a terrific job on the outside. Solid pad level, gets full extension to create separation with inside hand and while working back inside, he lowers his pad level.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on John Penisini (DT 91). Showing early he's tough to reach. pic.twitter.com/sMtRCAd5rO

&mdash Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) October 21, 2020

Matthew Stafford vs. Matt Ryan:

This weekend’s matchup pits two veteran gunslingers and good buddies in Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan against each other. It also represents Stafford’s first game back in the state of Georgia since his college playing days.

Stafford hasn’t gotten it rolling yet this season while Ryan is coming off his best game of the year. The Falcons quarterback won NFC offensive player of the week honors for his 371 yards and four touchdowns in Atlanta’s first win. Ryan completed 30 of 40 passes and did it without pushing the issue downfield as much as usual.

The Lions quarterback has thrown it deeper more often with the return of receiver Kenny Golladay, but last year’s eye-popping downfield efficiency has yet to return. Stafford is completing just 60.7% of his passes, averaging 2.1 fewer intended air yards per throw from last year’s numbers.

Atlanta’s secondary has been picked apart more than a couple of times this season, which should have Stafford looking to get it clicking. With Lions cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman missing another start, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley should also be licking their lips for this matchup. This game has shootout potential, and it starts with these two quarterbacks.

“You know, I feel like when we play, we’re both competitive dudes,” Stafford said. “We just want to go win. We’ll probably have a dinner wager on it, or something like that, something friendly. We’ll be just trying to beat each other. I’ll obviously pay attention when he’s on the field like I do with every other quarterback. He’ll do the same, I’m sure, when I’m out there but trying to go win the game. Both of our teams didn’t get off to the start that we wanted to get off to, and it’s important for us to go out there and try to win as many as we possibly can.”

A look at Matthew Stafford against Jacksonville

*Adjusting the arm slot
*Climbing and firing
*Working windows underneath pic.twitter.com/oFa3Hv7XSa

&mdash Mark Schofield (@MarkSchofield) October 19, 2020

Trey Flowers vs. Jake Matthews:

Trey Flowers turned in one of, if not, his best all-around performance since signing with the Lions last year. He pulled off a beautiful strip-sack, two pressures, three tackles and even dropped back in coverage to lay the thunder. PFF recognized Flowers as the top edge defender in the league in Week 6. He worked through a wrist injury in practice this week but was cleared to play after practicing in full to end the week. Flowers has two sacks, two forced fumbles and 17 tackles to open the year.

Jake Matthews presents an underrated challenge for Flowers. The former top-10 pick from the prestigious Matthews offensive line family has allowed 11 pressures, three hits and no sacks in five starts. PFF ranks him 10th among all tackles in the pass-blocking department.

According to @NextGenStats, this strip-sack by the @Lions Trey Flowers (@III_Flowers) happened in 2.7-seconds and was the Fastest Sack in the NFL in Week 6. pic.twitter.com/HXu5VOUW4X

&mdash Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) October 19, 2020

Amani Oruwariye and Jeff Okudah vs. Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley:

Amani Oruwariye has been one of Detroit’s biggest surprises of the season, thriving in a role thrust into the starting lineup. That’s not doubting the second-year cornerback’s ability. It’s just that he’s been really good lately.

Oruwariye allows 0.87 yards per coverage snap, the 15th best mark in the league. He’s 46th overall per PFF and has more than handled his own on the outside. He allowed only two catches on 10 targets last week and even got his hand on a fourth-down throw for Jaguars receiver D.J. Chark in a tight spot.

Chark is good, but he’s not Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley. Jones was back on the field last week, and he stuffed the box score with eight catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. He’s likely to play through a hamstring injury and sure looked good doing it last week with 67 yards after the catch. On the other hand, Ridley has used his elite route-running ability to hit another level in Year 3. He already has 546 yards and five touchdowns in six games, well on to career-best marks. Ridley’s production was down last week, but he still hauled in six catches for 61 yards and one score.

Jeff Okudah’s play has improved in recent weeks, especially in the tackling department, with some standout stops. Atlanta’s second-ranked passing attack presents another tough challenge for the prized rookie with Coleman and Trufant missing. Okudah ranks 120 of 122 cornerbacks with enough snaps to qualify in terms of coverage per PFF. He’s allowed 19 catches on 26 targets for 299 yards in four games. He made an impressive diving interception in the win in Arizona and has 22 tackles, highlighting a roller-coaster start to the prized rookie’s career.

Outside corners as nearest defender this season.

x = target rate
y = completion percentage over expectation allowed (Next Gen Stats model)
color = success rate (via Next Gen Stats) pic.twitter.com/huXNuzaG3v

&mdash Seth Walder (@SethWalder) October 21, 2020

Will Detroit’s defensive adjustments carry over?

The Lions got it done last week, but they sure looked different doing it. Matt Patricia’s defense opened the year playing more man coverage than anyone in the league by a hefty margin. That number has considerably shrunk from 82.1% down to 39.1% in Jacksonville. Detroit’s defense also entered with only 43 pressures in four games but racked up a whopping 21 in the win. The Lions head to Atlanta ranked 30th in blitz percentage and 29th in pressure rate even after the impressive showing.

