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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Game 3 Analysis

Can we now put the Mike Martz hatred to rest? We all know J.T. O'Sullivan is not a better QB then Kitna, but it is quite evident now who is the better OC (as if I haven't been saying that all year long). Remember, San Fran is a worse team then the Lions the past couple years. They have a new OC and new QB. Atlanta had a new front office, new QB, new lots of things. Green Bay had a new QB. The Lions have no excuses at all for the coaching or the lack of talent on the field. None. You can not come up with a single one that will hold water.

The wide receivers to a man can no longer catch. Kitna no longer is as accurate. Why? Because they've lost interest. They do not like the play calling. They do not believe the coaches. If you don't see it you will, as they continue to self destruct. Remember, this is the EASY part of the schedule. That was said all off season. So is it going to get worse? Yep.

Unless.

Unless the players are suddenly going to start buying into what the coaches are saying. That is, assuming that what the coaches are saying is even close to being correct. Barry may very well have the worst defense in the league for the 2nd year in a row. They are horrid. And for some insane reason they will not play the newcomers... sure they aren't seasoned vets. But they have energy. They still beleive in the coaches. What will happen if they play? The Lions lose? Ha! They are anyway. Play Dizon until he messes up so much you have to play Lenon instead. Play Cohen until you can't take it any more then put Cody or Darby or whoever back in. Try them THEN decide if they can't do it.

The offense has zero faith in the defense and are in zero agreement with the offensive play calling. At this point, as things stand right now, the Lions will not win a game in 2008. The coaches now have an uphill battle this next two weeks. Can they get through to the players?

Maybe.

If they do, the Lions might maybe win 5 games this year. If they don't. One win would be a minor miracle.

Will it get better next year? No. It won't.

It is time. Time to ask for Millen's resignation. Time to hire a for real, honest to god, front office experienced CEO (who is probably right now the 2nd in command to a real CEO). Someone already high up in a successful organization... like the Cowboys, or the Patriots. Someone who can come in and clean house... from the lousy scouting department to the lousy cap managers to the terrible disconnected PR people... to the head coach. Time for said new head coach to hire real coorindators, for offense, for defense, for special teams.

The cupboard is not bare. There are a few decent players on the team actually worth keeping. But, like Miami, or Atlanta, it is time to start over with real staff.

So Mr Ford, ask for Millen's resignation. Let all know you have an opening. Then inform the coaching staff to play the new talent so they gain experience and can be properly evaluated by the next coaching staff. Save us a year's worth of time by doing this... and then look at all the options and get a real true blue (and silver) CEO who can turn this embarrasment around.

No one is going to blame you for doing it. They already are blaming you for not doing it earlier. Do the right thing. Do it now. Get rid of Millen.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Game 2 Analysis

What a game!

Lions defense started out giving up score after score, again, allowing a 21 to 0 score. But the Lions (FINALLY!) started playing more of the "new talent", namely Cherilus, Dizon (some), Alma-Francis (some), and a little Pearson now and then... and caught up then passed the Packers with a small lead mid-way through the 4th quarter. So, do they try to drain the clock and go with run plays? No. Then the defense allows another field goal so that the Packers take the lead. So again, do the Lions take a time consuming trip down the field to score a game winning field goal? Nope. They try to pick on the wounded CB Woodson, who has enough pain killer to keep a horse running on two legs, and Kitna loses his patience (or concentration, or both) and throws a pick for a TD.

Down 2 scores Kitna truly blows it by throwing yet another TD ... and eventually doing it again when it no longer mattered any more.

Did Kitna lose the game? Yep. Sure did.

But.

The defense can not be excused for the 24 points before the interceptions. The coaching staff can not be excused for failing to protect the lead and drain the clock with plays called for that specific purpose.

So, keep playing the new talent, and thank you ever so much for getting Middleton back on the team... but learn when to hurry up, when to spread out the offense, when to call the run and the short safe passes to drain the clock... and it wouldn't hurt to learn how to settle down your QB when he gets flustered either.

So, blame Kitna, I am... but don't let the defense or the coaches off the hook.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Game 1 Analysis.

Okay, I skipped the blog updates all summer as I was trying to avoid my being so negative, but now that game 1 is out of the way I don't find a reason to continue to avoid it.

I wasn't happy about the cuts, but was happy about the Rudi Johnson and Nece pickups. Though I think cutting Gardner and keeping Cannon would've been the smarter choice. I didn't like that they cut all the returners, but the new guy, Thomas, may have a future in it IF he quits hesitating and just goes full bore, thinking and cutting while on the fly. I didn't like the loss of Buster Davis, or going into the season with the exact same starting Linebackers, they are just too important in the T2 defense to stop the run. I didn't like keeping 11 dlinemen... there was no need, 3 of them will be inactive every week anyway... most likely. I didn't like only having 4 WRs and 4 TEs. I also HATE that the rookies they do keep aren't being promoted to starter status over the ineffective starters. Despite what they think, the problems on offense was not Martz and the problems on defense was not all S. Rogers.

Okay, so Game 1. Did they mix the run and pass effectively? No. Was it because of the running backs? No. Was it the 4 tight ends on the roster? Nope. Was it the play calling? Nope. It was the inability of the offensive line to block. Period. Same problem as last year. And what do you know, the starting line is the exact same starting line as last year. Golly. Hard to figure out why they can't run.

Smith is a keeper though, did you see him throw his body in a fake at the goal line so that Kitna could complete an easy pass to Fitz? Wow. Rudi is no slouch either, he just needs time (lots of it) to learn the plays. That is normal and another small complaint I had to those who were okay with keeping two RBs and hoping the Lions would pick up another or suggesting they must be planning it, as if the Lions could know that a worthy one would be available and would actually sign with them.

The Falcons completed 9 passes. That's it. That's all they needed anyway though. Those quick passes into the middle will be a problem all year with the current LB corp (just like last year). But the Falcons scoring that many points using the run is inexcusable. The tackling was terrible. The run fits were a joke. The dline, despite keeping 11 on the roster, sucked. The linebackers, despite keeping the "vets" over any rookies, sucked. And playing Fisher over Bodden is STUPID.

Kitna, not wanting to be left out, managed to add a number of dumb plays in the 3rd quarter to the film. Raoila started bobbing his head just before every snap again. The blocking by the offensive tackles was amazingly ineffective, despite keeping 4 TEs on the roster to help them. The play calling was suspect at first, and didn't matter later on. No sense of urgency when behind in the late 3rd quarter. No hurry up offense. No help from any of the coordinators (that's offense, defense and special teams). And a head coach that will "fix it" after seeing the film. Well, you were supposed to "fix it" before the season started, and you could always try "fixing it" during the game too, it's not unheard of.

So, the plusses? The RB and WR positions aren't bad. One TE is capable of staying healthy and not bad. The guys on the bench are well rested. That's about it I think. Oh, Jason and Nick are still good kickers. Okay, that's it for the positives.

Can they win the 7 games I predicted they would come away with this season? It won't be easy, since this was one of the 7 games I predicted they'd win. Next week is a very good Favreless GB team. I don't go much for the QB being the bigger half of the team, and I don't think that highly of Favre, so I think that Green Bay is still likely the division dominating team (with the Vikings coming in 2nd) but it is a home game and maybe, just maybe, they'll try harder to tackle after a solid week of getting yelled at by the so far terrible coaching staff.

Maybe.