Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lions in 2013/Vikings at Lions

Before I began to write, I have two things to say.  First, I couldn't access my blog because of some error on blogger's end.  Wasn't sure how to fix it and I was forced to just wait it out and hope that problem would eventually be corrected, which it did.

Second, I thought long and hard about what the Lions final record would be.  They look like they could be an 11-5 team, but then again, they could be 6-10.  There are so many unknowns to me, mostly about other teams: Chicago, Baltimore, the NFC East.

So, I'm going to write in a record of 9-7.  A winning season, but no playoffs as the NFC is loaded with more playoff-caliber teams than the AFC.  San Francisco, Green Bay, Seattle, New Orleans, Atlanta, and the winner of the NFC (L)East are likely to be the playoff teams (with Atlanta and Seattle getting the Wild Cards).

I don't know who will win the NFC East.  That division looks terrible.  You never know how what New York Giants team will show up this season.  Philadelphia has a new system with an aging quarterback and a team looking like it's falling apart, according to reports.  Dallas has talent, but they've been stuck in the same place with Tony Romo forever, and he'll never get any better than he is.  Washington has an RG III QB who's got a bad knee and should take a step back from his stellar rookie year.

It's conceivable the Lions could go 10-6 (even 11-5 in a best case scenario) and still miss the playoffs because of NFC South and NFC West.  We're sort of bottle necked with teams like Chicago, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, and the whole NFC East.  If we go 9-7 or better and miss the playoffs, Jim Schwartz keeps his job.

Minnesota at Detroit: Lions win!  Put it in the books!  The first half it was same old Lions.

Mental mistakes were all over the place.  Brandon Pettigrew was dropping passes.  The other tight end, Tony Scheffler, was targeted once and dropped a ball that would've been a touchdown.  Ndamukong Suh chop blocked the Vikings' John Sullivan, nullifying an interception return for a touchdown by DeAndre Levy.

Adrian Peterson gashed the Lions' defense on their very first offensive play of the season, taking the rock home on a 78-yard run.  It happened to be of course, on a misdirection play, the Lions' biggest weakness against the run.

The fact that the Lions went into halftime down 14-13 was practically a miracle.  Once the second half kicked in, it was all Lions.  Matthew Stafford didn't need to throw the ball all day to Calvin Johnson because Reggie Bush was there, displaying his dangerous home run capabilities that the Lions have missed since Jahvid Best's career ended.

Detroit went on to outscore Minnesota 21-10 in the second half to come out the winner, 34-24.  A lot of talk ensued about the lack of discipline, the impending fine/possible suspension for Ndamukong Suh (he was given an initial $100,000 fine that's still on appeal), and what hadn't changed since a year ago.

As I'm posting this, I'm about eight days late, and the Lions just came off a close loss, which I plan to write about.  What's clear to me about this game and the Arizona game is that the deficiencies are still there.  We still don't know what kind of coach Jim Schwartz is, and I think after going 1-1, it is becoming more evident that he may be on his way out of Detroit if this team can't do better than 8-8.

More in the coming days.

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