Lions need to play angry. Lions are just not that good. Lions need to focus. Reading all the opinions this morning is giving me a headache. I think it is pretty simple. The Lions are just not making plays. Here’s a quick recap of the season so far:
Game 1 they barely win against St. Louis on a day where Matthew Stafford is incredibly inaccurate.Game 2 they lose against SF on a day where their defense forgets how to tackle during the 49ers crucial final drive, allowing three third-and-longs to be completed after short throws that were well short of the sticks. They were in this game until that point.
Game 3 an effort featuring an embarrassing special teams performance and pathetic tackling by the secondary is closed off by a ridiculous mistake by 11-year vet Dominic Raiola. They had no business being in this one, but they almost won despite a horrendous effort. Wasteda nice hail mary too!
Game 4 comes and another special teams disaster spoils a solid defensive effort. However the story of this game is the offensive ineptitude. Drops by Pettigrew and CJ in the end zone. Drops by Young on a key first down. The killer fumble by Leshoure. They almost survived all that until a backup DE out smarted Jeff Backus and nearly killed Stafford.
The Lions haven’t been blown out in any game. They simply are not playing well. I thought that Mayhew and Schwartz were tough guys that wanted to win at all costs. They would be merciIess and cut guys that made stupid mistakes. But now I just see a couple of guys that are balking at some tough decisions, including ...
· Jeff Backus has looked slow all season and just came off a horrible game. You have Rieff and Fox waiting for a chance. Both are more physical. We need 'more physical'. backus has been a warriors but he hasn't won squat in 11 years. Just do it.
· The passing game over the middle is a sad thing to behold. Titus Young cannot get open. Pettigrew drops every other throw. You drafted Ryan Broyles because he could get open over the middle and catch everything in sight. Play him.
· Brandon Pettigrew has been awful at critical times this year. Give Scheffler or Heller his role. Use Broyles more. Use Heller as a FB more. Bench Pettigrew after big screwups, give him a chance to refocus. Send a message.
· Play Kevin Smith. KS30 has always been an effective blocker and an effective receiver over the middle. Opponents are giving you the middle of the field. Play Smith. He knows what to do and he gets open. Backus whiffs a lot at critical times. KS30 knows how to chip rushers. Try that when it matters. Save Leshoure and Bell for when you have the lead.
· Osgoode, Lacey and Coleman were not good pickups. These guys look like they are ‘done’ make a statement and start cutting. Each has made huge, huge mistakes the last three weeks. Take a stand – cut. Someone on the practice squad, maybe Carmen Messina, might make a few ST tackles no? Would Jerome Murphy really have been worse than Lacey?