“I don’t know where you guys get your stats from, but there was enough man in there. Played a little bit more zone,” Lions defensive coordinator Cory Undlin said. "Just like it is every week, it depends on the quarterback. Depends on the wideouts. Depends on what they’re doing in the pass game. So it changes up. Also depends on the situation in the game, right? What the score is, where we are, how was the run going, how we are holding up in coverage? So, I mean if I showed you the call sheet, it probably wasn’t that much different than it was in the last couple of weeks. When you get in there, and like we talked about in the past, and you stop the run, and you end up making teams more one-dimensional, then you can do other things.

“It all worked out, and when you play a game, and you stop the run, and you end up playing a game, and you end up getting ahead and kind of playing complementary with the offense, then it opens up the opportunities to do more of that stuff.”

How will Detroit deploy its offensive line?

The Lions used all eight offensive linemen last week, with the entire right side leaving due to dehydration issues. It was the first time seeing their full line available, but that opportunity didn’t last long.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Tyrell Crosby didn’t return after leaving in the first half. Matt Nelson took over for 43 snaps at right tackle. Joe Dahl logged 34 snaps at left guard in his first game back since the opener. Rookie Jonah Jackson flipped sides, playing 44 reps at left guard and 16 on the right side. Oday Aboushi even came off the bench for 44 snaps at right guard and three at right tackle. Frank Ragnow and Taylor Decker remained stout in their every-down roles.

With that said, the Lions plowed the way for 180 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Stafford wasn’t sacked and took only four hits. It’s all systems go for this weekend in Atlanta, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the team balances Vaitai, Crosby, Dahl and Jackson’s playing time. Crosby has more than held his own at right tackle while the team has seemed more than open to keep Vaitai on the inside despite paying $45 million for a tackle.

It’s important to remember the Lions deployed a guard rotation between Graham Glasgow, Kenny Wiggins and Dahl last season. Current offensive line coach Hank Fraley was on that staff, and the Lions were already toying with a rotation before Crosby and Vaitai exited. Don’t fret too much because Fraley has this group rolling as PFF’s top-graded run-blocking unit to this point.

Will one of these two teams blow a fourth-quarter lead in spectacular fashion?

These two teams have blown leads in spectacularly embarrassing fashion this year. Seriously, both the Lions and Falcons have lost while allowing 20-plus fourth-quarter points to the Chicago Bears this year.

Detroit has blown double-digit leads in each of its three losses. The Falcons blew a 20-0 halftime lead to the Cowboys while forgetting how to recover an onside kick. This one has some high entertainment value for all the wrong reasons, especially once that fourth quarter hits.

“I think for all of us, you just look at their players, and you can see how dangerous and how good they are,” Patricia said. “Certainly, from our standpoint, I think we know that it’s 60 minutes of football in the NFL. Sometimes it’s more. That’s just what it is. Like we talk about all the time, I think it’s 67% of the games are one possession or seven points-or-less, and 34% are three points-or-less. I think you’re seeing that in the NFL this year. I think you’re seeing a lot of really close games. I think you’re seeing games that are high-scoring games that are really close. You’re kind of all over the board with it. So, from that standpoint, we’ve just got to stay focused, got to stay locked in and stay consistent through the course of the game. I think we’ve talked about that through the course of this year, too, and not ride the ebbs and flows of the game and just concentrate on the next play.”

Today marked the Falcons’ 5th loss when leading by at least 16 points since the start of 2016, including the playoffs.

No other NFL team has more than 2 such losses over that span.

&mdash ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 27, 2020

What to do in Detroit

1. Detroit Institute of Arts: An Outstanding Collection of Art

Located just off Woodward Avenue in the Midtown area, the Institute of Arts is Detroit's cultural highlight. Spread across a massive 61,000 square meters of exhibition space, the 65,000 pieces in the DIA span thousands of years of history, from ancient Egyptian and Greek sculptures to the latest contemporary works. From the moment you enter, you're bombarded with art, courtesy of Diego Rivera's famous 'Detroit Industry' murals, and you'll need at least a day to see all of the other standout works as well.

2. Belle Isle: An Island of Delights on the Detroit River

A 982-acre island in the middle of the Detroit River, Belle Isle is the place that Detroit natives go to get away from it all. And it's also home to a cluster of fantastic attractions, including the Belle Isle Aquarium, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, which houses plants from all over the world. But even if you aren't planning to tour the museums or gardens, it's simply a great place to unwind, whether you walk the 6-mile ring road or rent bikes by the hour at the Riverside kiosk.

3. Motown Historical Museum: The World's Number One Music Exhibition

For many people around the world, Detroit and Motown are one and the same. Never has a record label become so closely identified with the people and fortunes of a city, and few labels have been as successful. From 'Baby Love' by the Supremes to 'I Heard it Through the Grapevine' by Marvin Gaye, Motown Records has a back catalog like no other hit-factory, which makes visiting the Motown Historical Museum absolutely essential. Housed in the original recording Motown HQ, the museum lets you stand in Studio A, where some of the most magical music ever recorded came into the world.

4. Comerica Park: Have a Ball at One of America's Great Sports Venues

If you're a sports fan, making a pilgrimage to watch the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park is a Motor City essential. The four-time World Series winners are based at this Downtown stadium (with Ford Field next door if you fancy doubling up and checking out a Lions match). But it's not just any old stadium. Where else can you ride a carousel and a Ferris wheel, buy a brew in the international Beer Hall, and see sculptures of Tigers legends like Ty Cobb or Hank Greenberg?

