Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Back to Normal

Back to Normal

December 30th, 2009 | by detfan1979 |

As things are settling down in the DF79 household, I’m finally getting back into a sense of normalcy. The little pink lions and I got back to Taekwondo class last night, work is settling back in to normal, and the Lions offense couldn’t score jack, turned the ball over a half dozen times, and totally folded in the 3rd quarter. Yes, things have definitely gone back to normal.

I’m having a lot of fun writing my narrative of the Arizona game. So much fun, that I realized though I was writing in chunks I hadn’t actually published anything about that game…or this weeks. DF79 isn’t perfect. Happens.

At Arizona, it wasn’t so much that Drew Stanton was going to save the game that the stadium came to its’ feet. It was more of a feeling that we KNEW what would happen with Daunte in there. The fans needed to see something different. Something different — which is why this coaching staff gives me more confidence than the last. They made changes to see what would happen. Forget “sticking with it” on the QB front. They did that for how many weeks? There was no indication the 2nd half of the Arizona game would be any different, so why not see what Drew could do on the field?

Drew is getting lambasted for his performance against the 49ers. Lets keep a few things in mind that we have been talking about in relation to Stafford. First off, this was his first NFL start. Forget draft status, or even his years in the league. He was on IR and essentially learned nothing his rookie year. Then was ignored totally during the 0-16 season. This is essentially his rookie year for the most part. While he won’t be replacing Stafford any time soon, if he can calm down enough while facing the Bears this weekend, he may show enough to stick around and compete for the #2 spot after Daunte gets dropped. Drew has shown the first thing that a backup needs: An ability to come off the bench, fire up the team, and score some points in relief play. Now he needs to show that he can at least be adequate to replace Stafford should he be needed to start for a couple of games. For the Lions’ sake, I am hoping that he does settle down against the Bears and show some consistency. The 49ers have the 6th ranked defense in the NFL. This year’s Bears aren’t even close – so there is a chance.

In both games there have been bright spots, usually coming from the young defensive draft picks likes Louis Delmas and DeAndre Levy. Levy’s speed and instincts are amazing. The Lions got a mid-round gem there — and how often can you say that about the Lions in the last 10 years?? Sammie Hill is a run stuffer, and he did well holding the point. I don’t think he will be a pro-bowl type DT, but certainly with another ifseason or two is a long term starter in the middle.

As the Lions host Chicago, who had trouble scoring any points until Minnesota imploded on defense on Monday Night, they stand a chance if their defense can keep playing like it has. Cutler has been making mistakes in the passing game, and if Buchanan is back at least the Lions have a serviceable enough secondary to take advantage. While a lot has been said about the defense, they have held their own in almost all of the games this year — despite getting no help, or worse, put at a disadvantage because of the offensive troubles. Despite reservations about Stafford as the #1 pick, this offense just hasn’t been the same without him healthy under center. Backup QB needs to be addressed in the ifseason, even if Stanton looks good vs the Bears.

Moving back to the defense, once again versus the 49ers they held the opposition to FG or no points throughout the first half, but got worn down and let up in the 3rd, before solidifying to finish out the game. The one TD was close, and if Smith had been called for illegal forward pass, that call would have been upheld as well because it was just too hard to tell if he was or was not past the line of scrimmage. Since there was no conclusive evidence either way, it would stay as called on the field whether that was TD, or Illegal Forward Pass. It was bad for the Lions, but the right call. The 4th down stuff by Levy against Gore was great. Gore normally powers through LBers, and considering Levy’s a “speed guy” they thought they could run through him. The 49ers must not have scouted him, since this is the 2nd time this season he has stuffed the RB just before the marker on 4th and short. (one time at the goal line)

I expect Drew Stanton to start again this week, so the staff can see how he learned from his first start last week. This will give them some game tape evaluation to go over heading into the ifseason. I know I’ve been avoiding the draft talk, and teh retrospectives everyone seems eager to jump in to, but hey — we have a whole ifseason for that, right? And it is less than a week away. I have PLENTY of thoughts and ideas on analysis of the season, and look forward to the often robust dialogue we have in the ifseason regarding players, position groups, FA and the draft.

Things are back to normal, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears win, or the Lions win. Both teams have been wildly inconsistent this season. I don’t expect a blowout on Sunday, but a good thrilling matchup like we saw against Arizona. Have a Happy New Year everyone!!

Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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6 Responses to “Back to Normal”

  1. By Philip Zaroo on Dec 30, 2009

    Nice analysis, DF79. I’ve got to say … I agree with pretty much everything you said. Especially the part about holding off on the draft talk! :) Welcome back.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  2. By chiefger139 on Dec 30, 2009

    hope stanton stats but see why they start culpep-mostly because they gave him hope to begin with and dont want to scare off others they bring in-like you say start stanton but maybe stanton comes in later-we finally got to see him start-so what gripes do we have now?? want stanton but see they start cul-pep why-they think this one is winnable and dont want the 2nd pick-but what do they do when c-pepp screws us-start stanton 2nd half-way the chief sees it-just like kowoloski said start cul-pep stanton relieves

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  3. By mrdithers on Dec 31, 2009

    The crowd did come to its feet when Stanton came in the game…my daughter and I were some of that crowd. I thought that Delmas’s INT was the main spark for the team in that game, not Stanton per se. It seems that the word on Stanton is that he has always been a terrible practice player and a very good, if not great at times, gamer. Maybe, that has hurt him and his development in the pros. We’ll see if that plays out this Sunday. The Lions may start Culpepper from what I have read on mLive. And that would be a shame IMO.

    Levy at this time has to be the Lions steal of the previous draft. When the Lions are on special teams, I am looking for Follett. I want to see what he is going to do next. If other fans are doing the same, he may have a long career in the NFL. And Delmas was a very good choice. I don’t think he has reached his ceiling yet.

    Given how the last draft class is doing, I think the Lions finally have a management team in place that knows what it is doing from coaching, scouting and signings. I look forward to seeing what they do with the next draft and FA period.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  4. By JJLions20 on Jan 1, 2010

    My read of the Stanton situation is that his fate as a pro QB may be sealed. Stanton’s problems can be boiled down to one skill. Throwing Accuracy. If you watch the tape of the Arizona game even though he completed some passes that were not in places where the receiver could take the ball in stride and gain more yardage.

    Accuracy is not simply about completing passes. It’s about a 2 yard pass resulting a 7 yards completion. It’s about putting enough loft on the ball so only CJ can catch it in the corner of the end zone. It’s about throwing it in a spot where a receiver is not lead into an oncoming safety and getting destroyed.

    Although I really wanted Stanton to succeed the truth of the matter is he was not accurate in the Arizona or the SF game. I think Swartz saw the same and made the decision in the 4th quarter of the SF game that although he knew Culpeper is gone at the end of the season, so is Stanton. Expect the Lions to select a 2nd day QB in the draft and find a veteran who they can count on to run this team if Stafford goes down.

    Stafford has some accuracy issues also, but this is fairly typical of an NFL Rookie and can be improved on. The Lions should have a QB guru working on his foot work, and some of the touch passes. Stafford is a lot like Elway was when he came in the league. Elway had the golden arm and thought he could throw it through the defense. He had to learn how to get the ball over the defenders and in a spot where only the receiver can catch it. Stafford needs to learn the same.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  5. By chiefger139 on Jan 1, 2010

    looks like i was right c-pep starts thats what the bears think-listen to them on radio daily-not because i like them but they talk football more than anyone else in my area-and believe me were alot further along then they are in the rebuilding-we recognoze we need to rebuild-they havent even reached that stage yet=many in the chicago media thank we will win this game-i believe like them-could happen- id start stanton-see no reason to start c-pepp unless its him there bringin back in not stanton-one will be gone may be stanton?? at least they started him finaly so can understand it now.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  6. By chiefger139 on Jan 2, 2010

    jj ;ike ypur comparison to elway, I think all see we basicaly have no chance to win unless he starts, hope it changes sunday but doubt it,see us pickin up a receiver in free agency or the draft, will work like it did with mc donald, maybe we should of kept him, i think he has much beter hands then our other johnson and seemed to get open and was young. Hopefully morris does well so we dont need a running backother wise wemay have to get one also hope we get a top guard, we probably could get the best one available with our 2nd pick and I would get the meanest biggest guy they can-hopefully 1st pick can go for defense maybe the rams wont take the beast from nebraska and we get him, but if we win I guess we blow that one, then get a cb-wouldnt mind if we get 2 cb’s to go with delmos-then we would be solid there. either way think we have some young stones to build on finally-A big step forward in my opinion-so sad but face it would be happy to just rebuild into the mediocre 9-7 team millen took over-lord wouldnt you love to see were playing this week for a playoff spot-havent been there since the days millen took over-that chicago upset that week with a last second field goal that kept us from the playoffs set us back ten years plus-who would of thunk it? hopefully now ford learned his lesson and the fans too-and wont go on some hair brain plan like millen ever again!!

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

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