Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Three Days Late "Live" Blog: Lions at Cardinals

This will be my first time viewing the game via the TV feed, as I was regrettably at the game. So expect more shock and awe about the horrible announcing. If some things were already discussed to death on twitter or other social media, I apologize. I did not contribute in any of those things during the game because I lacked the capabilities at the time.

First Quarter:

14:55 - Cardinals connect deep on the first play of the game. Both teams sending a message early. Cardinals: we're not afraid of your banged-up secondary. Lions: we're not capable of stopping anyone.

14:23 - Stephen Tulloch blitzes on the next play and runs right past Beanie Wells, without getting a hand on him. He must at least slow him down.

12:20 - Lions bringing heat early, but lack the tight coverage to prevent the easy, quick throws.

10:51 - Jacob Lacey makes a nice play and promptly has a Cardinal lineman fall on the back of his leg, dislocating his knee cap. Wasn't intentionally dirty, but when a defender has the ball-carrier wrapped up, should another player really be allowed to try and separate him from the offender?

9:11 - Patrick Peterson is good.

8:51 - Wow. Great read by DeAndre Levy. He was pretty far away from that play when Ryan Lindley wound up to pass, but Levy made up a lot of ground and got there just in time to get the interception.

8:45 - Leshoure's hesitation costing him yards in the backfield.

7:48 - Without Broyles, Pettigrew, Burleson and Titus, this passing offense is officially neutered.

6:20 - Good recognition by Jonte Green to force that toss sweep back inside.

6:00 - One thing you may not have noticed via TV: their punter is crazy-good. Every punt went 50+ yards in the air and was a perfect spiral. Watching Nick Harris punt on the same field was embarrassing. Harris didn't kick a spiral all day.

4:44 - Cardinals putting coverage on Calvin Johnson that I've never seen before. Double coverage in the slot, and Stafford lays a nice ball to him. Unfortunately, the Cardinals secondary is very good, and they get a hand on the ball.

3:49 - Suh is essentially triple-teamed.


The running back was planning on blocking a blitzing linebacker, but none came. Suh is taken out of the play and Lindley is able to scramble for 9 yards in his absence.

2:08 - Good adjustment by Mike Thomas on the end-around. The defensive end read the play well, so Thomas cut it inside and picked up the first.

Second Quarter:

15:00 - We begin the second quarter with talk of the tragedy in Connecticut. Cue the random shot of a fan holding a sign saying, "We miss hockey." Um...okay.

14:54 - Absolutely brilliant play call on third and 9. With Calvin in the slot to the left, he runs a slant over the middle of the field, drawing nearly every defender that way (one defender also happened to be thankfully blitzing). Kevin Smith sneaks out of the backfield and runs to all the empty field left by Calvin's void.

13:43 - Calvin playing decoy again on this third down to perfection.


As Stafford cocks his arm back, the two defenders close in on Calvin, cutting over the middle. Meanwhile, Heller is headed in the opposite direction and has an easy first down.

12:51 - Excellent drive. Lions used Calvin perfectly as a decoy on third downs, while also getting him his touches on other downs. Perfect mixture.

10:21 - FOX cares so little about this game. There's almost no replays of anything, except for blown snaps, which we all saw perfectly the first time around.

9:29 - No words. Okay, maybe a few words. Firstly, I'm not sure how the ruling on the field can change AFTER the referee's huddle with each other, but BEFORE you go and review the play. Secondly, fuck our special teams. I don't like dropping f-bombs in my writing, but fuck our special teams.

9:18 - Once again, the refs can't get their shit together. One ref CLEARLY called the play a fumble and was giving the ball to the Lions (can't really see this on TV, but I absolutely saw it with my own eyes). Then the refs confer, change their mind for some reason, and replay isn't enough to change it either way. Pardon the cursing, but the anger is setting in already.

7:18 - Lions getting the running game going with a couple of big cutback lanes. Credit to Leshoure for finding and exploiting those holes.

7:06 - Oh, Gosder. He obviously holds a guy and immediately looks behind him, expecting to see the flag. Surprise! It's there!

6:35 - Stafford yapping at the ref after this play. Why? Well, don't expect any sort of replay from FOX to provide any clarity. Luckily, I'm here with the coaches film:


Heller's route gets impeded and any separation he has here is completely lost.