5. Dearborn: The World's Greatest Automobile Attraction

Aside from Motown music, Detroit is synonymous with the automobile, and no suburb is so closely identified with the motor vehicle as Dearborn. Located a few miles west of central Detroit, Dearborn was the birthplace of Ford Motor Company. These days, Ford has diversified their production facilities, but their presence lives on via the excellent Henry Ford Museum, where you can see the chair Lincoln was shot in, the Kennedy assassination limousine, and even the bus that Rosa Parks rode in as she challenged segregation. It's a historical goldmine.


Biking in Detroit

Although Detroit is the Motor City, biking has really started to gain a following in the city. With the addition of new bike lanes, the Dequindre Cut Greenway, easy bike rentals like Wheelhouse Detroit on the RiverWalk, and MoGo bike rentals for quick rides in the city, it has never been easier to see Detroit from the comfort of two wheels.

If you want a classic Detroit experience, then a Monday night Slow Roll is not to be missed. This weekly bike ride is led by locals and takes you through Detroit’s best neighborhoods. Ride slow and talk to the locals – we promise you won’t regret going out on a Monday night.

Looking to show off your cycling skills? Participate in the annual Tour de Troit race that explores the city’s most historic areas. Tour de Troit also puts on biking events that take you across the Ambassador Bridge, through Detroit’s eastside, and on a ride in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. And for a unique biking experience, you can ride or watch races at the Lexus Velodrome, Detroit’s very own indoor cycling arena.


Detroit Lions WR Marvin Jones to chase Super Bowl in free agency: 'That's what I want'

Former Lions WR and current NFL Network and CBS TV personality Nate Burleson joins Dave Birkett to discuss the Matthew Stafford trade, Jared Goff & more, Feb. 2, 2021. Detroit Free Press

Marvin Jones wants a chance to win a championship, and with the Detroit Lions entering rebuilding mode, that makes a return to Detroit unlikely when Jones hits free agency next month.

Jones said Thursday on SiriusXM NFL radio that &ldquonothing&rsquos off the table&rdquo as far as where he plays next season, but that a chance to win a Super Bowl is high on his list of priorities.

&ldquoAt this point in my career, that&rsquos what I want,&rdquo Jones said. &ldquoThat is what I want, but at the same time, it&rsquos not going to be &mdash I&rsquom not going to just straight sacrifice and not get what I&rsquom worth just because I&rsquove put in my work to get where I&rsquom at and it happened the first time and I did it, and I think I outplayed it the second time.&rdquo

DAVE BIRKETT'S MOCK DRAFT: Will Lions take QB at No. 7?

Wide receiver Marvin Jones (11) of the Detroit Lions makes a reception over cornerback Malcolm Butler (21) of the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter of the game at Nissan Stadium on Dec. 20, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo: Wesley Hitt, Getty Images)

Jones has been a focal point of the Lions offense since signing a five-year, $40 million free agent contract in 2016.

He had his only 1,000-yard receiving season in 2017, when he led the Lions with 1,101 yards and the NFL in yards per catch (18) last season, he led the Lions with 76 catches, 978 yards and nine touchdowns.

Jones, who turns 31 next month, is expected to be one of the top receivers available when free agency opens March 17.

Fellow Lions receiver Kenny Golladay also will be a free agent, though he is a candidate for the franchise tag, and the Chicago Bears' Allen Robinson and Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Chris Godwin could set the market at the position.

Jones picked the Lions over the New England Patriots, among others, when he left the Cincinnati Bengals after his rookie contract expired, looking for more opportunity to be a featured receiver.

Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones catches a touchdown against Washington Football Team cornerback Kendall Fuller during the first half at Ford Field on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

He said late last season he was "excited" for another taste of free agency, and on Thursday he said both money and the chance to compete for a title will be factors in selecting his next team.

&ldquoI think there&rsquos variables, obviously," Jones said. "I know if there&rsquos certain teams that come knocking on my door, we&rsquoll get something to work for both sides. But at the same time I am 31, I am going on my 10th season, but I&rsquom still running past people and I&rsquom doing the things that I&rsquove always done. So I have no signs of slowing down at all. And I think what I get will reflect that."

Regardless of where Jones ends up, the Lions will have a new-look passing game in 2021.

Along with Jones and Golladay, top slot receiver Danny Amendola is a free agent and the Lions are replacing longtime quarterback Matthew Stafford with Jared Goff. Tight end T.J. Hockenson is returning from a Pro Bowl season, but the Lions have just one receiver under contract &mdash Quintez Cephus &mdash who caught a pass for them in 2020.

"You take a step back and you talk to your family and maybe my priorities have changed," Jones said. "Definitely am looking for somewhere to go where I can go in and contribute and be a leader and win some games, so we&rsquoll see."


GM Brad Holmes expects Penei Sewell to have major impact on Lions

When it came to the No. 7 pick, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes had his eye on three prospects.

And even though he declined to name the other two &mdash although it's a safe bet LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase was in the group based on reports the Lions explored trading up to land him &mdash Holmes was thrilled Penei Sewell, one of those three talents, slipped to the Lions.

