Sunday, January 8, 2017
2016 Wildcard Playoff Game - Detroit Lions @ Seattle Seahawks
The Detroit Lions lost their one and only playoff game of the 2016 season 6-26 to the Seahawks in Seattle Saturday night. The game was every bit as bad as the score indicates. Now that the Lions off season has officially begun, we can start discussing free agency, the draft, and a number of other football related things. But first, the numbers from this lopsided game.
Matthew Stafford was 18 of 32 (56.25%) for 205 yards 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. The Lions also managed an impressive [sarcasm] 49 yards rushing, 15 of which were from Stafford himself. The Lions created no turnovers of any kind but did manage to make both field goals attempted. Meanwhile Roberts returned 4 kickoffs for an average of 19 yards, had he not returned any the average would have been 25 [obviously]. Why he brings the ball out of the endzone I'll never know. One more equal stat, both QBs were sacked 3 times each. Overall, the Lions were out coached, out played, and out officiated (7 penalties for 68 yards vs 6 for 40); failing in every aspect of the game.
Stafford has been struggling since his finger injury a month ago, never more so then in this game. However, the defense hasn't got much of an excuse for their play, allowing Wilson 23 of 30 (76.667%) for 224 yards 2 touchdowns and of course, no interceptions. Worse yet, they allowed Rawls, who has been averaging just over 1 yard per carry, to rush for 161 yards and a TD on 27 carries. There was another 16 yards gained by 3 other players as well, with a negative 3 yards for Wilson the only bright spot to be found.
Fans will be loud, insisting on Caldwell be fired, but the Lions had already announced last week that Caldwell would return for 2017. So unless they pull a Matt Millen and fire him anyway in a couple of weeks like they did Marty back in 2003 for Mooch, I think it's safe to say he will in fact be here for next season. Now whether all the coordinators make it back remains to be seen. I myself would like to see DC Austin replaced, the Lions defense managed to compile the worst stat for completion percentage allowed in NFL History. What coaching moves are to be made we will find out about in the coming weeks, just don't expect the head coaching position to be one of them.
The Lions experienced a large number of injuries in 2016, apparently replacing all their training room equipment and some of the personnel didn't help in that regard. I had typed a number of sarcastic remarks here but erased them all, you're welcome.
So now Seattle moves on to week 2 of the playoffs, I think they'll head to Atlanta, had the Lions won they'd have played in Dallas next week... instead the winner of the Packers / Giants game will fly into Dallas, that should be interesting. Obviously I am trying to avoid discussing the Lions off season... in fact I think I will continue to avoid it, for another week or so. There is a lot of work to do before I can start discussing the off season and I have to finish that before blogging about it. So let's all calm down, take a deep breath, hopefully watch the Packers lose tomorrow (am I right?). There's plenty of time to discuss the off season in the coming weeks and months, easier too when everyone has finished railing against the team after this debacle of a playoff game.
Next up, assuming there is no coaching changes to discuss, it'll be time to take a look at Lions' free agents. Salary cap space available will take time to compute, as around 5 of the acquired free agents signed and kept have NLTBE (Not Likely To Be Earned) bonuses in their contracts, meaning we won't know the final tally on bonuses earned for a while yet, and that doesn't count the NLTBE bonuses of the free agents the Lions had re-signed last year. So the salary cap figure for a few months will be all estimates, regardless of the source. Those big into the draft will be trying to figure out who will be available when the Lions pick, at around pick number 21 (through up to 24 but not beyond that, what with the loss tonight). Yep, a lot of off season to discuss, just no more of it tonight.
Posted by NetRat's Lions Blog at 1:15 AM