4:10 - If you're ever wondering why teams run the ball when backed up in their own zone, this is exactly why. You cannot afford to turn it over deep in your own zone. At this point, the Lions running game was working perfectly, and although the two false starts forced the Lions even further back, the Lions needed to run the ball here. Instead, Stafford forced a ball to Calvin and handed the Cardinals seven points. There was a clear miscommunication between Stafford and Calvin, as Stafford threw outside and Calvin cut inside (partially due to an obvious hold by Peterson). But it was a bad play call to begin with.

3:16 - It's sad to me how little faith the Lions have in their kick returners. They won't even let him run out a kick one-yard deep in the endzone. If that's the case, why bother sporting a guy back there?

1:50 - If I'm not mistaken (I'm not, I checked), this was the first catch by a wide receiver not named Calvin Johnson. AFTER the two-minute warning. Not. Good.

--

Here are the two plays right before Stafford's first pick-six of the day. Stafford with a perfect pass to Scheffler for a would-be first down on Arizona's side of the field. Dropped. False start by Cherilus to force a third-and-15. Teammates not helping him out.

--

0:41 - Granted third and 15 is a tough down to convert, there is no reason to throw the ball there (obviously). Don't know if Stafford just didn't see the safety waiting for him or if he thought he could barrel it in there before he broke on it, but either way, it was too close of a call to pull the trigger. Absolutely killer way to end the half.

Third Quarter:

13:40 - Why, Leshoure, why?


It's third and 1, and if Leshoure hits the hole with no hesitation, it's an easy first down. Instead, he hesitates and cuts it outside. The back-side defensive end easily catches him behind the line of scrimmage. This is becoming a weekly problem.

9:45 - Don Carey is PUMPED about letting the Cardinals into field goal position!

8:10 - Just an outstanding play by Calvin on third down.

7:48 - Leshoure almost breaks a huge run. Again he struggles to find the hole initially, but eventually makes the right read. But if he finds that hole immediately and hits it...you finish that sentence.

3:12 - God awful pass interference call. Maybe the worst I've ever seen. I'm honestly a little surprised you can't hear me on the TV feed. One of the few times I've yelled in a profanity-laced fashion at a sporting event.

1:14 - Ha ha. Cardinals punting on the Lions' 36 yard line on a fourth and 2. Stupid, stupid decision, even with the Lions' inept special teams.

Fourth Quarter:

14:21 - One of the few times Suh isn't double teamed and he sacks Lindley immediately. Go figure.

13:07 - Andre Fluellen reads the screen, but is nearly dragged down with a hold. Still, he's able to disrupt the play enough to let someone else clean up the play.

12:29 - Scheffler wins my love and then tears my heart out. Can't blame Stafford for the throw, as he's under immense pressure. He put the ball where Scheffler should have caught it, and even though he had to turn himself around, it went right through his hands. I want to dig a hole and cry myself to sleep in it until someone fills the hole with cement.

11:30 - Stafford getting a concussion test on the sideline. Do we get to see what happened or maybe what play it may have occurred on? Of course not, this is FOX.

10:00 - That is the reason I have a Delmas jersey. Dude is a beast in run coverage. Huge defensive play.

9:29 - "Lions need a play out of their special teams or defense..." how about ONE from their offense?

6:50 - Third and 1 from the three-yard line. I don't want to watch the rest of this game.

6:09 - Delay of game completely unacceptable here. And as the referee says, that's on number nine.

5:24 - I've watched this play the maximum amount of times before I start ripping my own hair out, eating it, then trying to sell my hairy excrement on ebay for Rogaine money. And I still can't figure out what Stafford was doing here. He could've thrown a fade to Durham or he could've thrown the out to Scheffler. Instead he threw a hybrid of those passes right to a Cardinal. Scheffler would've scored if he hit him, and God knows what Durham would've done. Probably something in between bobbling it horribly only for it to get pick-sixed anyway and making a one-handed between the legs catch while doing a backflip.

That's your ballgame. Since I'm with my family and the anger is rising, I'm going to stop things there. Have a good week folks.

#TeamSchwartz

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