Sunday, October 12, 2008

Margin of Safety... not enough.

The bad news is the Detroit Lions lost on a safety and two VERY bad calls -- especially the phantom "pass interference" call to put Minnesota in FG range. I rewound and watched that play about a dozen times and I couldn't see it. Period. If that was pass interference, then there were a whole lot of uncalled penalties on both sides.

The good news? The Detroit Lions lost on a safety and two very bad calls!! They were FINALLY in a game down to the final seconds of the game -- versus being out of the game by halftime. Or the first quarter.

I'll have to go back and watch the game again (although heart breaking, there was a lot to this one.)

Some initial thoughts:

Orlvosky didn't look bad. He didn't look great, but his decision making was much better than what Kitna has been showing so far this season. Bonehead play on the safety -- but that type of awareness only come with time. I need to go back and look to see who didn't pick up the blitzer -- which was a problem all game long. In particular, I think I noticed it when Rudi was in at RB, but I'll have to go back and see.

Nice runs by Kevin Smith -- especially the run where he launched himself out of the pile and into the clear picking up an extra 4 yards or so. That was amazing. Also - the long run that set up the FG was great blocking and finishing by Ramierez especially, but the Oline in general and an all around great run by Smith making great use of his blockers to pick up the extra yards.

This is the defense we saw in the preseason - getting aggressive, hitting hard, swarming to the ball, moving fast. The game that Barry called was more reminiscent of J. Johnson -- the Eagles defensive coordinator. While they did stay in their 4-3 base defense a lot, he was playing man in the secondary and bringing a variety of blitzes -- very effectively -- from different positions. I thought Barry by far called his best game as a DC. Let's hope the Lions allow him to continue and develop this more aggressive style of D -- because it is working.

The game, touted as an offensive point-fest by Minnesota, turned into a gritty defensive battle where every yard on offense was painfully ground out by both sides. It was awesome to see.

Maybe that Coach Rod hasn't quite lost this entire team yet after all. They do need to do something about that offense though.

With Orlovsky really doing almost enough to win it on offense (barely) I was reminded of another team - Chicago - with a similar type of situation. I would say Orton and Orlovsky are about on par at this point. They aren't going to be glamorous, but they aren't going to throw three picks in the final quarter when you are only down by two. Incompletions, yes. Picks, not as likely. I would like to see them stick, initially, with Dan O at QB for now.

Special teams did do qutie well for the most part, although I still want to see Middleton back there instead of Furrey. How can they get less yards??

Overall, great game that gives hope this season isn't over til it's over. A win next week, or at least another close game on the road, and who knows -- I may not even be blacked out for the Washington game...

Stranger things have happened. Just look at the game today...


Anonymous said...

DetFan1979 ..... I just want to say thanks for your analysis here on this blog. MLIVE, has really just gone to the pits. Every now and then I will take a peek and see what is up ....same ol crap.

As for this game...I have game... So I eagerly await your synopsis of everything.. I will be reviewing the NFL Network praying for a replay.


Deano the Great said...

I agree with your analysis. Dan O was decent in his first start. No picks, did well on the bootlegs, escaping the constant onslaught of Williams-times-2 and gang. I do not see him as our future, however. It would be nice to see him realize he will likely always be a good career back-up and would like to see the Lions keep him as that (for a much smaller contract...) with Stanton as our man.
The o-line, as bad as they are, actually played at times as if their jobs were on the line. I loved seeing Kevin and Rudy blowing right through the vaunted Purple People Eaters. I am concerned about Gosder, though. I really hope this is just temporary...
Obviously poor calls on the officials part - I don't need to rehash that. However, a good team should always be able to overcome bad officiating. The Lions have a ways to go yet.
Where the #*$##* was this defense the first four games? Will someone please explain the incredible inconsistency? Is it Barry? Is it the players?
Defensive positives I took from this were Bullocks - that kid can hit!, Bodden finally producing - what took him so long?, and Jared Devries. Now why can't Jared do this on a regular basis...?
(Where is 5-0 by the way...?)
Go Lions!

