Lions

Reviewing the Lions’ 44-41 loss to the Titans

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Where to start? What to say? I’m speechless. I’m going to try my best on explaining what went right and what went wrong in this game. So let’s start with the quarterbacks.

Quarterback:

Matthew Stafford had a game that we all like to see. He was 33 for 42 with 278 yards and a touchdown. Certainly we’d like to see a couple more touchdowns but the way he’s played the first two games I think we can all agree this was a step up from what we’ve seen so far. No way do I blame this loss on Stafford and his calf strain that he got near the end of the game.

Shaun Hill came in to replace Stafford who initially got hurt after Pettigrew fumbled the ball. Hill had a great couple of minutes out there. 10 for 13 and 172 yards and two touchdowns. Crazy to think that he was able to conduct two scoring drives in 18 seconds but he did it. Excellent job by Hill.

Running back:

Mikel Leshoure plays in his first regular season game and he breaks 100 yards and scores his first career touchdown. The way he ran was the same way he ran in college and without question Leshoure deserves a portion of that game ball for his effort out there today. Leshoure also had four catches for 34 yards which is lways nice to know when your a quarterback and have a guy like that behind you.

Joique Bell came in late during this game and carried the ball five times for 23 yards. He didn’t play a lot but he showed enough in overtime to get the Lions in the redzone. Bell also had four catches out of the backfield for 44 yards.

Kevin Smith didn’t play a whole lot and to be honest I’m not sure why. Last time I checked the injury report he wasn’t on it. I guess the coaching staff feels comfortable enough to have Leshoure be the number one guy.

Overall I feel pretty good about our backfield. It’s not the greatest but this game was definitely a step up to what it’s been in past seasons.

Wide receivers:

Calvin Johnson finally has a touchdown! Megatron had 10 catches for 164 yards and that touchdown. Great job by him today and again the streak is still alive. He’s caught a pass every game he’s played in as a Lion.

Titus Young also finally stepped and made some plays today. After six catches and 75 yards, Young caught the game-tying hail mary pass from Hill. If Young plays just like he did today, you won’t hear me complaining about him anytime soon. He’s just got to keep his temper under control and get open for Stafford.

Nate Burleson is another guy who has had somewhat of a down year after the first two games. But he stepped up big for the Lions today with 10 catches and 69 yards and a touchdown.

Last but not least, Brandon Pettigrew, the man who can catch 8 passes for 61 yards and still be a favorite target of Stafford every single game. I’m not sure how anyone can take this guy seriously anymore, loads of talent but really no skill. Dropped passes was what we all nagged on Pettigrew about. How about nagging him for not holding onto the ball? Alteraun Verner came in and took the ball right out of the hands of Pettigrew and scored a touchdown.

Overall these guys all played great. Well except for Pettigrew because thanks to him we all wouldn’t have had a heart attack and our quarterback wouldn’t be hurt with a leg strain. Everyone but Pettigrew gets passing marks here.

Offensive line:

We were able to throw the football on this team and we were able to run on this team. Great job up front. Oh and they only gave up one sack. Sure it was on third down but when you got guys like Derrick Morgan, Mike Martin and Akeem Ayers (who got the sack) you’re due to give at least one up.

Overall I was happy with the way this front five played. Couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Defensive line:

We all hype up this defensive line, yes even me and after watching game I’m not sure to why we do that. Sure they stopped Chris Johnson from running everywhere but to tell you the truth I don’t think Johnson is any good. The defensive line that consists of Suh, Williams, Vanden Boesch and Avril with Willie Young and Nick Fairley subbing in and they can’t get adequate pressure on the quarterback? This is a huge problem for me since Jake Locker threw for 378 yards and 2 touchdowns after looking like he was on the verge of getting benched after the first two weeks.

Overall I like this defensive line unit but they have to get pressure on the quarterback, plain and simple There was just too much time for Locker to throw and if we don’t fix this, expect the same result next week with the Minnesota Vikings and Christian Ponder.

Linebackers:

DeAndre Levy, Stephen Tulloch and Justin Durant did all that they could do. The Lions play a heavy zone coverage with these three guys because well honestly, our secondary sucks. If that would change I think we could expect more than just a four man rush all the time. Overall though the linebackers allowed a lot of medium throws across the middle to tight ends Craig Stevens and Jared Cook. Change that and who knows what would have happened in this game.

Overall I think they played alright. They could have played better but they didn’t. Take it for what it is and better luck next week.

Secondary:

So many inter-changable parts in this secondary. A lot of these guys yes, are guys that have been cut from other teams. It’s quite clear that the Lions should have taken a cornerback in the second round, instead of Ryan Broyles a receiver they don’t even use. I’d take just about anyone over John Wendling who is meant for special teams and that’s it. Bill Bentley showed potential but it’s clear that he has plenty of learning to do. As for Jacob Lacey, I talked him up, guess what… he’s letting me down. He looks like a pop warner kid out there and just plain looks bad.

Overall these guys looked lost out there. Jake Locker shouldn’t ever throw for 378 yards but he did. Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson should have fun next week.

Special Teams:

Bravo to Jason Hanson, who was the only bright spot on special teams today. Other than him though this special teams unit better get every camera angle on every play that they were a part of because this was just terrible. A kick return for a touchdown and punt return fake for a touchdown. That right there is just pathetic.

Overall the special teams is the reason why the Lions lost today. Not Stafford, not Calvin, not Leshoure, not Schwartz. These guys who can’t tackle and can’t run in their lanes. Just terrible.

Coaching:

Well who would have thought this would be a category? I never would have thought of it until the Lions went for it on 4th and 1 in overtime. We had two timeouts. Why not take one? I like the aggressive call here and I’m not going to lie, I was saying go for it! And my reasoning for agreeing with the coaching staff on this was because in reality we got lucky. We scored 14 points in 18 seconds and were able to get an extra chance on beating the Titans. It was worth a try, I just don’t agree with not taking a timeout. I also think we could have gave the ball to someone else other than Shaun Hill. Like a lob to Calvin in the end zone? Just a thought.

Bottom Line:

All in all this game wasn’t exactly what any of us had in mind. I in fact was working on this review after Verner scored that touchdown. Clearly it isn’t over until the fat lady sings but this loss is frustrating, very frustrating because it’s a game we should have won. The question now is, do we hit the panic button? I say yes. Bottom line the Titans were a team we should have beat, we didn’t and that bothers me. Our offense needs to stop settling for field goals and start scoring touchdowns and our pass rush and secondary need to step it up. Overall this is a good team but just way too many mental mistakes and on the field and letdowns are leading to terrible plays. Next week will decide on how much fight the Detroit Lions really have. Can they pounce on a Minnesota Vikings team? I guess we’ll find out next week.

About "Downtown" Russell Brown

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