Brad Holmes had reason to smile Thursday night. (Photo: Detroit Lions)

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"We just couldn&rsquot be any more excited than we are about Penei, just really stoked," Holmes said. "To be able to land him, he&rsquos gonna be an integral and impactful piece to our franchise going forward for years to come. He&rsquos gonna be a great addition to our offensive line. He&rsquos just a transcendent talent. I can&rsquot quite remember a guy that had feet like him in a long time. But it&rsquos not just the athletic ability, he&rsquos got the toughness, he&rsquos got the grit, he&rsquos got the strength, he&rsquos got the intangibles that we&rsquore looking for."

The Lions' excitement was apparent with how quickly they turned in the pick, with plenty of their 10-minute allotment remaining. Holmes said the team got a few calls about a trade, but, at the end of the day, they liked the idea of adding Sewell more than picking up additional picks.

"I will say the phone rang from a couple teams, but we just felt so good about Penei, it wasn't intriguing enough for us," Holmes said.

Had Sewell been off the board, Holmes said he would have strongly considered drafting a different offensive lineman. Northwestern's Rashawn Slater was the next off the board, going to the Chargers at pick No. 13. The Lions GM mentioned another position group intriguing him at that spot, but, for competitive reasons, declined to be specific.

The most notable player the Lions passed on in favor of Sewell was Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. Holmes acknowledged he liked the player, but Sewell was higher on their draft board and that dictated the decision.

Nothing off the board

Just because the Lions addressed their offensive line in the first round, Holmes didn't want to rule out going back to that well on Friday, when the Lions are scheduled to have three picks in Rounds 2 and 3.

"We're going to stick with the same plan that we had at seven, or if we would have possibly moved in any direction up or back, that's just to get the best football player," Holmes said. "We're not going to anchor ourselves or pigeonhole ourselves and say, 'We got to get this position or that position.'

"I mean, hey, look, if it's another offensive lineman that's a high-impact player, then it's another offensive lineman. If it's a defensive back, then it's a defensive back. Whoever is the best football player for us to make sure that we can get the most competitive team as we can through our efforts, then that's where we're going to go."

Saintly influence

Holmes and coach Dan Campbell have a vision for the Lions, but how that will be executed is a work in progress. But the emphasis the team has placed on the offensive line, adding Sewell to an already solid unit, mirrors what the Saints did while Campbell was with the franchise.

All five of the Saints starters last year were selected in the first two rounds of the draft, including three during Campbell's five years with the franchise.

"Dan has shared with myself, in terms of how their offensive line was set up, and when we sat down, Dan and I just started really looking at the roster as a whole," Holmes said. "We actually identified the offensive line as a strength on our team. To be able to, let's just say 'feed the beast' and add to that strength, and just make it even more of a powerful unit, that's really what it came down to."

Rodgers rumors on peripheral

Yes, the rumblings that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay reached the Lions' war room. How could they not? But there wasn't much time to consider the ramifications of the reports that could not only shake up the NFC North division, but the entire NFL.

"Well, obviously, because it's news within the division, we're aware of it," Holmes said. "We talk about it, but, you know, obviously, it's speculation. We can't really bank on anything or think that things are going to happen. We just kind of had a brief discussion about it and we gotta get focused and take care of our business."

The Lions have been tormented by Rodgers during the quarterback's career. In his 13 years as a starter, the Packers have won the division seven times, while he's posted a 17-5 record in the head-to-head series.


Casinos

Try your luck at any of Detroit’s casinos! During our visit we stopped by the MotorCity Casino Hotel. This bright and impressive casino has over 2,800 slot machines, 59 table games, and a 12-table smoke-free Poker Room. Besides all that (as if that wasn’t enough!), the casino also has restaurants, live entertainment, and even a spa!


Cornbread

I went to this place because it was supposedly one of the best BBQ places in Downtown. This place is so overrated it's not even funny. I decided to pick up dinner for the family. I got a full slab dinner with cornbread and string beans. I also ordered apple drumsticks for the kids with Mac and cheese. It was almost $50 so I'm expecting a pretty wonderful culinary experience. While I'm waiting I see the cornbread and I'm like that looks like cake. I asked someone who I assumed was a mgr, "What is your cornbread like?" She replied, "Cake." I'm thinking to myself that's not a good sign. She also mentioned that they don't make it themselves. I asked for a small sample, which she obliged and I appreciated. It was corn cake. That should have been a sign for me to walkout, but I switched my sided to mac and cheese and Cole slaw. She said that it would be 10 minutes more and I'm thinking, "Are they making it from scratch? Should be a good thing." I get a big bag of food and come home ready to eat. I pull out the ribs and they look tasty. After the first bite I noticed they are well seasoned but not falling of the bone. Not ideal, but I'm thinking maybe the sides will make the drive worth it. Not exactly. I notice that the container with green beans is half full. The Mac n Cheese was decent but nothing to brag about. The cole slaw was equally mediocre. My dad's fiancé assured me this was a bad batch but I'm thinking maybe they just aren't that good? Next time I'll just go to the local spot near the freeway. It was a total letdown. The only reason I will not go with 0 stars is because the service was great and the restaurant had a vibrant ambiance.

Others will see how you vote!

Don't get the meatloaf - the smoke flavor from this thing was too overwhelming for me. Overall, it just seemed expensive and everything was a la carte. want cornbread , extra. Want a side, extra. It's a cool place, very nice people but I was disappointed overall.

