Sunday, October 30, 2016
Game 8 2016 - Detroit Lions @ Houston Texans
The 4-4 Detroit Lions lost to the 5-3 Houston Texans 13 to 20. The Lions have won all 4 and lost all 4 so far this year by one score. If their goal is to just keep the game close and then try to win it at the end they are going to continue to struggle to win around half their games. Teams are just too good, too close to parity, to count on getting that one extra try you need every single game. Half the time it won't work, and that kind of explains the 4-4 start to this season.
Matthew Stafford was 27 of 41 (65.854%) for 240 yards a touchdown and no interceptions. A nice clean basic standard game (stat-wise). There were only 58 yards rushing, but then their best running back (pure runner, and also in my opinion) was not active (talking about Washington). Riddick did have 77 yards receiving, (2nd on the team), and a touchdown, to go with his 56 yards rushing, a great fantasy league situation, but the best receiver on the team today was Eric Ebron (7 catches for 79 yards). Drops continue to be an issue, Lions are the worst in the league for that, and 8 penalties for 75 yards wasn't efficient either. The defense allowed Osweiler to go 20 of 29 (68.966%) for 186 yards, which isn't horrible stat-wise, but there was rarely any pressure to keep him from accumulating what he did. It was stated during the broadcast that the DC Austin doesn't prefer to blitz to create pressure, which is obvious, but I dare say that is a recipe for disaster (actually, I've said that pretty much forever so yeah). So what (else) went wrong?
I would say that most fans, and probably many others as well, would say the failure to challenge what appeared to be a fumble that was recovered by the Lions would be the number one issue with the game. That falls squarely on the shoulders of head coach Caldwell. I too believe he should have challenged it, and have no idea why he did not.
Some fans would say the officials were purposely flagging the Lions, and they were calling a tight game, but then this group of officials are known for doing that, they do the 2nd most flags in the NFL. This should have been known prior to the game and stressed before the game even started. I didn't get the sense that the players were prepared for a tight called game. Instead of throwing this on the officials I might throw at least some of it on Caldwell.
With time left on the clock to perhaps get a stop and get the ball back the Lions elected to try an on-sides kick. Martin (the Lions Punter who does the kick offs now) is no Hanson, he is not good at it, and most everyone would say 'kick it deep' was the right move. So look at splitting the blame up between the special teams coach and the head coach on this one too.
Did I mention the lack of pressure by the defense? The Lions may have the wrong defensive coordinator, but then I've harped on Austin before and it gets me no where, so I'll save it for when it's more obvious, as I'm sure at some near future game it will be.
Lack of execution could be talent, or depth (due to injury), and some may point at Quin... while others do but give him a pass as he's only had one year to work on the roster. My hope, other then that he's learned a few things about talent acquisition, is that he's learning what I (or should I say, we) have learned about our coaches. The only truly decent top coach on the team is Cooter. But at 4-4 you don't make changes yet, though you could perhaps discuss some of the issues with the staff and see if perhaps they can't do better. Maybe he has, maybe this is the result and it would have been worse had he not, we (I) just don't know.
So the Lions head towards the Vikings next week before their bye week. While the Vikings have this week's Monday Night game. Despite their short week, I don't see anything good coming our way for this upcoming game, but I've been wrong before. I'm sure the team would like a win before they get the bye week, and I know as a fan and owner of a forum I would definitely want one, but getting this next one is going to be hard work. By all involved. Instead I just have this feeling the Lions goal will be to make it to the bye week without getting any more players injured.
Posted by NetRat's Lions Blog at 3:41 PM