Friday, November 29, 2013

Detroit Lions week 12/13 in review

I will be real honest, this is the worst job to have when your team plays as bad a game as the Detroit Lions did last Sunday versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I did not want to write about the Lions all week. Then they fumble the opening drive against the Packers and I was like 'great here we go again', another Thanksgiving day ruined. I even texted someone and was like I guess I need to find a new job because the Lions are killing my love for football. Most of you already know how the rest of the Green Bay game would play out, but I am the first one to sit here and say be warned now, the Lions are still not that good. The beat the crap out of an opponent they have not beaten in five tries, the won on Thanksgiving for the first time in a decade, and all of that is good, but the beat up on a team that was distracted by its own media madness and absent its biggest stars. Even that is good in a way because this is the kind of game the 'Same Ole Lions" would've have found a way to lose.

Taking advantage of an opponents weaknesses is a necessary trait in the NFL. The Lions exposed the Packers and their injuries, their inability to stop the run, and they adjusted nicely to what transpired in the game. However I still see a team that is very up and down. These two games personify what the Lions are in a nutshell...the new Cardiac kids. There are no easy wins, there are bad mistakes and the highs and too high and the lows are far to low. I want to see this team be more consistent across the board. To play at a high level every down, every play, and in every game. For me the opponent does not matter. With the weapons they have an offense they should score at will, and the defense has played far better than any of us want to give them credit for.

The ultimate goal is for this team to be a legit playoff contender, and they are just not there yet. However, they are improving and hopefully very soon they will ready themselves to take that next step.

For now a look at the good and the bad from two very different games for our Lions:

The Good:

  • The running game- the racked up 345 rushing yards in these two games and for the first time all season lost a game where Reggie Bush had at least 75 rushing yards (and we know the reason they lost that game). The O line is starting to run block very well and the coaches came up with a game plan that exposed a weakness in  the Green Bay defense. Got to give credit where credit is due. 
  • The D line- 9 sacks in two games, and we all said they do not get to the QB enough. Sure they played too inexperienced QB's but that is how you beat young QB's in this league, you get in their face. 
  • The Linebackers- The linebackers actually played pretty well in both of these games. Sure they couldn't stop the Bucs when they needed too, but the LB corps has played far better than we thought they were going to before the season began. Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy have come up huge for this team. 
The bad:
  • Turnovers- In two games, 6 picks, 5 fumbles (three of which were lost) that is not how you win, and it is certainly not how you win in the post season. Most of that fault lies with the two leaders of this team, Matthew Stafford and Reggie Bush. Not to mention that phantom fumble by Kris Durham which was inexcusable. 
  • Special Teams- Kick offs going out of bounds, missed field goals, and a blocked kick. The return game has gotten better but as a whole the special teams continue to struggle. I have zero faith in this coaching staff when it comes to this phase of the game. 
  • Matthew Stafford- Along with the team as a whole taking the next step I think we are getting to the point where Stafford needs to take the next step in his development. He leads great with his play, most of the time, but I think for this team to become a legit contender he needs to become more of vocal leader. It disturbs me that he did not want to take the chance to lay down the law after a tough loss at home. Peyton Manning would have taken that team into the locker room and laid down the law and not that Stafford has to go that far with it, but I think he needs to be more of a force on the field first and off the field as well.
The Lions now get 10 days off to prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles. That is not the gimme game we thought it was and I want to see this team go on the road and win They will have to work hard to do just that and with four games left in the season they need every win, even if 9 wins will win them this division. 

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