Sunday, November 8, 2009

Game 8 - 2009 @ Seattle

You just got to love rookie NFL football players.

Especially when your team is playing a lot of them. In the NFL every player makes mistakes, every team makes mistakes, and the general consensus is that the Vet players have learned from most of those mistakes and therefor make fewer of them. (Same goes for the coaching staff). Many games come down to the team who's players made the fewer mistakes, or at least fewer of the mistakes that actually affect the outcome of the game. Some would say that every mistake affects the outcome of the game, but that isn't always the case.

For example. Jason Hanson misses a chip shot field goal. The very next play by Seattle turns the ball over to the Lions, and the Lions are even closer to the end zone, and the Lions then turn it into a touchdown. Would the Lions have gotten those 7 points on top of the 3 points should the field goal have gone through? No way to know (short of a visit to an alternate universe). They certainly wouldn't have another set of downs with that great field position (most likely anyway), so you have to believe that no, the field goal would've produced only 3 points and the miss allowed the team to (eventually) get 7 points instead.

What I'm getting at is in this game the rookies Delmas, Levy, Hill, Williams, Brown, and Pettigrew all managed to greatly reduce their number of mistakes and play a fairly decent game (for the parts they played in it). Stafford however, did not.

The team played well enough (and that includes the good things Stafford did) to overcome 4 interceptions, but the 5th one was one too many. Does that mean the last one was the worst one? Maybe. But any of the others may also have netted a score (eventually) and changed the outcome of the game. It's also possible in an alternate universe you would find that with zero interceptions the Lions would've still lost. Who knows (for sure).

The whole team needed to make fewer mistakes in every game they've played this year, and in this game many players did make fewer mistakes (the receivers actually caught the ball for the most part), but one key player made a bunch of rookie mistakes, and that contributed (in this universe) greatly to the loss.

This loss only matters if Stafford learns from it. If he does not, it was a gigantic waste of time (and money). But if he becomes a better QB for it, if when he is the vet player those things don't happen, then it's worth it... because the wins the Lions aren't getting this year wouldn't have taken them to the playoffs anyway. They weren't going to get enough of them. But the learning the rookies are doing is VERY important. Painful, but needed.

Despite it all, the Lions were 2 minutes and 1 TD away from winning this game against a bunch of veteran players on their home field. Our rookie QB did manage to throw the TD, just to the wrong player on the wrong team. Please let him learn from it.

That's all you can do when you play this many rookies at once, hope they learn from it. Hope that when they become Vet players, they won't make all the same mistakes all the time. Hope you will have a good group of vets so you don't have to play as many rookies. Unfortunately, we fans get to have the fun of waiting the time out in this universe to get to that future.

New coaching, new schemes, new players, new rookies starting, all on the 2008 worst team of the league. You can't really have expected instant success. It's a recipe for ups and downs. And that is why you have to love watching rookie NFL players play (and hopefully learn)... it's how you (re)build a team. it's the only way to get there from here. It sure beats not playing them at all.


Brian said...

I have no complaints... The rookies need to play, the Marinelli Lions never played their kids, but this season I've seen Stafford, Pettigrew, Delmas, Levy, Hill and Follet make some plays. That's a great start, I just never expected a team with over 50% roster turnover playing that many kids to win many games, I have an eye on future seasons, and these rookies giving it their all is a great start in my opinion. Unfortunately for us Lions fans, we have to realize that this is basically an expansion year, starting from scratch...

flaco said...

Stop using so many parentheticals. It's distracting.

Drake said...

I'd matter how good rookies are, they are mismatched when the mental game matters: towards the second half. So, what you gonna do? They do need to foster that team spirit and comradery tho--brotherly luv, believe or not will be the magic to take them to the endzone. Oh yes, brothers, believe it!

NetRat's Lions Blog said...

Less parentheticals (got it).