Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ruh Roh Raunte...No Scooby Snack for You!

Yup. I'm sure that's exactly what Daunte Culpepper was thinking as he threw a low ball into triple coverage instead of out of bounds!!

How is that something Jon Kitna wouldn't do in "clutch"? How is that something not worse than any number of Rookie mistakes Stanton would invariably make? Would a healthy Dan O make that throw?

What I'm asking is, when Detroit was down by two...able to run almost at will with Kevin Smith gaining 4.4 yards per pop...and Detroit had the ball back with enough time to grind out an ugly drive into Panthers territory for the chip-shot, game winning field goal...why on God's Honolulu-Blue and Silver Earth was Daunte Culpepper throwing the ball short, much less INTO TRIPLE COVERAGE????!?!?

I watched the game a second time instead of blogging last night. There are many other points I will get into this week. I really wanted to observe, as a 3 game blackout...I mean, home stand, is coming up.

Forget the "punt or kick", forget the other "minor" points. Even with Carolina rushing as well as they were, the Dline made a stand, got the offense the ball back with just the right amount of time left to drive down the field and kick the FG while taking enough time off the clock that Carolina would have been hard pressed to get down into FG range, much less the end zone.

Momentum was on Detroit's side. The offense had gone down and scored. They missed the typing 2pt conversion, but it didn't matter -- Carolina, 3 and out. Plenty of clock. The defense was pumped on that series. They knew the Offense could take it down and punch it in. They knew Carolina's D was getting tired. They were energized. You could see it. They weren't going to let the critics be right!

First play, the offense hands the ball back...in chip-shot FG range. Hell of a lot harder to get into the endzone than the Hanson-zone. Especially after a one-play, essentially scoring drive for the other team. The Defense is shocked back to earth, TD. Two score game. Game Over. Kicking away after the 2pt try showed confidence in the D. They way they played showed confidence in the O.

And Daunte let them down. The coaches let them down, with a very bad play call. But in the end, players must make plays and at a key point where the team was poised to win, Daunte tried to be the "hero threading the needle" -- get back the glory. And he Favred away the game.

Even 9 out 10 rookies would throw that one high and out of bounds. Out of the pocket, out of time, no one open. Play it safe, 3 downs to go - get rid of the ball, get back to the line, get it done.

Anyone daring call themselves a veteran QB should have. But didn't. Isn't that really the heart of 0-10? What may be at the heart of 0-16? Players not making plays, especially when it matters most. Or, worse still, making a big play - for the other team.


Deano the Great said...

I am still placing my verdict on hold regarding Daunte. The skeptical side of me says he is a washed-up has-been retread who will never play at his former level. My optimistic side (one HAS to have this in order to be a 43-year, life-long Lions fan...) says that other QB's have come back into the league after being thrown on the trash heap and have done wonders. Look at Kurt Warner - he is much older than Culpper, less of an athlete, and could end up as a Hall-of-Fame'r after this year. Of course, he is surrounded by a little bit more talent than detroit has... He is obviously rusty, with most of his throws being 10 feet behind the receiver. Timing WAY off. Doesn't look as mobile as he should. Some of this could be lack of conditioning.

I still wish they would have placed Stanton as the starter and given Daunte more practice time to get his game up to speed. We HAVE to find out if Drew can play in the league. In case ROd hasn't figured it out yet, the playoffs are out of reach and we are looking ahead to the upcoming years.

DetFan1979 said...

Let me make clear something I feel I left out; This column is not to suggest that Daunte is done, or in the long run wasn't a good idea to sign.

What I critisizing is:

A. That it seems Lions players are making just outright dumb actions in clutch time, and it's not just rookies, it's vets who should know better

B. With how limited in the plays he can run, rusty, and out of shape Daunte is there was/is no reason not to have had Stanton starting with Dan O injured while Daunte got up to speed -- even if it was just for a few games.

I totally disagree with the decision to play him. It hasn't impacted the outcome any more tahn Stanton would have, but it is/was a great opportunity to get him tiem under center, without having a QB controversy.

Daunte was with the team 5 days, Dan O was injured -- Stanton was the logical starter in that situation.

millersco said...

There were some good things that came out of the game, your thoughts.
1. Jennings did great on special teams and was right on top of the punt returner a few times. Didn't know he was back on the team.
2. Please play Fitzimmons more, at least he can hold mon to the ball. Thats two key fumbles that Gaines has made at the very wrong time.
3. Our "new" center did pretty well. Was that some of the reason for our run success? He is bigger and seemed to be able to tie DT's up better that Dom.
4. Again the little while Dizon was in, he makes tackles, and even at the line of scrimmage. I still can't figure out why on a team that has great difficulty tackling, we have a tackler sitting on the bench.
5. K Smith does well catching passes (as does Felton), hope they use it more. You know the game plan was pretty good, against a very good defense.