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  • Matt M.
  • Boston, MA
  • 1 friend
  • 49 reviews
  • 14 photos

Maybe it's been awhile since had actual good BBQ, but either way this place is fantastic! Prices are little higher than I expected on the beers but the BBQ is top notch. I had the triple stack and if you like pork, this is the sandwich for you. Mac and cheese is also a worthy mention. Cornbread is solid, but not a standout in my opinion. Overall though a great spot to have dinner and grab some drinks.

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  • Sam A.
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • 651 friends
  • 223 reviews
  • 178 photos

Always a solid meal at Slow's BBQ - especially at the one in Detroit. I was in town for a Lions game with some friends and we got there right when it opened and grabbed a quick lunch before the 1 PM game.

The service was great - the waitress was super accommodating to our request that we wanted to be in and out of there very quickly. We ordered a couple of things of the Briskey Coney Fries for the table to share - basically, a bowl filled to the brim with waffle fries, topped with smoked brisket chili, a cheese sauce, some onions, jalapeños, and BBQ sauce. It is unbelievably heavy and can be eaten as an appetizer or as your single meal.

As far as actual meals go - why would you get anything else other than BBQ here? The Reason is their most popular menu item - it's their pulled pork and coleslaw sandwich and I've had it before. It's very good. However, I like brisket and it's easily my favorite type of BBQ meat, so I ended up getting that. They just slice it up and put it on a tray for you to eat and it's fantastic! You can get the "Big Three" if it's your first time - that's also good because you get to try their pulled pork, their brisket, and their chicken. However, if you know you like a certain type of meat, you can definitely just get a single meat item and they'll load it up for you.

In my experience, their brisket is the best. It's soft, it melts in your mouth, and it's easy to dip a small piece in the different types of BBQ sauce that Slow's has to offer. that with some mac n' cheese on the side (or some cornbread ) and you've got a hearty meal. A wide selection of beers if that's what you need to top the whole meal off and overall an awesome spot just outside of downtown Detroit and a must-eat if you're in town for a trip or a visit!

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  • Jonathan C.
  • New York, NY
  • 565 friends
  • 335 reviews
  • 15 photos
  • Elite ’21

Amazing BBQ option in Detroit! The pulled pork is delicious and so so tender and flavorful. I also loved their mac and cheese which is baked to a nice brown at the top and filled with hot cheese and al dente noodles throughout. Their cornbread is awesome here as well!

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I write this out of love, in the hopes that improvements will follow. I was introduced to Slows a little over 10 years ago, as being one of the best rib joints in Detroit. It's been a while since I've visited, but it is no longer anywhere near to holding that title.

The baby back full slab I had tonight was very disappointing. Half of the slab was decent/passable, but the other slab was tough, dry, and chewy. Even worse, parts of the membrane were still there, making the ribs harder to deal with. The meat was not falling off the bone and required determined bites/chews.

After getting our server's attention, I made her aware of our dilemma and asked for the other half rack to be taken back, because life is too short to eat tough ribs. She was gracious and facilitated the change. Unfortunately, the replacement was only slightly less chewy than the previous.

It wasn't all bad. Our server was very good and our side orders of cornbread and sweet potato mash were on point. (The green beans were, to quote Lisa Simpson, "meh". ) Service was prompt, especially since we made them aware of our tight time constraints. However, since I limit my barbecue consumption for health reasons, when I do decide to go all out on some ribs, I can't squander the calories on an outcome like this. Especially when there are so many other options nowadays offering top notch ribs and other barbecue fare.

I'm hoping I just dined at a bad day/time and that this is not the new norm in contrast to what I remember.

Others will see how you vote!

  • Casey Z.
  • Houston, TX
  • 183 friends
  • 230 reviews
  • 21 photos
  • Elite ’21

I had a coworker once describe Slows as the best bite in Detroit so of course I couldn't not come here to see what they hype was about. We didn't make reservations and the place was decently busy even at 5:30 pm on a Friday but luckily a table for two opened up quickly. Restaurant has nice decor and the wait staff is friendly.

We ordered the reason and the big three with mac and cheese and cornbread as sides. There were 5 large bottles on the side of the table that we tried out beforehand and they weren't bad - I liked the sweet one and would've liked the spicy if it had more heat. We realized why they needed those 5 large bottles though when the food came out. You can tell just by looking at it with how bland the meat will be. The chicken was basically dry chopped up chicken breast with no hint of an apple BBQ glaze. Brisket was also dry and bland and cannot compete with Texas brisket. The pulled pork was alright but still dry. The reason as a sandwich was mediocre but the bun was nice and buttery. We had to drench absolutely everything in sauce to make it even palatable which normally doesn't bother me since I like my barbecue with sauce but it needs to have a good foundation in the meat first. My boyfriend is more of the "great barbecue doesn't need sauce" kinda guy so he was pretty disappointed.

The mac and cheese and cornbread spared this review from being one star though because they were pretty tasty. Still, they must've either been having a really off day or I just don't get Detroit BBQ. Texans beware.

Others will see how you vote!

  • S L.
  • Detroit, MI
  • 8 friends
  • 126 reviews
  • 1 photo

Service at the bar was excellent! The food, however, was all over the place and nothing was warmer than room temperature.

