Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Two Days Late "Live" Blog: Lions at Packers

Sorry I missed last week, I was with family. I will likely go back and do the Bears "Live" Blog during the bye week. Partially, because I want to be thorough. Mostly, because I can't wait to watch that game again.

First Quarter:

14:55 - First play of the game is a triple option!

I guess I should clarify and say it's a triple option "look." Matthew Stafford makes no read here. The play is to Joique Bell from the get go.

Shockingly, the Packers linebacker believes Stafford is running the option with Bush to the left. He leaves the middle of the field wide open, giving Bell plenty of room to pick up 9.5 yards. It'll be interesting to see if Stafford actually ever keeps the ball on this play. If he does, I'm sure he'll be pitching the ball to Reggie Bush immediately.

13:37 - Patrick Edwards with some good yards after the catch on the bubble screen. Maybe this whole thing will work out without Calvin Johnson!

10:51 - On Green Bay's first sack of the day, the Lions had 8(!) players in pass protection. But Brandon Pettigrew was late picking up the blitzing linebacker and Stafford had nowhere to scramble to. The only two receiving options were running long routes and hadn't even made their break by the time Stafford was on the ground.

7:30 - Do I really have to go into detail on how awful this tripping call on Ndamukong Suh was? He was ridiculously held on the play, and was just reaching out to try and get away from it.

Oh, and Ziggy Ansah was held on the play, too.

6:19 - Another terrible call. Fairley jumps offsides, but settles back into his stance. By the time he does, the Packers offensive guard purposely false starts. But because the guard's jump was not immediately following Fairley's jump offsides, this is, by rule, a false start. Another wrong 3rd down penalty extends the drive for the Packers.

5:17 - Bill Bentley making an impact early. Two tackles on the opening drive on passing plays. One for a two yard loss, one for just a two yard gain.

4:25 - Nothing you can do there. Randall Cobb made a fantastic grab, and Rodgers laid a perfect ball in decent coverage.

1:35 - Bentley with more good coverage on Cobb to force a field goal attempt. Overall, it was actually a pretty decent defensive drive. The Lions forced four third downs. The Packers converted three, but two of those were handed to them by the refs, and the third was a miraculous pass and catch on a well-defended play.

0:25 - Aaaand, the Lions respond by going three-and-out, finding themselves in a second-straight third-and-long without Calvin Johnson.

Second Quarter:

12:13 - Weak call by the ref on the defensive hold on fourth down, BUT AMAZINGLY STRONG ARM.
Sign him up!
11:34 - Delmas got caught with his eyes in the backfield again.

After the play action, look at his depth compared to Glover Quin's. The seam route blows right by him, and Rodgers just misses him.

11:29 - The very next play, Quin plays perfectly and breaks up the pass. Perhaps I have the wrong safety's jersey...

9:13 - Stafford missed a chance at a big play on third down. His eyes all game have been on the intermediate routes, but Kris Durham is wide open deep with no safety help.

8:40 - JESUS CHRIST HOLDING SUPERSTAR. Israel Idonije gets held in the endzone, tries to trip Rodgers like Suh did earlier in the game and nothing is called.

8:14 - Delmas with another great tackle in the running game. We see where his priorities lay.

5:53 - Man oh man. The Lions defense just got terribly unlucky. After a huge hit/forced fumble on first down by Ziggy Ansah, then a beautifully read screen by DeAndre Levy, the Packers were forced to throw a prayer to Jordy Nelson on third and long. Quin, again, played it just about perfectly, yet Nelson managed to hold onto the perfectly thrown ball. Devastating (and a huge swing in field position).

1:48 - It's passes like this that make you love Stafford:

0:39 - Durham, fearful of the oncoming hit, drops the pass on the 5-yard line. /pours a drink out for Calvin.

0:20 -

/sucks the drink I just poured out of the carpet.

Third Quarter:

10:35 - There's that triple option again. Stafford not doing a very good job selling that he still has the ball, but who's going to believe that anyway?

8:12 - On the sack, Riley Reiff's man got a very good jump and Reiff never recovered.

7:24 - Randall Cobb's big run is sprung by a hold on Suh (of course), and Delmas gave up the outside. Luckily, Quin is quite speedy and saved the Lions four points.

3:23 - The long TD is all on Delmas. He tried to jump the seam route, but his responsibility was deep right. Rashean Mathis is clearly playing an intermediate zone at the bottom of the screen, so it's fair to assume Chris Houston was as well. This means the receiver was not his responsibility once he started running a deep route.

Though the seam route looks open, it would've been a tough pass to make in between Bentley and Levy. If Delmas had stayed true to his assignment, Rodgers likely would have tried to fit it in there. And while he may have completed it, it wouldn't have gone for anything more than 15-20 yards with Quin near the play. Instead, there's nobody on James Jones and its an easy touchdown.

3:12 - If Bush doesn't slip there, he scores a touchdown.

0:30 - The frustration continues. Edwards runs a good route, Stafford throws a perfect ball, the safety BARELY gets his fingertips on the ball to prevent the long touchdown. Glimpses of Titus Young there. :(

Fourth Quarter:

14:15 - I don't know how Nelson can make those sideline, toe-tapping catches week after week, but they're incredible. Good coverage by Mathis, but it's not enough.

12:29 - The Lions defensive lineman are running around everywhere, and Rodgers somehow manages to slip by and pick up the first down on another infuriating third down. Never have I seen a defense play so well on third down, yet give up so many first downs. My frustration knows no limits.

10:16 - Here is how missing Calvin Johnson hurt the run game. The Lions are down 16 with 10 minutes left. They are trying to catch the Packers off-guard by running it. But because Durham is the #1 receiver (at the bottom of the screen), the Packers sneak a safety in on his side, putting seven men in the box. Bush loses 3 on the play.

7:11 - Oh, Tony. I'm really trying to still like you, but at this point, you're worse than Pettigrew. Seriously. Pettigrew had a good game. You haven't in two years. Sorry, bud. It's Fauria time.

2:42 - No excuse for Reiff on that one. Just got beat.

2:17 - Three straight targets for Scheffler. You're just messing with me now, Stafford.

2:10 - The ease with which Stafford made that touchdown pass to Durham just made me sad. What could have been...

Overall thoughts:

- I think the defense played better than I originally thought. If it weren't for some bad luck and some poor officiating, they would have gotten off the field earlier and more often.

- This was not a very good game for Stafford. He made some poor reads, and while his receivers didn't really help him out too much, there were plays he left on the field.

- Overall, I came out more optimistic than I came going in. The Lions had several opportunities to turn this game around, but a dropped pass here, a slip on the field there, an erroneous flag there, and the Lions continue to be extremely unlucky in Lambeau.

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