Edson: Good News for BOTH the Lions and Tigers

So with that in mind, let’s look at the good news coming out of the Motor City.

DETROIT LIONS: OK, I’m convinced this Lions team is for real. After a narrow 14-7 win at Minnesota on Sunday, Detroit is now an impressive 3-1, stopped only by… well, we got into that review case last week.

Here is the best news about the Lions: They seem to come up with big plays on both sides of the ball. That’s the mark of a good football team. For many weeks, it was quarterback Matt Stafford who has pulled the win out of the fire. On Sunday, it was mostly the defense that made the difference. They turned two third quarter turnovers into 11 crucial points.

The defense also came up big in clutch fourth quarter situations. When is the last time we could say that about a Detroit Lions defense?

I know it’s too early to jump on a playoff bandwagon, but let’s just say I’ve started to design the bandwagon.

DETROIT TIGERS: The best news about the merciful end of the Tigers season is that they get the No. 1 pick in next summer’s draft. That’s a big deal.

With the players they obtained at the trade deadline and a big draft, the Tigers stand to be 2-3 years away from challenging for a playoff spot again. Many so-called experts are saying 6-7 years. I’m not buying that…

We said goodbye to manager Brad Ausmus after Sunday’s loss to 44-year-old Bartolo Colon in Minnesota. The Tigers finished September with a horrendous 6-24 record and for the season checked in at 64-98. There are several names being mentioned as the next manager and the one that seems to be the most popular is former Minnesota skipper Ron Gardenhire. We’ll see…

Who was the biggest surprise for the Tigers this year? I’ll go with outfielder Alex Pressley, who hit .314 in 245 at-bats. I also like the job Nick Castellanos did after moving to right field. He drove in 100 runs and seemed to hit with more authority when he didn’t have to worry about playing third base.

Biggest disappointment? Anibel Sanchez. Some fans and writers seem to think he earned another shot next year because of how he pitched in the final six weeks of the season. But how can you justify paying a pitching $15 million a season when he has an awful 6.41 earned run average. Get real.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: I think Michigan State saved its season with a hard-earned victory at home over Iowa on Saturday. At the same time, I think Michigan needed its week off to decide what direction it will go at quarterback.

Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.