The Hot Mess was mostly good, with tender, delicious pulled pork and pork belly. The third component, housemade sausage, was harder to eat as we ate it. We were told that the sausage is supposed to be like Andouille. That was a selling point, as one can never go wrong with Andouille! This was nothing like Andouille and became difficult to eat after a few bites. They should try a new sausage recipe or get better sausage from a local vendor.

The St. Louis ribs were underwhelming. It was t so much that they we're bad, but they certainly weren't good. As for the sides: waffle fries were fine, pit beans were delicious, and cornbread was flavorless and almost tasted stale.

Overall, a pretty disappointing experience that I'd consider a waste of money. I'd consider returning to try a sandwich but not much else.

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My second visit here within 6 months and my opinion remains steadfast. This restaurant is totally overrated! The babybacks were overdone, dry and not tender at all. Paid extra to get "ribs and chicken " thinking I would get a quarter or half of a chicken. Nope, shredded chicken in a small bowl. Cornbread tasted dry. Best thing aside from the beer, was the beans! Definitely not in any hurry to return or recommend. Too many great places in and around the "D"!

Others will see how you vote!

This is the worst bbq I have ever eaten in my life. I have tasted bbq from NC and TX so I am aware of how bbq should taste and I would have given this restaurant at least four stars if the barbecue was close to decent. But as soon as I walked out of the restaurant I felt extremely sick of what I had eaten. The baby back ribs were warmed in the microwave. The meat was tough. The cornbread was dry. Will not waste my money here.

Others will see how you vote!

  • Robby H.
  • Sterling Heights, MI
  • 32 friends
  • 48 reviews
  • 114 photos
  • Elite ’21

All I can always say about slows Bar BQ is WOW!! This place never disappoints me with its food! Food is always fresh and hot and the quality and quantity is very good! I ordered " the hot mess" and it did disappoint me at all.

I just wish I didn't get so full fast from the appetizers, the hot mess came with a few sides the house made cornbread , waffle fries and I got the macaroni and cheese as in additional side and everything tasted amazing. The portions are more than fair, I can usually eat for 2 people and I got full very fast and had to take the rest home, which I ate that night!

The only thing about that place that I am not to fond of is the inconsistency in dining, when I first went to slows I was told that they took reservations and we were seated around the time that had available

The other times I went was for carry out

But this previous time I went, relating to this review, I was told they do not take reservations and seating was first come first serve when I asked the waitress for a table she mentioned she did not have any openings despite there being 5 empty tables. I suggested an empty table and she told me those are for reservations only. When I asked her why are those reserved when we could not reserve one and she did not have an answer for me. So we had to sit at the bar.

Overall, food is fantastic as always just very inconsistent with dining and reservations

Others will see how you vote!

  • Chelsea M.
  • Culleoka, TN
  • 27 friends
  • 102 reviews
  • 14 photos
  • Elite ’21

A Detroit staple! Finally got to eat here after years of hearing how good it is. I got the brisket with cornbread , and it was phenomenal! All the sauces are homemade and so so good.

Others will see how you vote!

  • Brittany A.
  • Royal Oak, MI
  • 472 friends
  • 4 reviews
  • 1 photo

If you want real bbq, please don't go here! We were the only people in the restaurant this past Monday so you would assume the food would be fresh and amazing, but unfortunately not. We ordered the bbq wings to start. They were good- no bbq (except what you put on them) but they were the best thing we had. My husband ordered the 1/2 slab of baby back ribs and The Big 3. The brisket was dry and the pulled pork was over sauced. The baby back ribs were ok- they had a nice smoky flavor but I expected more from a place that is "known" for bbq! I had the brisket burger- i think it was called the All American. Awful! I took 2 bites and was done, it was so dry. We also had waffle fries which were drenched in oil you could taste it, Mac and cheese- horrible, and hard Cornbread . The service was pretty good, our waitress was kind enough to take the brisket off of our bill, I didn't have the heart to send back everything. I work in the industry and know how annoying it is when people send back food. I guess if you like warm, tough bbq this is the place for you. I will never stop in here again!

Others will see how you vote!

  • Dana R.
  • New York, NY
  • 382 friends
  • 176 reviews
  • 266 photos

Come hungry and wear loose clothes. You'll thank me later.

Slows is a rustic southern BBQ restaurant whose interior includes a giant wall that opens up and lets all the sunlight in the world in, wooden benches, and a spacious bar.

Our friends took us here for brunch when we were in town and I am so glad this was the choice they made. Slows' authentic, heart-and-soul comfort food makes me really resent the idea of getting southern food elsewhere.

The Mac n Cheese is probably some of the best I've ever had. The cornbread , slathered with butter, was so good I could've had five. The apple BBQ chicken was a dream. Portions are pretty generous and you will walk out of here feeling so full you'd have to unbutton your pants.

Others will see how you vote!

  • Stephanie B.
  • Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
  • 116 friends
  • 1763 reviews
  • 3692 photos
  • Elite ’21

Slows BBQ is a fun place to get a meal in the Corktown neighborhood. Conveniently located hear the highway, it would be fairly easy to get here from anywhere in Metro Detroit. Parking is available on the street and was relatively easy to find at lunchtime during the week.

