My apologies on the slow post time - yours truly was hit with a 24 hour knock you out flu. Not to be confused with the 3 hours knock you out Lions flu. See, I couldn't catch that because I couldn't tackle it. Rather, I'd bump into it, but forget to wrap my arms around it.
Mass Amnesia, causing all knowledge of tackling to be lost? Weak arms due to a need to fire the upper-body defensive strength for having too intense a workout prior to flying to Atlanta, thus rendering them unable to wrap up an offensive player? Defensive pull an all-night team building exercise by lifting rocks to stop people pounding rocks, and thus again were too tired to tackle? We may never know...
What I do know, is that I'm still optimistic about the season. Did I give my "lucky" Lions hat a timeout in the closet? You bet.
Did I actually have the stomach to look at the tape and rewind it a few times to see what was going on? Oh yeah.
It's hard to look away from a trainwreck...
I said on Saturday that the most likely thing to crush the Lions was...yes...Michael Turner. Take away 3 easy TD's and you take away 21 points. They needed to take him out of the game, and make Ryan keep throwing.
The defense, for any of the reasons above (Joey voodoo dolls backfired on his former team(s), you name it) didn't forget where they should be most of the time -- they forgot how to tackle with the exception of the safeties! (They could tackle, just forgot how to get there/where to be. Entirely different problem)
I saw no less than FOUR times that the Lions D had Turner in the backfield, and 2 more at the line of scrimmage...and he gained 10 plus yards on all of them because whoever whiffed on the tackles. Along with the LB.
Specific players/personnell that I noted:
1. Fears of Campbell being injury prone proven beyond doubt -- 3rd year on IR. Would rather have McHugh than Owens on the Roster, but such is life. (As a Steeler for McHugh)
2. TURNER, not matt Ryan, beat the Lions. He threw what, 9 or 10 passes? The Lions didn't stop the run, the offense didn't score, and thus there was no reason for Atlanta to take any chances throwing so they didn't, limiting the opportunities for the Lions Secondary to make plays, and the Dline to get pressure on the QB. (it's not personnel, but I felt it bore repeating.)
3. Cody disappeared on the field, just like he always does come gametime.
4. DeVries did too
5. Redding was doubled up almost every play
6. Moore wasn't playing real great, and Darby didn't do much to stop the run
7. Where is preseason Lenon? All I saw was the worst of 06 Lenon.
8. Foster got his butt handed to him on a platter...multiple times...
9. Kitna hasn't looked the same in game since the Minny concussion
10. Anyone else catch themselves thinking on the "shoulda run for a TD" that Stanton would have looked great there? Thought that a few times...crazy. Wasn't even drinking.
11. Dizon looked really good while he was in there (only 10 plays, and tied for lead with tackles at 5). With how bad Lewis looked in game (a surprise to me) why isn't Dizon starting in the middle and Lenon competing with Lewis at SSLB? Nece also looked better than Lewis. Doesn't say a whole lot.
12. Cherilus needs to start at RT. Maybe even give Manny a shot at RG, although I'd like to see Peterman and Cherilus together first.
13. They resigned Middleton as 5th wideout and return guy. I said before he was cut that he looked good during his limited return opportunities, and I'm glad to see him back.
14. Put Bodden in Man coverage and Fisher on nickle where he was signed to play and where he belongs. Enough of this crap already Rod -- you rolled the dice on the Rooks and the FA now just play them and see what they've got.
They NEED to just bite the bullet, get the rookies in there, and have IAF, Cohen, and Flu active come game day. Cohen and IAF at least. Just see what they can do -- it certainly can't be any worse. Guys played themselves out of jobs -- see if the rooks are worthy to take it, and hold it. They will at least have some intensity -- something I saw lacking from the team on Sunday.
I want to see the GB game next week, or at least on tape delay (as I may be gone). I might not get the chance, since there aren't enough tickets sold so there may be a blackout. Despite living in Lansing, which is -- according to Google Maps, 89.6 miles outside of Detroit, some of my Fox Station viewing area is within 75 miles...so no Lions for me. Which is a load of crap -- especially considering our local cable operators wouldn't deign to give those customers outside 75 miles, but with no channel to watch it on, an alternative. So NFL blackouts are more like 100+ miles when you take that into consideration.
So do me a favor -- don't boycott the game! [If you're going to, and have tickets, please email me and I will gladly take them off your hands for below market value, since you aren't going anyways. All a blackout does is screw the average fan who can't afford to go -- hint -- it won't get Millen fired, and WCF is going nowhere the team makes a profit even if the stadium is empty -- so what is the point? Lets watch us some football!!]
I still believe in now, and it was not the type of blowout that we saw last year. It was the Lions not executing one aspect -- tackling -- along with a jacked-up Atlanta that beat them. Not poor execution in all phases. 13 points was still winnable - couple of bad mistakes ie - INT, 1/2 yard shy on slide - and Lions could have not only been in it, but won it. That was not like Philly last year where they were overpowered in all phases --- the game was still theirs to win or lose into the 4th quarter despite all they had screwed up along the way, and they lost it plain and simple. It was theirs to take and they didn't.
And they know it. Which is likely to inspire them and fire them up more than if it had been a horrible blowout. So here's to GB and what looks to be a competent Aaron Rodgers. Scouting report later this week.