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.
Posted by NetRat's Lions Blog at 12:20 AM