I have noted some additional comments on the officiating, and think the calls in the Lions games are bordering on ridiculous. The only thing more ridiculous is the national media and the NFL ignoring it -- just because it is the Lions. Which is exactly the point at play.
Amazingly, Drew Sharp had an excellent article on this a short time back. (I know - Drew Sharp and Excellent article together in the same sentence twice in one month. Are we sure the Lions won't end up 10-6?)
The whole point is, that officials give certain players and teams the benefit of the doubt, and hammer other teams -- deserved or not. Would Bodden have been called for that pass interference were he still on the Browns? How about the picture in this article that shows all too well McDonald getting mugged against the Texans. (Bodden had to be screaming: That's what PI looks like you moron. No looking back! No Play on the Ball! Just tackles him before it gets there!! *Bodden calls agent asking likelihood Lions pick up his huge bonus option*) I was surprised, considering how they were calling that game, that it wasn't pass interference on McDonald.
Ref's should be reminded to ignore the records, ignore the name on the Jersey and call the plays -- the same way. If they were calling the whole Minnesota game tight against the D it would have been one thing -- but they were not. Minnesota's D was all over CJ and Nada. Bodden looks cross eyed at Bernard "I run real fast but don't catch so well" Berrian and gets PI called --- when the ball was so overthrown I could practically catch it in my living room.
If a ref is calling a game tight, fine -- call the whole thing that way. If they are calling it like the joint seals on the titanic, fine -- call the whole things that way!
I don't buy the argument I hear over and over -- well, it is the Lions. BULL SHIT. It can be the Dallas cheerleaders for all I care -- a play is a penalty or it is not a penalty for ALL TEAMS -- it should not vary by team.
Don't believe me? Lets see how many Offensive Pass Interference calls are made against Roy Williams now that he is in Dallas. He has had 6 in 5 games before being traded. Here's a hint: I think it will be ZERO.
All that being said, the Lions have been their own worst enemy, and that is without a doubt. However, the officiating has killed drive that were huge momentum shifters.
Here's a question: If you try something, and it works really well do you -
A. Stop Doing it and try something new B. Keep Doing It C. Go Back to What you were doing that wasn't working at all.
If you chose A you are a risk taker. If you chose B you are smart, and if you chose C you are a coach for the Detroit Lions. Against Minnesota they went with an aggressive D that played to the Man coverage skills of Leigh Bodden and Keith Smith, who looked good in that game. Bullocks continues to shine as a young talent at Safety, and the pressure was getting to Frerotte. The offense sputtered under DanO's first start, but it was a game the Lions were in until the final seconds -- for the first and only time this season. Why? Because the Lions didn't spot 21 to the opponent and have to play catch up on limited possessions as their opponent ground out the clock.
So what do I see against the Texans, who have a line that is just as susceptible to a pressure D as the Lions? Nothing. No blitzing, no high pressure. They sat back in the zones and let Matt Schaub have all day to sit in the pocket and pass like he was Tom Brady circa 2007. Hint: The Texans do not have the 2007 Patriots "we give Brady about 10 seconds to throw every play" Oline. They have the "we're lucky if our starter doesn't have a concussion by the end of the game" type of O line.
Why will all the coaches be gone at the end of the season? Because they chose C -- which was to play the scheme they wanted, not what the personnel they have will allow them to. We did finally see some of the rookies playing and I have a question: Why have Flu, and especially IAF been inactive? IAF looked good out there. Not pro-bowl by any means, but a heck of a lot better than Cory Smith has been showing this year. And I didn't see a drop-off from Darby'Cody to when Flu was in -- rather, I saw an increase in effectiveness.
I can understand needing the veterans, and needing to keep the team motivated -- but at 0-6 and spotting 21 point leads, I'm thinking that ship sailed long ago. They still need to play to win, but they also need to play to give the young guys experience. Most of the Vets are gone next season, or have contracts making them easy to cut. Lets give some players who will be Lions next year even if the coaches won't be a chance for some experience - what are they going to do? Lose?