It has been firmly established the Lions got robbed and the NFL isn’t even bothering to acknowledge a robbery occured, much less investigate it. It may not be a “W” in the record books, but the Lions went to Chicago and beat them in their own house. What it comes down to, as many have indicated, is that the Lions need to play well enough not to leave it in the hands of the offiicals at the end of the game. The NFL also needs to review the rules, and make the rules for maintining posession the same in the endzone as they are anywhere else on the field — where there is not near as much trouble with subjectiveness.
There were other things that should be looked over in this game, and not all of them are Lions-Centric. There were three other games I watched — Jets/Ravens, Dallas/Washington, and Chargers/Chiefs that played out in very similar fashion to the Lions/Bears game (minus the horrific calls). Those are typically considered much better teams than the Lions who lost — with veteran laden offenses that have proven they can put up points. Keep in mind that at this point in the season Defenses are ahead of offenses for the most part. (Except for Indianapolis, who scored me two whole fantasy points with their inability to defend the run against Arian Foster) Unfortunately, as you may have already guessed, this means Detroit’s offense needs to pick it up about 3 or 4 notches because the liklihood of Detroit’s defense keeping this level of play up for the whole season isn’t very good.
I was going to break some of the Martz offense down to see how it was differing from what he was running while in Detroit when a co-worker who is a Bears fan pointed me to an excellent article in the Chicago Tribune that I highly encourage you to read if you haven’t seen it. While it’s from a Bears perspective, it gives great insight into the game.
As the title indicates, I’ve got to think that Jeff Backus is wondering where all the pass-rush help was when he ws in Detroit. Remember fans screaming for some max protect, 3 step drops, quick outs, and screens to slow down defenses teeing off on the Oline? Check out these stats:
The Bears ran the ball 44 percent of the time
Of Jay Cutler’s pure drop-backs, more than half (12 of 23) were either three- or five-step drops. Many of those also called for quick throws so blockers didn’t have to protect for long.
Martz called for two- or three-man pass routes 48 percent of the time, which ensured the five offensive linemen would have extra help.
The Bears used a screen play seven times and a play-action pass six times. Both plays are designed to slow down the pass rush.
When Martz did call for seven-step drops on 11 snaps, it was an adventure, even though he only sent more than three receivers on routes three times on those plays.
There were two sacks and two pressures allowed on seven-step drops, and an interception thrown. But the play of the game — Matt Forte’s fourth-quarter touchdown reception — also was on a seven-step drop with no help for the O-line.
Chris Williams had another rough day at left tackle. In pass protection, he gave up a sack, two quarterback hits and had a holding penalty.
Not all of the sacks were the fault of the linemen, however. Two of them, including the strip sack by Turk McBride, were coverage sacks.
These stats and more point to a totally more flexible offense than Martz ran in Detroit, where he was stubborn to the point of absurdity. Backus has to be going “huh” today along with a lot of disgruntled Lions fans… Marinelli’s defense also played quite well, although they were able to sit back in their zone cover 2 — marinelli’s favorite — thanks to a Lions inability to run the ball.