Sunday, November 23, 2014

2014 Game 11 - Lions @ New England Patriots

We Can Only Hope

The Lions are now 7-3 after losing their second game in a row to the 9-2 New England Patriots by a score of 9-34. Matthew Stafford was a dismal 18/46 (39.13%) for 264 yards, no touchdowns and 1 interception. Meanwhile Tom Brady was 38/53 (71.7%) for 349 yards 2 TDs and 1 INT. We can only hope that the Lions will be better prepared for their next game which is in 4 days on Thanksgiving Day against the Chicago Bears.

The Lions had 91 yards rushing if you count the 3 times Stafford ran for his life, and the Lions defense allowed the Patriots to run for 90 yards (and 2 TDs). They sure didn't look like the NFL's number 1 defense this game, at least, not after the first couple of series. In the beginning of the game Suh and Ansah were stopping the Patriots, making huge play after play, then they nearly disappeared for much of the rest of the game. The players on defense seemed to have forgotten how to tackle, and to cover, and to disrupt, or to blitz, or even how to wait for the ball to be snapped. We can only hope this was some kind of hiccup in the season and not a prelude of things to come.

The offense dropped so many passes that I think it outnumbered the completions, pretty sure of it in fact. The offensive line continues to not block. The run game continues to not really scare anyone. Stafford still does stupid things (though he was doing better for much of the game this week). Did I mention the drops? Yeah, there were LOTS of those. Ebron looks like he's not interested in blocking, or running a route if he's not going to get the ball, or to be the least bit physical, and that probably worries me more then the rest of the things I saw go wrong. We can only hope the coaching staff can get this straightened out somehow. They supposedly cut out 1/5 of the plays to make it easier for the players to implement the plays and they responded by doing even worse then in previous games. Meanwhile, the Lions went from 1st in the division to 2nd and play again in 4 days against another divisional team. Stop me if you've seen this scenario before.

Not to be outdone, the special teams continues to miss field goals (did make 3 though) and fail to hit deep punts consistently or to stop long returns by the opposing team. Ross spent more time heading towards the sidelines then he did going towards the end zone. It was really frustrating to watch.

The only thing I saw that was positive from this game was that the officiating was much more fair and generally correct all game long.

As I type this the Lions only scored more points this week then the Jacksonville Jaguars (3) and the Arizona Cardinals (3). Yeah, those Cardinals. Hard to believe really.

I thought about going into a great multi-page rant about various individual players, and coaches, and that spot on the wall over there that is really bothering me... but what good would it do? Other then wiping off the spot on the wall (which I already did) I can not affect the outcome of these games in any way, so I, like everyone else, has to simply sit (or stand or lay down or even pace) and hope the team somehow, someway, improves and starts to win games again.

Will I find myself on Thursday giving thanks for a Lions win? We can only hope.

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