Sunday, September 9, 2012
Game 1 2012 @ home against the St Louis Rams
In the first game of the official 2012 season the Detroit Lions managed to win the game 27-23 in a game that should've been a lot easier to win. During the game a lot of tweets suggested that the 3 turnovers were Matthew Stafford's fault. As in completely his fault. I didn't agree with them about that then and I still don't.
I blame the new coaching staff of the Rams and the Rams players for executing the defense perfectly. Jeff Fisher (previously Schwartz's boss) had a great game plan that I hope other teams aren't able to emulate. The coaches realized that if various players on the Lions offense are in single coverage that they immediately become the target. So what did they do? They pealed off guys who were defending one guy (which originally left a player such as Calvin Johnson in single coverage) and had him flow to that single covered player, allowing the defender to make a play on the target who suddenly finds himself in double coverage.
The Lions eventually figured out how to counter those moves but not until playing more then a quarter gun-shy. Now I'm not saying that Stafford couldn't make better throws or saw the coverage shifting, but the bait and switch that was the Rams' defense was pretty ingenious.
Stafford still nearly doubled Bradford's completion numbers and except for the 3 interceptions had a much better day. The Lions also doubled the Rams first down numbers. One of the most notable stats is that the Lions kept the Rams running game to a mere 78 yards rushing. They may have had only 83 yards themselves but in their offense that is pretty much normal. Those numbers won't cut it for the Rams.
The most notable item of the game though was the lack of Titus Young for the majority of the game, and once the commissioner gets done with him, he may be a whole lot broker. Apparently Titus decided to, after a play, head butt a defender.
Special teams did well, the offense started and finished great, the defense was up and down but did enough, in the end it was Stafford who drove down the field and got the winning touchdown with less then 2 minutes to go... and I'm betting many a fan didn't think that was going to happen when the drive started. Instead of confidence in our team we are still jaded from the Millen decade (heck, even the Scott Mitchell decade) and just can't quite muster up the swag needed to root for a final drive to win the game with any expectation of the Lions pulling it off.
We fans... we need as much confidence as Stafford already has.
Posted by NetRat's Lions Blog at 7:56 PM