DetroitSims said...

I dont know if I can put into words how I felt about that game yesterday! They got totally shafted by the Zebras. One guy on MLive said they curse of Bobby Lane is over, Know its the curse of the Zebras!!! I thought that was kinda funny. Anyways, the defense played like they had something to prove yesterday and yes WHERE HAS THAT BEEN THE FIRST 4 GAMES??? I dont quite understand it. All in all they played their hearts out yesterday and got screwed!! The Pass Int. was BS and the fumble by CJ, WTF, How could you not see that the Minne defender pulled the ball out after he has on the ground. Wow, I think they NFL and officals want the Lions to go 0-16. Whatever, I say the won that game in the trenches yesterday and I'LL GIVE THEM THEY WIN MINUS THE FINAL SCORE!!!!

jreffy said...

Hey fellas,
I wasn't able to catch the game this week on account that 1) I wasn't in the city (Chicago) so I didn't know where I could catch the game, 2) I wasn't that motivated to put in the extra effort to finding a place to watch the game due to their past games, and 3) I just got engaged on Friday and we were out looking at venues (we've been planning on this while, Friday it just became "official").

ANYWAY, I followed the game as best I could on espn's gamecast while watching the Bears game. Personally, I thought it was awesome to watch.

I don't necessarily blame DanO for the safety. Sure, he should have better on-the-field awareness, but you try and keep your composure with a 250lb DLineman coming at your face full-steam ahead.

Sounds like a couple bad-calls made a big difference in the game. Personally, I always feel that officials should be much more hesitant to pull out their flag at the end of games. I caught a brief replay of the pass interference and it was quite suspect, however I didn't get a good look at it.

Still haven't seen any CJ or K. Smith highlights, I'll have to look for those tonight.

By the way, a side-note about Kevin Smith. As a fan, you have GOT to love this guy. He has the makings of a very, very good back. The player he reminds me most of so far is the old Vikings RB Robert Smith. The thing I remember about R. Smith was that he was very very patient, and you see the same thing in K. Smith. It's something that Kevin Jones didn't figure out until halfway through his rookie year, and it showed.

K. Smith is showing patience behind his blockers, an eagerness and a fire to compete, and also seems to be picking up in all facets of the game, pass recieving, blitz pickup, everything. I look forward to rooting for this guy down the line.

This season is NOT over. The Lions have got to rally. As interesting it would be to see the Lions picking #1 next year with a new coach (likely) and new GM, I'd much prefer to have a salvageable season, with Drew Stanton getting the start in the last couple games of the year.

By the way, if the Lions did have the #1 pick, think Tebow declares for the draft? LOL

SilverLIONing said...

DetFan - agree it was a good game and I am proud of the Lions, when we are all writing them off, the defense came out and played a great game. What was Rod's quote last week - this is when leaders have to step up, when nobody else believes in them. Bodden looked good because they let him play to his strength, man to man, and he has a great game. They won the game, we all know it, bad calls.

Manny played a great game , running with KS and providing a block way downfield. I know he got beat a couple times in the second half (or looked like some communication breakdown), not sure why they took him out he was playing well.

Why do you think they took Gos out? Didn't think he played poorly in the first half. Maybe change of pace starting with Rudi and Foster don"t know? Martz changed pace with running back last year between Jones and Duckett and it worked pretty well.

Dan O needs more time with the receivers, but I just have to believe that Stanton would have gotten out of a couple situations and made that roll out pass to keep drives going. I was disappointed they didn't use Felton more, after seeing what he could do last week with short passes.

Hey, makes me want to watch next week :)

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me why Foster came into the game and they left the rookie on the bench?
Are the young dlinemen so bad that they cannot even dress for the games, let alone replace some of the DTs?
To me, it looks like if they had a LT, QB, on offense; and a DE, DT, MLB, and CB, they could be good next year.
That's 6 players. Four top picks and 2 free agents. Not too much to expect from an average to good new GM.