Another close loss. More positives, more negatives, and things that make you go hmm….
Lets start with the negative:
- I’m really not a conspiracy theorist, but seriously. Could the officiating be ANY worse than the first two weeks? Phantom facemask extending a drive resulting in a TD and the PAINFULLY obvious shove-off offensive PI that wasn’t called on Maclin on the TD play. Sure, its easy to get open when you can knock over the defender, but he can’t touch you. Also, a couple of times the so called hands to head rule was NOT called on defenders hitting Hill – including the last play of the game. The defensive pass interference was not being called on Philly at all, not matter what their guys did.
- Shaun Hill did okay — but played best against the zone defense at the end. He made some VERY bad reads on the last 4 plays. Best was wide open over the middle on what had to be his hot read, and he overthrew into double coverage. That was first down close to FG range. Hill got rattled, pure and simple.
- Linebackers were not playing well at all. This defense is missing Levy, and is in painful need of upgrades here.
- CC Brown – Brown was the weakest link and it was mostly just him being inconsistent versus not making any plays at all.
- Playcalling was still much too conservative — especially at the beginning of the game after the first drive. CJ HAS to be targeted early even if it doesn’t go anywhere because that is what really opens up running lanes for Best
- Inability to get half a yard on two straight runs. And why was Best in there running? Why not Felton or even Morris? Why not some trickery? I understand making a statement and why not the long FG with Hanson at that point. Still…they all got blown up, period. Horrible. Just horrible.
Things that make you go hmm….
- That 4th down call versus the FG. Could have gone either way, but I’m not sure the Lions’ play to that point justified such confidence in that call.
- The officiating. I know they are human, but come on! Pathetic.
- Why the Lions refuse to throw deep to Calvin Johnson until the last 4 minutes of the game when its a desperate comeback attempt. Maybe if they tried that sooner, they wouldn’t be in that position… just a thought…
- The Lions scoring a 75 yd TD on a screen pass. No, that was not a typo.
- 5 more sacks from the Lions. They have 9 after just two games. No, that is also not a typo.
- The defensive line was still dominating for the most part. McCoy’s gains appeared to be when the LB didn’t hit their gaps right.
- The offense still put up 32 points with no Matthew Stafford and no Nate Burleson.
- Jahvid Best. Need I say much more? Lots of non-lions-fans-fantasy league players got a heck of deal on him based on his ADP — just like the Lions did with where they drafted him.
- Chris Houston got jobbed by the no-call on the offensive pass interference, but other than that seemed to have a pretty solid game.
- Louis Delmas again showed why he is the star in the secondary.
- While there are still many obvious gaping talent holes (that, quite frankly, we were already aware of) it is just as obvious there is also some real talent on the team as well. They are finally showing that they can hang with a playoff caliber NFL team for 4 quarters, even if they aren’t pulling out the close wins yet.
So while there was a lot to be unhappy with, the longer term picture is still looking very good. Another infusion of talent next year and another good ifseason will have this team right where it needs to be to contend for a playoff spot. If their record hits 6-6 at this point, I see that as the ceiling right now. On the bright side, at least if the Lions have high draft picks there should be a rookie wage scale and more importantly, Mayhew has shown he will use them to improve the team.