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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Game 9 - 2010 @ Buffalo Bills

Getting Colder.

Yep, it's mid-November and it's definitely getting colder outside. The Lions are also getting colder... as in far far away from where they thought they would be, where they expected to be, and from where I thought they were. Lions break their own record by losing their 25th road game in a row. They also allowed the Bills to get their first win of the year. And it was raining. All game pretty much. The team looked and played cold, slow, and not too good ball.

If one was to look at the box score one would see the Lions losing 12-14 and that the new kicker missed a field goal. The temptation might be to point and say "that was why". One would be wrong.

The Bills are one of the worst teams in the league defending the run... so far at least, that could change (they pretty much had the hardest schedule in the league). Yet the Lions managed only 2 first downs by running (and 16 passing). I think it's safe to say the Lions run game has been bad all year not just because they played tough run defenses... but because the Lions are not good at run blocking. Their fastest RB (Jahvid Best) also appears to have an aversion to grass fields. He looks horribly slow when he's on an outdoor field (at least he has been every time he's played on one so far). This might have been a good game to play Smith more, but that did not happen (6 for Smith, 17 for Best). At 76 rushing yards for the Lions and 151 rushing yards for the Bills it's readily apparent who is the better team at run blocking and run stopping... and it's not the Lions.

The Lions "one-armed" Quarterback (Shaun Hill played the game with his non-throwing arm in a light cast having broke it 4 weeks ago and with a titanium plate and 6 screws inserted) got 314 passing yards versus the Bills anemic 139. This too is a complete flip, the Lions defense is known for it's poor secondary and linebackers... why only 139 passing yards by the Bills? First, the Lions are getting a bit better at defending the pass, but the real reason in this game is that the Bills did not need to pass to win. They did just enough to get the job done and the Lions couldn't really stop them. Didn't really appear they wanted to actually. The body language for many of the players was that they were cold and miserable and they played exactly that way, cold and it was indeed miserable.

The rest of the box score (stats) can be found here if you are interested http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2010111406/2010/REG10/lions@bills/analyze/box-score

The only thing that you need to know though is that the turnovers were equal to 1 apiece but the Lions had 11 penalties to the Bills 4. The sloppier team lost.

There were few big plays to add to highlight reels but quite a number of potential winter coat endorsements could be forth coming. Then again, I think most companies want winners for their endorsements, so perhaps there won't be any offers for that either. I guess the Lions will need to figure out how to get warmer before the next 11 days are over, as they have two games to play in that time frame, one being their only nationally televised game of the year. If they do not, it'll only keep getting colder and colder, on the field, in the stands, and from the fans.

It's well past time for the Lions coaches and players to get themselves focused and to get the fans something to feel all warm and fuzzy about. I don't need or want a new winter coat to beat the cold, I just need my team to not play cold.

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