Sunday, October 29, 2017
2017, Week 8, Pittsburgh Steelers vs Detroit Lions @ Home
What happened to week 6 and week 7 you ask? Well, in week 6 the Lions lost to the Saint in New Orleans by a score of 38-52. Unfortunately due to time constraints I was unable to write up an article about that game (hardly have time to write this one in fact). But had I wrote it there would have been much more talk about the coaching staff, and how they aren't doing their jobs to my satisfaction. Then I'd have gone on about how week 7 is the Lions bye week so perhaps some players can get healthy and perhaps the coaches will take the time to self evaluate and improve their own (and thus the players') performance(s). Then there is tonight's Sunday Night game in which the 3-4 Detroit Lions lose to the 6-2 Pittsburgh Steelers at home by a score of 15-20. Now mind you in the 3rd quarter the Lions had a chance to take the lead by kicking what would amount to a chip shot field goal but instead chose to go for it on 4th down, and failed. Then, a few plays later, Ju Ju Smith-Schuster, the Steelers 20 year old rookie wide receiver, took a short pass 97 yards for a touchdown. The Lions late in the 4th would once again get within 7 yards of the end zone and would once again go for it on 4th down and once again fail to convert. If you're keeping score that's 6 points in field goals not taken in exchange for two failed 4th down attempts. They lost by 5. Now who's decision do you think it was to not take the points? If you want to know why the Lions lost this game (and perhaps the 2 before it as well) then look no further then the HC, OC, and DC. Caldwell, Cooter and Austin (sounds like a bad law firm) have taken poor coaching decisions to a whole new level. More on this later.
Matthew Stafford was 27 of 45 (60%) for 423 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. The Lions managed 71 yards rushing. They managed 5 field goals and would easily have had 2 more had the attempt been made. But I digress. Ben Roethlisberger was 17 of 31 (54.84%) for 317 yards a touchdown and an interception. If it weren't for the fact that Ju Ju had a total of 193 yards it would've been a very good defensive stand. But Ju Ju did have 193 yards, with a long of 97 yards, and the game ending first down to run out the clock as well. There were too many times he was wide open, since Bell only had 76 yards rushing it should have been obvious to all concerned that Ben was going to have to throw to move the team down the field, so why was their #2 WR (a 20 year old Rookie in his 8th game of his career) able to get open and make so many yards? Because the defense was wrong, that's why.
If I had the time I'd really lay into the coaching decisions, both in the past couple games and in today's game... but I don't have that kind of time. Overall I thought the offense did fairly well considering the OL has been made up of guys I don't even know (today's right tackle was cut from I think it was Dallas' practice squad a while back for example) and even with the failure to make any TDs did enough to win. Despite Ju Ju's 97 yard pass play the Lions defense also did enough to win. I mean, sure, one more completion on offense or one more pass play defended by the defense might have also won the game, but the decision to not kick two field goals was the defacto reason the Lions lost. It's a stupid reason to lose a winnable game. A reason that I hope does not happen again. Ever. With this coaching staff. It's near unbearable to overcome everything only to have stupid coaching tricks cause the team to lose.
Next week the Lions play in Wisconsin on Monday Night Football against the Rodger's-less Green Bay Packers team. It should be an easy win. Something tells me it will be much more difficult then that. And, if the Lions coaching staff helps too much, could become another heart breaking loss. Here's hoping lessens were learned, of some kind, before it's too late.
Posted by NetRat's Lions Blog at 11:36 PM