Monday, December 9, 2013

Detroit Lions Week 14 in review

I am still in shock. I am still pissed off, and I still cannot believe what happened in the Detroit Lions at the Philadelphia Eagles game yesterday. At the half it was 14-0 Lions, and then we saw the Eagles take over. Really we saw two games. We saw the Lions dominate one half of football, but fail to hold onto the ball and fail to score enough points to put this game out of reach. In the second half we saw the Eagles pick apart the Lions secondary, and then run over the Lions front seven. I do not care about the bad weather, and I do not care about that two bad penalties. This is another game the Lions could have and should have won.

When I take all of my emotion out of it. When I forget that I am a Lions fan, and that I examine sports for a living, I think that we are seeing the toddler Lions. What I mean by that is this is very much a team that is still growing up. they have not yet reached their full maturity and I think Head Coach Jim Schwartz deserves one more year at the helm given one big condition. Scott Linehan is not the guy to lead this offense. With the weapons he has the offense under performs. There is no other way to say that. Riley Cooper made big plays down the field in the snow and he is being thrown to by a rookie QB. Sure the players have to execute, but the game plan for their Lions is often lacking and it was lacking severely yesterday afternoon.

The real frustrating part is the Lions continue to beat themselves. They make bad mistakes, they do not make big plays when the game is on the line, especially on the road. The question then becomes is that on the players or the coaches, and remember is is far easier to replace coaches than it is players. I see a team that has a very hard time over coming adversary and that troubles me greatly. I see a team that is mentally weak and for me that fault in that lies in their mentally weak coach. If you do not agree that is your business but given the really disturbing way Schwartz deals with his emotions I do not see how anyone can think he is not weak mentally.

With that let us look at the good and the bad from yet another blowout loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia:

The Good:

  • Jeremy Ross- Who came up bigger in this game? I cannot remember the last time the Lions special team returned a punt of a kickoff for a TD, but I bet it was before Jim Schwartz came to town. Ross did both in the snow and put this team is great field position at least one other time. Big game for the special teams and I hope that continues. 
  • Joique Bell- I know he but the ball on the ground twice. But there is no better backup running back in the game today. This guy is a serious talent and it speaks to one of the best personnel decisions this current front office has ever made. He was not drafted by the Lions and they found him and got him into a role where he can excel. That has been a huge problem over the years for this team, but if they continue to find guys like Bell for their roster the future of this team will be very bright. 
  • Ndamukong Suh- He had 10 tackles and that holding penalty on the 2 point try was ridiculous. However, I think Suh is still maturing and to continue on a team is mentally weak. He had a chance to ice this game and LeSean McCoy bounced off of him. He needs to make those plays, and sure he can't do it all by himself.
The Bad:
  • The second half- how does a team play that poorly for an entire half. How dies the coaching staff not make adjustments, how does LeSean McCoy go off that big? How do these kind of things always happen to the Lions? 
  • Matthew Stafford-10-25 and five fumbles. I do not want to hear excuses a rookie QB found a way to get it done all while that silly racist Riley Cooper looked like the best WR in the league today while Calvin was targeted 5 times. Explain that to me, oh ya no one can. 
  • Dominic Raiola- His time with this team needs to end. The Lions should use their first round pick next year on the next center than can get and get their young O line use to playing with one another. 
  • Poor Tackling- Do I really need to go into this. Ok the Eagles had 299 yards of rushing in 8 inches of snow. That is completly ridiculous. It is an idcitment of the coaches, the scheme, and the heart of these players. 
There is nothing good about a loss like this. In the grand scheme of the Lions making the playoffs this season it may not matter much right now, but this loss, the loss at Pittsburgh, and the loss to Tampa could be where we point the finger if they do not make the post season. 

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