Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Three Days Late "Live" Blog: Lions vs. Packers

Since I'm not going to be particularly happy after doing this, let me wish you all a happy Thanksgiving now. We may not think we have a lot to be thankful for in terms of football, but we do. Despite the season not going like most people in Detroit thought or anybody wanted, the team has still come a long way. And putting thing in perspective, it's nice to be competitive again. Now be a good boy and eat some turkey, because it's delicious and has something to do with thankfulness, I guess.

First Quarter:

14:22 - Lions come out in a no-huddle look, much to everyone's delight. They predictably still go three-and-out. I never understood why people thought that move would give the offense a shot in the arm. Dropped passes don't happen because you went into a huddle.

14:06 - Drayton Florence gets concussed on the first play for the defense. Unbelievable. 

12:18 - Special teams woes continue as Nick Harris punts for 38 yards, then the Packers drop a punt inside the 3-yard line. 

11:32 - I...just don't know what's up with Matthew Stafford. Third down, has Tony Scheffler wide open. Has a ton of protection. Steps into his throw. And overthrows him badly. It's really frustrating to watch him regress. 

10:20 - Uncalled-for derogatory Suh statement. Drink!

9:36 - Not sure why FOX thinks this graphic is cool, because it's really, really pointless. A normal stat overlay on the bottom of the screen is sufficient. This is a classic case of creating a graphic just because it appears "cutting-edge". This does not cutting-edge:

7:41 - This is almost always my thought process when the opponent goes for it on fourth down, passing on a field goal:
"Please don't go for it, Please don't go for it, Please don't go for it, Please don't go for it, "
"Oh God, they're going for it"
"I wish our coach would go for it."

7:26 - No excuse for Calvin's drop. He had his head turned in time, ball was right in the hands, knee injury had nothing to do with it. Unacceptable.

6:29 - Rollout prayer to Megatron has been our best, most-consistent play. That is not a good thing.

4:40 - Lions first and goal from the 10. Play calls: pass, pass, pass (sack), field goal. Make note of this.

2:00 - Lions bottling up the Packers run game, forcing third-and-longs all quarter. Of course, the Packers are converting a a few of these third downs, but it's still very promising.

0:00 - This is a very underrated play by Stephen Tulloch that no one likely remembers. But look at the tackle he makes on this run play:

Tulloch is draped by a fullback, but is able to shed the block and take down the back with one hand. This play forces another third down, giving the Lions defense another chance to get off the field (they don't).

Second Quarter:

13:56 - I want to blame everyone on the defense for the Packer's touchdown to Finley, but that was just a really cool play. Everyone bites on the screen look, leaving him wide open over the middle of the field. Not sure what the safeties were doing though...

13:07 - Stafford steps up and avoids pressure!!!!! He annoyingly still throws a side-armed duck, but it finds its target and picks up a first down.

11:24 - Routes taking too long to develop. Stafford takes a sack, but minimizes the damage.

9:14 - Calvin is starting to take this game over, and not with his size. Great route running. 

8:30 - Leshoure running downhill with little hesitation in the backfield is good Leshoure.

5:48 - What a play by Durant. Shoots the gap with incredible speed and awareness. Forces a third-and-medium, and ultimately a punt. Huge play.

4:48 - There were 12 tweets on my timeline hating on Logan after the muffed punt. I counted. 

4:44 - When I first saw this terrible pass by Stafford, I had thought there must be an inside defender forcing a back shoulder throw:

There was not.

2:44 - Backus out of the game, and the first play is a run right at Riley Reiff. Nice to see the Lions have confidence in him. 

2:15 - On Stafford's first interception. Reiff is struggling with pass protection (gets called for a hold, too) and Stafford feels it. He drifts right and directly into more pressure. So he side-arms it right to an awaiting defender. If Stafford had more time, Young would've broken wide open in another second.

1:51 - Great play by Lacey on the interception. Drops back into his zone, reads Rodgers perfectly, and makes a good snap. Don't know what Rodgers saw, though.

1:09 - This is the most frustrating end to a half ever. Stafford amazingly evades the unblocked blitzer and has tons of room to run. Unfortunately, the linebacker makes a great play. He desperately dives, and probably would not have taken Stafford to the ground. But he slaps the ball out of his hand and forces the turnover. Two straight drives by the offense that should have ended in points, but didn't.

0:34 - Fairley absolutely embarrasses the guard and takes down Rodgers for a crucial sack that forces a long field goal...which Crosby thoughtfully misses.

Third Quarter:

12:45 - Great team sack by the Lions. As the defensive ends close in, Rodgers tries to escape up the middle, but there's nowhere to go. Avril cleans up the mess.

9:34 - Calvin is still smoking defensive backs with his route-running. Unfortunately, Stafford is missing him.

8:53 - Crucial third and 5 and Titus Young false starts. 