We were there right at opening time, so we were the second table seated. I have to imagine that it is sometimes difficult to get a table here - no reservations and pretty delicious food.

The service was friendly, but a little distracted. The water glasses stayed full but much of our order was misinterpreted, which resulted in a substantial delay for our meal (and led to changing a ticketed reservation).

With that being said, we all enjoyed our food. Some things were better than others. I would not order the pulled pork plate - it was not very flavorful and was a mix of tender and dry meat. I would also not order the Chili again as it was more of a soup and less of a chili. To me, the Triple Threat Pork was also a "miss" in the flavor department, but this may be a more subjective evaluation based on the fact that the pulled pork is not that good and it is merely topped with applewood smoked bacon and ham. No sauce - pretty dry.

Now, the smoked chicken and pork gumbo with loads of okra was super delicious and very filling. Similarly, mom's green beans were an awesome preparation of haricots vert tossed in a spicy and tangy mustard sauce. The pit beans were a real highlight - baked beans with chunks of smoked meat were out of this world. The mac and cheese was popular with those that eat it as was the cornbread . I loved all of the bites that I had of the Hot Mess. You can skip the pulled pork, but the Housemade Sausage is well seasoned and cooked with a perfect crispy casing. The tender Pork Belly is tender and delicious. And, I just loved the accompanying pickled red onions and dill pickles.

We wrapped up our meal with the awesome Banana Pudding - vanilla pudding was mixed with Nilla vanilla wafers and banana and topped with whipped cream. It was super fresh and delicious.

I mostly ate the green beans and the pit smoked beans and had bites of the dishes of others. The green beans and the pit smoked beans were the best dishes on the table. The pulled pork was the worst. The sauce selection was delicious - loved that apple BBQ sauce. I would give it a solid 3.5 stars.


Why do the Lions and Cowboys always play on Thanksgiving?

Welcome back to the Yahoo Sports NFL Mailbag, where we’re taking your questions via Twitter, Facebook, email, and screaming into the void. Got a question? Hit us up by email at [email protected] or see below. Today, we’re talking Thanksgiving games, NFL turducken, the Cowboys and more. Let’s roll!

What is the history behind the Lions and Cowboys playing on Thanksgiving every year? Has the league considered doing something different, like a Super Bowl rematch?
[email protected], via Twitter

The league usually has Super Bowl rematches early in the season, which I grant you is not the best use of that kind of marquee play. We’re already excited enough for the NFL to return why not burn that inevitable Titans-Browns game early, when we’ll lap up anything?

But to answer your primary question, the Lions have played on Thanksgiving since 1934, and the Cowboys since 1966, and both for the same reason – because the teams’ owners understood that Thanksgiving was a day when a captive audience awaited, a millions-strong contingent of ready-made football fans willing to watch anything to avoid talking with their relatives. Since 1978, Dallas and Detroit have each hosted a game.

We’ve fallen into a lovely rhythm since then the Lions get the early game, and most of America gets its one chance to see Detroit bumble its way through yet another season. Then the Cowboys follow, and America gets to hear announcers try to proclaim that really, no kidding, we promise, this is the year that the lurching, wheezing Cowboys franchise stumbles its way out of mediocrity.

But this is the NFL, and anything worth doing is worth overdoing. So in 2006, the NFL added a third primetime game, meaning you’ve got nine-plus hours now for the TV to be on and drown out your annoying, crotchety uncle (or, if you are that uncle, your smartass nephew/niece home from college), at least until your mom tells you to turn off the TV and come to the table.

The third game opened the door to a range of new teams, and we’ve had some strong games since then. Mark Sanchez’s buttfumble game was a Thanksgiving special, and so was Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin tripping the Ravens’ Jacoby Jones. This year, we’ve got Falcons-Saints, and while the game doesn’t look great from a pure talent matchup perspective, this is one of the more underrated rivalries in the NFL, and well worth your viewing time.

Also, it’s called stuffing, not dressing cranberry sauce is not only good, but tastes just fine coming out of a can and if you don’t like turkey, you’ve been served lame turkey your whole life. These food opinions are law and no others will be considered.

If a TurDuckEn contains 3 of the best fowl meats, who are your choices to constitute a QuaRunVer the best current NFL quarterback, running back and wide receiver?
-Terry, via Facebook

I am going with the MaGurLio: Patrick Mahomes, Todd Gurley and Julio Jones, all melded together in a delicious mishmash of skill, flash and fantasy points. And that is a horrifying image to picture in your head.

Commercial break!

Fischer’s Training Table Bread! Y.A. Tittle endorses it, so you know it’s gotta be good! I will never get over the fact that people used to play football with the goal posts right there at the goal line. Seriously, how many people ran straight into those things? Odell Beckham Jr. would totally use those as a pick to take out the safety, and he’d be right to do so.

Can you say how the Cowboys are a lock for the division title? There’s a six pack in it for you.
-Dean Grant / @gdeangrant, via Twitter

Sweet! I’ll happily sell out my journalistic principles for beer! And this time, I even believe what I’m shilling!

I don’t think anyone in the NFC East is a “lock”– well, except for the Giants, they’re a lock to suck– but yeah, Dallas definitely has the inside track to the division title. Philadelphia looks completely adrift, and Washington is … well, Washington even before Alex Smith’s leg got snapped, I wouldn’t place any faith in the Redskins, ever.

