Sunday, November 1, 2015
2015 - Week #8 Detroit Lions vs Kansas City Chiefs in England
The 1-7 Detroit Lions lose this one to the 3-5 Kansas City Chiefs 10-45 while playing in England proving the roster built by Martin Mayhew is the underlying problem with the 2015 Lions just as much as the coaching, if not more so.
After the Lions loss last week the Lions fired their OC Joe Lombardi and two OL coaches. Despite having their coaches fired the offensive line still did not improve their quality of play allowing sacks and pressure throughout the game. That's not to say there wasn't issues with the coaching as there was, but it most certainly wasn't the ONLY problem with the team. Just like Matthew Stafford's inability to recognize blitzes isn't the only problem at QB, or Ebron and Calvin Johnson's drops aren't their only problems at WR. Now the new OC has had almost no time to affect any major changes to the offense since he's only been on the job 6 days and much of that was taken up traveling to England and preparing for the Chiefs game in a foreign country... but the coaching changes most assuredly did not light a fire under the under-performing roster, it merely removed the problems that those coaches were adding to the mix.
Matthew Stafford was 22 of 36 (61.11%) for 217 yards a touchdown and two interceptions (though one was delivered and almost caught before deflecting the pass into the waiting defenders hands, a stat that shouldn't fall on the QB but does for all QBs in the league). Stafford was also seeing ghosts, that is, feeling pressure that was not there because of all the times there was actually pressure. In addition to this, the Lions wanted to run the ball at least 25 times this game, but managed only 14 (one by Stafford himself) for 81 yards total. Much of the above issues, in fact much of the problems on offense period, is the offensive line. It's just not the only problem.
On defense the Lions allowed 20 completions (out of 28 attempts) for only 149 yards but two touchdowns and got no interceptions. In fact, the defense got no turnovers of any kind. They also allowed 4 rushing touchdowns by four different players along with 206 yards. This is the same DC who's run defense was one of the best in the league just last year. One major problem of course is that WLB Levy is and has been injured for most of the season... plus the DL isn't causing as much pressure as they did when Suh and company were on the team, but that doesn't mean you can just give up. I'm not saying the players are giving up, but they sure are giving up points, yards, and helping opposing teams with untimely penalties. No one on the team seems to have any answers for any of these problems either.
I do not see how Martin Mayhew can possibly salvage his GM job with the Lions after this 1-7 start, nor do I see much that he (or anyone else for that matter) could do to correct things as they currently stand. When a GM is fired the new guy typically wants his own coaching staff, and I think the Lions coaching staff can see the writing on the wall. The players who have 8 more games of pain to play through having basically no chance of making the playoffs need to dig deep to find some pride to play for (as well as their own jobs). When a team has this many problems spread throughout the entire organization there is little hope of a bright future, but as they say on broadway, the show must go on. Perhaps during this upcoming bye week the Lions players, coaches and front office can make a few corrections that help things, perhaps these will help other things instead of having an opposite negative domino affect, but personally I am not holding my breath. The time to build a solid team was prior to August, not November. This is the hand that has been dealt, and no amount of bluffing is going to fix the problems... it just would be nice if they could fix A problem here and A problem there, like they did last week by replacing several on the coaching staff. What these new moves might be, or what problems they may still be able to correct, is hard to say. No one has exactly shown they can identify or correct much of anything so far this year. Myself, I would start by actually coaching the players on the roster even though it'll probably benefit the next coaching staff and not the current, just so they can have it on their resume.
Posted by NetRat's Lions Blog at 3:09 PM