Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Three Days Late "Live" Blog: Lions at Cardinals

First Quarter:

14:50 - Ah, the end-around to Nate Burleson. One of Scott Linehan's favorite plays. Unfortunately, it's read uber-quickly, and the Lions' opening drive is over before it even starts.

14:00 - Nice snag by Patrick Edwards. Then a flag is thrown after the play for illegal substitution. It should be 3rd and 13 from the 17. Instead, the down is strangely moved back to second down, and the previous play is completely negated. That makes no sense, as the penalty happened well after the previous play was done. How this happened without anyone making a stink, I have no idea. These are the kind of minor things that irk me most -- much more than a questionable pass interference call. This was a black and white mistake, and pretty inexcusable, if you ask me.

10:44 - Oy, Rashean Mathis.

10:38 - Glover Quin with an absolutely perfect hit. Timed perfectly, placed directly on the ball. That's the huge safety play the Lions have been missing.

9:12 - What a terrible route run by Kris Durham. He just curled the route, instead of a crisp cut, and then face-planted. Time to send out the Bat Signal for Ryan Broyles.

 4:09 - Solid second offensive drive for the Lions. Obviously, it's disappointing to end up with zero points, but the Lions started from within their own 10-yard line. From there, they did a good job mixing play calls, and methodically moving down the field, until a bad rush by Reggie Bush forced them into a long field goal attempt.

3:33 - What is roughing the kicker, if not that? Dude went FLYING into Akers untouched.

0:45 - Bill Bentley with two good open field tackles, the second of which forced a fourth down. He's proving to be a solid slot corner (yes, I know what's coming...)

Second Quarter:

14:24 - After a quick three-and-out from the offense, Sam Martin had a beautiful directional punt of 47 yards with no return. This was a big play, considering the Lions could have given up great field position.

11:49 - You cannot play the pass better than Chris Houston just did. Got in position quickly, and turned his head before the ball was even thrown. It was a perfectly thrown pass, and Houston easily batted it away.

11:00 - Bush has been an invaluable asset to this team already, but if you watch him closely, sometimes he'll just dumbfound you with some of the poor decisions he makes.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. This happens more often than you'd think.

10:31 -  I had the perfect angle from the stands for this Matthew Stafford pick six. It was an irresponsible throw, as the linebacker read him the entire wa....HOLY SHIT TOUCHDOWN DETROIT LIONS! There was no window to throw that ball. None. That play must have been some sort of magic trick...excuse me, illusion. Just an incredible throw by Stafford that I'm not sure anyone else in the NFL could have made.

7:42 - Willie Young dropping deep into coverage on this play, and Carson Palmer easily flicks it over his head. The blitz coming from the left never made it there. The Lions' blitzing woes continue.

7:32 - To say Darius Slay is going through some growing pains would be a gross understatement -- completely lost track of his guy on that long touchdown.

7:26 - There's the second special teams penalty, and the Lions will find themselves within their own 10 yard line for the FOURTH time already.

6:00 - Bush jukes the hell out of his man and makes the 26 yard pass play look easy. So, of course he was injured on the play.

4:10 - Aside from his earlier drop, Burleson has been great this season. He's been making catches in huge situations and through a lot of traffic. Take notes, Pettigrew.

1:55 - Just a great response from the offense. This may have been the Lions' best drive of the season: 10 plays, 92 yards. Mixed in three rushes with seven passes. And most importantly, got seven points, not three.

Third Quarter:

13:30 - Suh with two consecutive quarterback pressures. He's quietly having a solid game. 

12:43 - Michael Spurlock has yet to show me anything positive this year. Looks like another year of having no return game whatsoever. Lions start within their 10 yard line AGAIN.

11:55 - First play of the drive: Bush collapses on his rubber knee. Second play, he fumbles. He's clearly not feeling well. Take a seat, young man.

11:09 - Great, quick read by Quin on the play to disrupt the slant before Larry Fitzgerald could get downfield and block. Huge defensive stand after the offensive blunder.

10:18 - Drive summary: drop, drop, drop, sigh.

7:10 - The best part about Levy's pick six? Suh had another chance to take out a player behind the play, and he actually restrains himself.

5:41 - I don't actually think this Patrick Peterson play was supposed to be a trick play. I think Suh blew up the end around, and Peterson did a brilliant job of ad-libbing. Everyone blocking on the play looked surprised when Peterson reversed field and threw the ball. I could be wrong, but kudos to Peterson either way.

5:20 - Suh is the only player on the defensive line playing football right now. And he's dominating.

Hey, look! There's me!

1:42 - RANT ALERT:

I don't like the penalty "illegal hands to the face." I don't mean I don't like it in the sense that it shouldn't be a penalty. I just don't like it. Being a defensive lineman is a battle of the hands. Between all the slapping, shoving and punching, a hand can accidentally contact the head so easily and so inadvertently. I understand why it's a penalty, and I agree that it should be, but here's the problem: illegal hands to the face rarely helps the guy who commits the foul. Usually he's still locked up pretty well by the offensive lineman, so the act has almost no affect on the game itself. Yet, this penalty was absolutely devastating for the Lions. Willie Young was completely away from the play (until after the fumble) yet his error made the entire play obsolete. I don't think it was a bad call or is a bad rule, it just sucks. It absolutely sucks.

Fourth Quarter:

11:00 - Stafford was absolutely brilliant against the blitz against the Cardinals. He almost always knew where it was coming from, and he got the ball off quickly and effectively. This was really a superb game by him.

9:30 - Carlos Dansby just saved the Cardinals. If Dansby hesitates for a half-a-second more, Larry Warford gets down-field, blocks him out of the play, and Calvin is dancing in the endzone. Instead, he's unable to pick up the first down, and the Lions get their field goal blocked. Humbug.

5:52 - Hey, a Darius Slay sighting. And he was in position!

5:45 - I still don't know if this ball was complete. The Cardinals receiver clearly gets his hands underneath the ball initially, but you can see the ball bouncing around his arms, and just as the ball MAY HAVE hit the ground, Louis Delmas comes flying into the screen and obscures our view. Veteran play by Delmas: A National Treasure.

4:40 - Drive summary: run for zero, drop, drop, swear, punch, cry, seppuku.

3:10 - Tully with three big run stuffs in the last two drives. Neat.

2:09 - Tough break for Bentley. His real mistake came early in the play, when he bit on the out route. When his receiver cut it back up-field, he was chasing to get back in the play. If this ball is thrown accurately, Bentley may actually break it up, as he smartly gets his hands up. But since the ball was underthrown, and Bentley was desperately trying to catch up with the receiver, when the receiver slowed to try and get to the ball, Bentley bowled over him.

1:54 - Why is it that I hate Brandon Pettigrew more when he makes a circus catch?

1:22 - I know it's not his personality, but Calvin needs to complain about not getting pass interference calls more. I don't necessarily think this was pass interference, but there's nothing wrong with pleading your case to the refs.

1:15 - Valiant effort by Nate, but he cuts his angle a little too heavily. He does a great job of creating separation with his hands, as you can barely see at the bottom of the screen.

But then he fails to cut up-field enough, and Mathieu able to recover and make the play before the first down sticks. FOX shows replays of everyone but Nate. Neat. Time to stare idly out of the car for six hours on my way back to LA.

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