Lions

Plenty of questions arise after the Lions’ 34-24 loss to the Vikings

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Queue up the cynic’s… Same Old’ Lions.

Well, we have all waited to find out what the 2012 Detroit Lions are and the verdict is in… The Lions are BAD, 4-5 bad at this point in the season. To have 34 points put up on them with a Christian Ponder quarterbacked team and without one of the league’s most dangerous weapons in Percy Harvin puts up a giant red flag.

Oh yeah, the Lions ended up losing 34-24…

After this game Lions nation should have questions. Not about the game, but about the team moving forward. Have the Lions peaked with Schwartz? Do the Lions need another coach, a big name coach perhaps to reach that next level?  The Detroit Lions have seemed to of hit a wall when trying to move into the next phase of becoming a perennial playoff contender.  With all the offseason negative attention Detroit experienced and a team on the field that lacks discipline, everything and everyone should be under heavy scrutiny.

From the first drive Detroit’s mistakes once again hurt them as they continued a season of being their own worst enemy. Jeff Backus got flagged for a holding penalty that helped stall a drive while Dominic Raiola had a point again when he wasn’t tuned in with what Stafford was doing resulting in an early snap (luckily Stafford recovered and landed on the football).

And after a week of receiving criticism yet again from a anonymous GM via Pro Football Weekly you would of figured for a more focused bunch.

Obviously this wasn’t the case.

Once again the offense in the first half was completely stale. But like we’ve seen so many times before offensive coordinator Scott Linehan did finally change up the game plan in the second half to get Calvin Johnson the ball more. Megatron rewarded the change with one of the best games in his career with 207 yards and 12 catches. Even with that remarkable performance Johnson still had a costly fumble on a catch over the middle. On that specific play Johnson caught the ball in stride and turned up field for more yards. However he failed to secure the ball at mid field resulting in the fumble which turned out to be one of many plays that can be pin pointed as a reason for the loss. Point in case that play alone was a 14 point swing as Detroit was driving with ease. After Minnesota recovered the ball they ended up scoring a few plays later.

This all eventually leads to something I’ve been talking about all season, the little things.

How can this team move forward with veteran’s making young player mistakes?

This is my challenge to this coaching staff. Ryan Broyles makes a crack block early and sits, where is that discipline for vet’s? The offense has been stale to start in 8 of 9 games. Where is the innovation that we see in the second half? The lack of maturity and discipline is a big issue in my eyes. It costs the Lions a 6-3 record at this point.

NFL on FOX commentator Terry Bradshaw got criticism locally about questioning Schwartz a week ago but I’m of the opinion he is right.  Schwartz is the captain of the ship and this is a bottom line business of wins which aren’t coming. And it doesn’t get any easier from here on out. Next week the Lions have  Green Bay then there is a collection of Atlanta, Houston, Indianapolis, Green Bay again and Chicago.

I can’t honestly look at the Lions remaining schedule and tell you anything better than 6-10 is possible.

But in Sunday’s game Minnesota exposed every hole. On defense Minnesota dictated to the Lions how this game was going to go while an aging Kyle Vanden Bosch was unable to finish tackles nor create pressure on a regular basis. Meanwhile not committing long-term to Cliff Avril this past offseason is turning out to be the smartest thing Martin Mayhew has done while Stephen Tulloch at middle line backer looks over matched as he is failing to fill gaps with Suh be double-teamed on the line. The only real bright spot for the Lions on defense was rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley picking up three tackles for a loss including one sack.

On offense the Vikings defensive front held Detroit’s ground game in check with little to no holes available and worked over Dominic Raiola a few times. And when the Lions offense decided to put up points it was essentially too little too late .

Bottom line Christian Ponder hurt Detroit with a short attack and then went up top for a 54 yard pass that set up Minnesota’s first score.  After the Vikings got a lead it became the A.P. All Day show as Peterson turned out yard after yard until he broke out for a 61 yard touchdown.

After that it was all she wrote. From one disappointed fan to another.

 

About Jason Bray

Detroit Sports Columist. Joined The Majors staff in 2012 covering the Detroit Lions.

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