Sunday, October 28, 2012

Game 7 @ home against the Seattle Seahawks


The Detroit Lions managed a 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit today taking them to a record of 3-4. Matthew Stafford threw 3 touchdowns and ran another in himself accounting for all the Lions points. No field goals. That red zone efficiency is why they won the game, 7 points versus 3, or 4 more points per score.

Stafford was 34 of 49 passing for 352 yards 3 TDs and 1 INT (plus 12 yards rushing and a TD). The primary recipient of those yards was Titus Young who caught 9 passes for 100 yards and 2 TDs.

The defense helped in the team effort by getting an interception (Silva) and pressuring Wilson for much of the game. Special teams made no critical errors. The play calling was in my opinion better then recent weeks. Stafford was even more willing to go down field earlier in the game then usual. Overall, it amounted to just enough to win a game against a tough opponent.

There is plenty of room for improvement but if the team can continue to play at least this well or better then they can make it to .500 next week and hopefully stay there. I fully expect their record to be 4-4 after they play in Florida against the Jaguars next week.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Game 6 @ Chicago Bears


The Detroit Lions lose this game 7-13 making them 4th in the division and the only team below .500 (they're 2-4) in the NFC North. What a frustrating season this has been so far.

It's also extremely frustrating that Matthew Stafford just will not step into his throws. It's like, yeah okay, you got a great arm, but mechanics are still critical to succeeding in the NFL. In fact, I'd say if he continues to struggle and continues to fail to use proper mechanics then it's time to sit him in favor of Hill to drive the point home.

It's frustrating that the Lions keeps using a power runner all the time who has no speed and threatens no defense and sets up nothing in the passing game. You can't play action off of a non-threat. I would think Linehan would know this but perhaps not.

It's frustrating that many of the players have forgotten you actually have to play hard to win in this league. You also have to hang onto the ball. Especially if you're the return man who returns almost nothing.

It's frustrating that every receiver (and tight end) has issues completing the catch. One of which we won't have to worry about now is Nate Burleson, apparently he broke his leg in this game and will end up on IR.

Even the defense frustrated me despite playing fairly well and holding the Bears to just 13 points. More often then not a play to keep a drive alive was allowed and yet I know they were very tired from the offense not putting any drives together that amounted to much of anything. Maybe I was just too frustrated to appreciate their effort this game.

In the end, everyone should be frustrated as the 2012 season is slipping away little by little... it won't be long and we'll be talking draft.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Game 5 @ Philadelphia Eagles

Much Better.

Following the bye week the Lions were much better prepared for this week's foe, the Eagles. Even though it took 3 quarters to get "warmed up" and overtime to secure the win, the Lions finally managed to gain control of the game and win it 26-23. While they didn't dominate they did keep playing, and play hard.

Both Stafford and Vick threw for 311 yards (yes, an exact tie). Vick had 2 TDs but 2 INTs while Stafford had the 1 TD and only 1 INT. The Lions had a much better run game which is surprising, and while the Lions also had more penalties the Eagles had more turnovers lost. The winner of the game was the Detroit Lions' defensive line (and the Lions team themselves). The Dline played much better then in any game so far this year.

Yes, Special Teams were improved. No, the Lions offense still isn't all that unless they are 2 scores behind in the 4th quarter... but Vick will be sore for a very long time after this game and it's all because the Lions DLine played much better then in the past.

There is one more factor that must be brought to light though, the best player on the Lions D hadn't played until today... one Louis Delmas.

Just like last year, the Lions defense plays much better when he is in the game.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Game 4 @ home against the Minnesota Vikings

That wasn't it.

The Detroit Lions lose to the Minnesota Vikings 13-20 in a game that never seemed that close. Their record is now 1-3, good enough for last place in the division. Matthew Stafford completed 30 of 51 pass attempts for 319 yards with NO touchdowns and NO interceptions, though he did go over the top on a 1 yard "run" for the team's only touchdown. Were all his passes perfect? No, they weren't, not all of them, was it why they lost the game? No, that wasn't it.

The Vikings (namely Ponder) went 16 for 26 and 111 yards with NO touchdowns and NO interceptions. Did the Vikings passing game win the game for them? No, that wasn't it.

The Vikings biggest weapon is Adrian Peterson but the Lions managed to allow him only 102 yards on 21 carries. He also had only 20 yards on 4 catches. Meanwhile the Lions utilized the services of Mikel Leshoure for most of the game, he managed a whopping 26 yards on 13 carries but 14 of those were on one play so other then that one play he had 12 yards on 12 carries. Yet Kevin Smith rarely saw the field if he did at all. Leshoure also had 37 yards on 4 catches. While the game was being played I was able to correctly call 4 plays in a row before they lined up just based on what Linehan has been doing, very VERY predictable. While these things made winning a whole lot harder then it had to be, was this the reason the Lions lost? No, that wasn't it.

The Lions had 5 penalties for 72 yards and the Vikings 87 yards on 5 penalties as well. The "regular" refs called the game instead of the temps, were the refs the reason (either now or in the previous games) the Lions lost? No, that wasn't it.

For the first time in the NFL history a team had both a kick return and a punt return go for a touchdown in back to back games. This was done against the Lions' special teams this and last week when guys didn't stay in their lanes. In both games the score would've been such that without those 14 points given up by special teams the outcome of the game may have easily been completely different (meaning the Lions might have been able to win). Is this why the Lions lost? Perhaps. It certainly made things much much worse then they needed to be.

There is not a single stat that will point the way to why the Lions lost (again). There is not one single individual that can be blamed for the losses, except for one. It's not a player, or a ref, or a position coach... it's the head coach. He and he alone is in charge of the coordinators, and he and he alone is responsible for making sure the players are both ready to play and are playing as hard as they can (which allows their talent to rise to the top). The coordinators are NOT doing a very good job and individual players are NOT playing like they are capable of. They are much too talented to be playing like they are.

Next week is the bye week. Let's hope that coach Schwartz is able to review everything and come to the correct conclusions and furthermore is able to get first the coordinators and then the players to do WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF DOING. I'm looking for changes starting from the top and going all the way to the bottom before the Eagles game in week 6.

Changes don't mean firings and cuts, changes mean fixing the play calling, fixing the execution by the players, and getting the team to play like the team can. Anything other then this will not do. Fixing something other then this will only leave us all once again saying... that wasn't it.