8:46 - Crucial third and 10, Lions pick up a free play on an offsides and Titus Young pushes off and drops the pass. 

8:31 - Crucial third and 10, Lions pick up the blitz, and Stafford throws a pass behind Scheffler, who kindly tips the pass right to the Packers defender. I hate everyone and everything. The Lions offense has finally started moving the ball, and in three straight drives, they were in position to score points. In all three drives, they turned the ball over. The nausea is coming back.

7:34 - A Ryan Broyles sighting! Something tells me this won't be as rare going forward.

4:00 - Stafford looking decisive and smart in the pocket. I like this.

3:39 - Leshoure makes the exact same mistake he made last week:

Leshoure opts to kick it outside again, giving Reiff no choice but to hold his man and hope that the refs don't catch it. Leshoure really needs to read the offensive tackle and see that he has inside-contain on him and cut it up field. The Lions cannot afford holding penalties, given how much they are struggling anyway, but especially in the red-zone.

3:07 - Okay. This touchdown is embarrassing. Terrible decision by Stafford to throw the ball, as it should have been Detroit's fourth straight turnover. But give all the credit in the world to Johnson for being able to bring in the ball after it was deflected by the defender.

0:48 - James Jones breaks open over the middle of the field as Jacob Lacey doesn't see him entering his zone. Don Carey makes an ankle tackle that saved a touchdown as Ricardo Silva was waaaayyy out of position.

Fourth Quarter:

13:39 - You have no idea how annoyed I was (and still am) at the Lions taking a timeout before the Packers' field goal attempt. You need to have your personnel ready for anything. Yes, the Packers may have gone for it, or may have faked the field goal, but you cannot afford to keep using timeouts when you could very well need them at the end of games. This is my biggest pet peeve of the Lions coaching staff. They clearly don't realize the value of timeouts late in games.

12:05 - Pass protection breaking down everywhere. Reiff, Peterman, Sims, Raiola. Everyone. That's what happens when your best pass blocker goes down.

10:15 - Hold on called Florence, but Willie Young was getting absolutely abused by a Packer lineman. Not sure how the refs could miss that.

9:10 - Packers facing a first and 5, and the Lions defense steps up big. Fairley makes two tackles. On the first, he bursts into the backfield and breaks up the play. On the second, he is being shoved backwards by a smothering lineman, but is somehow able to bring down Starks with one arm well before the first down. Incredible strength. 

7:08 - Broyles with an HUGE play. Great double move by Ryan. I'm psyched to see more of that.

5:15 - Lions first and goal from the 10. Play calls: run, run, pass, field goal. This series was panned for it's poor play-calling in the red zone. Many believed Scott Linehan got conservative and was okay with a field goal. I couldn't disagree more. The Lions have struggled much more passing the ball in the red zone than running it. Remember the series I told you to keep in mind earlier, three passes, no touchdown. The Lions have 11 rushing touchdowns in the red zone, while they only have 14 TOTAL passing touchdowns, many of which were long plays. And if Titus doesn't get held on third down, they likely score anyway.

4:14 - Lions not expecting a run, as the linebackers play waaaaaaay back. Starks easily picks up 11 to start the drive.

3:35 - Terrible. Jacob Lacey gets held on the play, but makes no real effort to break it. Meanwhile, Chris Houston, Ricardo Silva and Stephen Tulloch seem to believe Finley will just go out of bounds and let him gain an extra 30 yards down the sideline. You can literally see the moment when Silva thinks to himself, "Oh crap, I actually have to do something on this play!"

2:02 - I want to be mad at someone for the touchdown, but I just can't figure out who. Lacey is in good position but is put in a very tough spot with a speedy Cobb and an underthrow that's almost impossible to adjust to. He doesn't turn his head around, but that's much easier said than done against someone as speedy and elusive as Cobb. I want to be mad at Silva, but it's unrealistic to expect him to be able to get over in time, as he was coming from the opposite side of the field. Just a great play by Cobb. 

1:43 - The infamous play that put Young in the doghouse for good. Stafford is ready to go when he looks to his left and sees Titus where he doesn't belong. Stafford literally does a quadruple take and tries to get Titus to move. His yell causes Gosder Cherilus to false start. Sweet.

1:31 - Third and 15. Need to pick up SOME yardage. Instead of picking up and easy 7-8 yards with Pettigrew over the middle, Stafford forces a pass to Titus that should have been picked off. Terrible decision.

1:19 - Lions could really use that third timeout right now. Instead, ballgame. 

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff. Calvin has not been the same since the first Minny game where he got physically abused. Mentioned after the Seatle game that he couldn't grip the ball well. I think it is still an issue as we saw against the Packers. I don't think I have seen any difficult fingertip catches since that first Minny game.

    I hope some offseason rest will fix it.