So, yes, Dallas is headed for a first-weekend matchup against someone like Minnesota or Carolina, and might even be able to sneak into the divisional round if the Cowboys catch the five-seed napping. And that’s where it’ll end, because the Rams or Saints will devour the Cowboys like a sports-bar chicken wing.

I wonder how many decades it will be before the media stops bringing up Colin Kaepernick every time a team is looking for a quarterback.
-Bryan, via comments

I mean, probably until teams stop hiring worse quarterbacks than Colin Kaepernick.

Come on. We’re a year past the kneeling story. Kneeling’s all but stopped, ratings are back up, players are focusing their charitable efforts in less provocative ways, everybody’s getting on with their lives. Kaepernick isn’t playing in the NFL ever again, and nobody’s going to think you’re any less of a REAL AMERICAN if you admit what you know is the truth – Kaepernick is a talented quarterback whose political beliefs kept him from getting a job.

You don’t have to agree with what he said or did (yeah, I know, pig socks! PIG SOCKS!) to concede that he would have been a better QB than some of the out-of-the-league-for-years stiffs signed to hold clipboards in the NFL. No, NFL teams aren’t obligated to sign Kaepernick, who would surely bring more headaches from howling fans than a backup QB is worth, but let’s all stop pretending that “football reasons” were behind any decision not to sign him.

And as my Thanksgiving gift to you, that will be the last time we mention Kaepernick in this space … at least until the Jets go and sign a three-legged donkey as a quarterback.

That’ll do it for this week. We want your questions! Hit us up via email at [email protected] , on Twitter using the hashtag #AskYahooNFL , on Facebook here , or in the comments below. See you next week!

____
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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UFC Vegas 27 results: Font heavily out strikes Garbrandt for unanimous decision victory

No. 3 ranked bantamweight Rob Font picked up a unanimous decision victory over no. 4 ranked contender Cody Garbrandt in the main event of UFC Vegas 27. Throughout the fight Font successfully utilized his decisive reach advantage and frequently landed punches with incredibly impressive jabs that led to well put together combinations that noticeably stung Garbrandt. Font landed a total of 180 significant strikes and threw a total amount of 358 significant strikes. With the victory, Font extends his winning streak to four, and this impressive and decisive striking clinic on Garbrandt can only guarantee a title eliminator with a contender at the top of the already outrageously stacked bantamweight division. UFC Vegas 27 results: Carla Esparza gets second round TKO victory over Yan Xiaonan in co-main event Carla Esparza and Yan Xiaonan at UFC Vegas 27 - Photo by Getty Images Carla Esparza extended her winning streak to five after she defeated Yan Xiaonan impressively by second round TKO in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 27. Esparza utilized her wrestling skill from the get-go, taking down Xiaonan and dominating her on the ground in the first round. Toward the end of the first, Esparza opened up Xiaonan in side saddle position with a nasty cut on Xiaonan’s head. The second round spelt the end for Xiaonan. Esparza got Xiaonan in the crucifix position and rained strikes in rapid succession until the fight was stopped. With the victory, Esparza inserted herself into title contention and possesses a legitimate case to be next up to face Rose Namajunas in a strawweight title rematch. UFC Vegas 27 results: Jared Vanderaa gets unanimous decision win against Justin Tafa in bloodbath Jared Vanderaa vs. Justin Tafa - Photo by Getty Images Jared Vanderaa secured the first UFC victory of his career as he defeated Justin Tafa by unanimous decision. The first round was all Vanderaa’s. The American was strategic with his gameplan in the first round as he wisely picked his shots and decisively oustruck Tafa and utilized heavy body kicks to take the first. The tides changed, however, as Tafa hit Vanderaa with some big shots and opened up a nasty cut on Vanderaa’s head despite the fact that Vanderaa still outstruck Tafa by 27 significant strikes in the second round. Vanderaa found his composure again in the third round, though, as he put together impressive combinations and landed the highest amount of significant strikes on Tafa in the third round out of the first two with 49. All in all, it was an entertaining slugfest between two upcoming heavyweights in a potential fight of the night contender. Vanderaa advanced to 11-5 with his victory over Tafa. UFC Vegas 27 results: Jack Hermansson gets unanimous decision victory over Edmen Shahbazyan in main card opener Jack Hermansson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan - Photo by Getty Images Jack Hermansson is back. The no. 7 ranked middleweight utilized his ground game to scoop a unanimous decision victory over no. 10 ranked contender Edmen Shahbazyan in the main card opener at UFC Vegas 27. It appeared Shahbazyan outstruck Hermansson in the first and one could argue he won that round. But after that, Hermansson exercised his superior ground game and utilized ground and pound to land vicious strikes throughout the latter rounds. While the second round was a little bit of a toss up, it would not be far fetched to say Hermansson won the last two, and he decisively won the third round. With this win, Hermansson is back in the win column after he lost to Marvin Vettori in December 2020. Shahbazyan on the other hand, drops to two losses in a row as he suffered a third-round TKO loss to Derek Brunson in August 2020. UFC Vegas 27 live results: Rob Font vs. Cody Garbrandt

Leah McCourt turns tables with upkick, submits Janay Harding in wild Bellator 259 finish

The finishing sequence started with a heel to the face and ended with a tight squeeze.


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