Cold Leftovers on Black Friday

>> 11.25.2011

Though moral victories don’t count, and a good show in a “noble loss” would be bitterly disappointing for all these wonderful opportunities left hanging, it wouldn’t end the Lions season. If they take care of business against the Vikingses and the Chargerses of the world, the Lions can still make the playoffs without a ‘W’ on T-day.

To quote Dr. Seuss, "I said and said and said those words. I said them--but I lied them."

What happened yesterday was not a "noble loss" or a "good show." With the nation looking on, and the world to play for, the Lions went out and disgraced themselves--and I'm not just talking about the Suh thing.

Briefly: you can't do that. I am going to do a whole thing about the Suh incident after I review the tape, so I won't steal my own thunder. Suffice to say, it was a terrible thing and it cost the Lions dearly. It was far from the only terrible decision the cost the Lions dearly, though.

Activating only 4 cornerbacks against a team with a slew of offensive weapons, and paying the price with a busted coverage when two of them went down. Going for the end zone on 3rd-and-2 in Packers territory, then giving up and trying a long field goal with a hurt kicker. Worst of all: getting a defensive stop, having a chance to get that missed field goal back, and running out the clock instead.

The worst thing is, the Lions outplayed the Packers throughout the first half. The Lions defense had the high-flying Packers grounded. The offense was effectively moving the ball, on the ground and in the air. They had every opportunity to take control of that game, they just didn't. Or couldn't.

I am also going to do a whole thing about the refs. Again, briefly: the officiating was awful, wretchedly inconsistent, too intrusive . . . and, I have to say, felt tilted towards the Packers. I said as much on Twitter and got railed for it, but it felt that way at the time.

It was a loss. A brutal, terrible, injurious, soul-crushing loss when a win would have meant the world. However, it was still a loss--and an expected one, at that. The Lions have a mini-bye-week to lick their wounds, get healthy, and get ready for the Saints.

In the meantime: Go Raiders, and Skol Vikings.


Zenskier,  November 26, 2011 at 8:01 PM  

couldn't have said it better myself...

the dude,  November 27, 2011 at 4:32 AM  

Yes, activating only 3 CB's and a "player" named Brandon McDonald, plus leaving Alphonso off the roster was idiotic, ... but there's a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.

I noticed last year that Linehan's offense had become the NFL's biggest "dink-and-dunk" team. At first, I thought it was because Hill and Stanton were taking most of the snaps. This year, when they started to show the same pattern, I wondered if it was because of poor O-line play, and Stafford had to make a lot of quick throws and dump-off passes. After seeing how the line has done a decent job as of late. I'm left with only two primary culprits; Stafford and/or Linehan. With Stafford's arm, I'm regularly amazed at the amount of passes thrown under 10 yds. What gives? Has Linehan been guilty of this in the past? There's no excuse for a team with a QB that has an arm like Stafford's and a WR as dangerous as Calvin Johnson to put up yds. per completion as low as this year's Lions team has. I don't think it would be a difficult task for an NFL offensive coordinator to get more out of this year's Lions team than what we've seen this year.

Zac Snyder,  November 27, 2011 at 12:19 PM  

It was mentioned on the FOX broadcast that the officiating crew has a tendency to throw a lot of flags and that the Packers game planned accordingly. Mike McCarthy deserves props for that. While the officiating may have been frustrating at times, I don't think it is a relevant point in discussing the loss.

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