Saturday, November 30, 2013

Six Days Late "Live" Blog: Lions vs. Buccaneers

I apologize for the further lateness of this, but holidays and a short week pushed this down the priority list. Because I'm already a game behind, this will be briefer than usual, which is probably a good thing.

First quarter:

14:13 - Lions quickly go 3-and-out. The offensive line is struggling early, specifically LaAndrian Waddle, who was responsible for a TFL and a pressure on the first three plays.

13:14  - Lions respond with a three-and-out on defense. Likewise, it was the defensive line that forced the punt. Ndamukong Suh with great penetration on the first down rush, and Nick Fairley with the pressure on third down...and what was that thing Jeremy Ross did after catching the punt? You're allowed to run downfield after catching a punt? Why didn't anyone tell the Lions this sooner?

11:24 - I don't know the play call on Matthew Stafford's interception, but it looks like at least some of the blame should be on Nate Burleson. At the moment Stafford throws the ball:

...he is leading Burleson where there's room in the Bucs' zone. However, Burleson sits at the end of his route, allowing the safety to get to the ball first and tip it. Burleson needs to find the hole in the zone and get there.

9:24 - Brutal roughing the passer penalty.

Fairley is clearly getting pushed into the quarterback, and as he stumbles that way, he has no choice but to come into contact just below Mike Glennon's waist. Nothing else he could've done.

7:05 - Unbelievable read from DeAndre Levy on the end around.

5:30 - Tampa picks up a couple of third down conversions. Coverages on both were decent, not great. Good throws by Glennon.

5:21 - Ziggy Ansah does a great job shoving the left tackle to the side and picking up a big sack on first down. Nice to see some strength to go with that speed.

2:05 - Ballsy play by Stafford. Does a great job escaping pressure. He had Reggie Bush on his side of the field with a step on his defender. But Stafford opts to throw against the grain and finds an open Burleson for a first down.

0:00 - Beautiful set-up and execution of the screen to Burleson. The Lions get a little lucky, as the play-side safety sprints backwards at the snap to play deep middle.

But the play is made by Riley Reiff, who disposes of the defensive end, throwing him aside immediately, then takes out a cornerback in textbook fashion. But, hey, Nate. No fumbling.

Second quarter:

14:50 - I call this piece: Calvin Johnson: Epic Distraction.

14:15 - Weak call on Waddle, but he probably should have been for a personal foul after the play, anyway.

11:52 - Nate does a great job selling the run-block on his touchdown. The safety completely bites, and Burleson is way too quick for the hesitant cornerback.

11:50 - Rashean Mathis gets victimized by a double move, takes a smart illegal contact penalty, then allows Vincent Jackson to make the catch anyway. Harumph.

11:21 - Suh beats the wham play with his speed. Remember when this use to be his fatal flaw?

9:59 - Not enough pressure from the front four allows Glennon to improvise and pick up a third and long. That one is on the line, not the secondary.

7:56 - THE NATE BURLESON END AROUND!!! How I haven't missed you.

7:14 - To remain impartial, this was also a terrible roughing the passer call. In fact, there's very few roughing the passer calls that I agree with any longer.

4:38 - I am still not convinced Joseph Fauria got two feet down after having possession of the ball here, but it was too close to overturn.

4:21 - Great blitz (!!!!) by Glover Quin. Got a round the blocking running back, and finished the play.

3:33 - Tampa continues to run on second and long against the Lions. I don't think they read the scouting report correctly.

2:07 - You may think I was mad about the Lions not using a timeout here, but you'd be incorrect. The Lions were still getting the ball back with two minutes and three timeouts. That's plenty of time to go downfield and score. Calling a timeout in this instance opens the opportunity of giving the ball back with too much time.

Also, not sure how the Lions escaped without a roughing or running-into-the-kicker penalty. Lately the refs have cut down on roughing the kicker penalties with the same amount of vigor that they have enforced roughing the passer. It's weird.

1:01 - A stunt confuses Larry Warford and especially Waddle, leaving Gerald McCoy free to pressure Stafford. Still, that was a poor throw regardless of the pressure. Brandon Pettigrew was too late to look back for the ball and his instincts caused him to flinch when he turned only to see a missile flying towards his head. Blame: 40% Waddle; 50% Stafford; 10% Pettigrew.

Third quarter:

14:27 - Another second-and-long rush from TB. Strange coaching.

11:45 - I have no idea what's better: the pass or the catch.

I love these two guys.

10:22 - The Lions' Almost-Touchdown of the Game:

The Lions' Almost-Touchdown of the Game is brought to you by Bacon-Flavored Foods. Bacon-Flavored Foods: "All of the potential, rarely executed well."

9:41 - What a great catch by Pettigrew. This has got to be his greatest stretch of football in his professional career.

8:34 - Great job by Rob Sims clearing out McCoy to open a huge lane for Bush. 39 yards later. The Lions are rolling with the lead.

7:10 - Lions get double lucky on this play. McCoy splits Sims and Dominic Raiola and probably should have drew a holding flag. Instead, the Bucs get called for a pass interference penalty on a route that was a good six yards short of the first down.

5:43 -

At this point, Calvin looks wide open. However, the safety makes a very quick play on the ball, and Johnson's route is too horizontal and not enough vertical. If he runs more of a seam route, and Stafford throws it away from the safety, it may be a touchdown. But the post route was run directly towards the safety and it was picked.

This is the second time the Lions had a great opportunity to go up two possessions and take control of the game. Both drives ended in interceptions, and this one frustratingly happened on first down.

3:45 - 2nd-and-22 for the Bucs. Anyone want to guess the play call? It rhymes with "run."

2:29 -

Reggie Bush only picks up 4 yards on this play. I don't know how that's possible.

1:44 - Burleson with a solid effort to get the first down, but comes up half-a-yard short. For the record, I would not have been against going for it here, though I don't feel strongly either way.

Fourth quarter:

14:17 - This long touchdown has to be on Louis Delmas.

The Lions are very clearly in man coverage, with Quin playing deep coverage on half of the field. This means with almost certainty that Delmas had deep coverage on the other side of the field. However, he tries to read Glennon and jump the tight end's route. Houston gets burned overtop without help from Louis, and then flubs the tackle.

10:38 - Stafford takes a sack on third down after Joique Bell fails to hold his block on the blitz. Stafford was looking for Calvin on the post route, who likely would've broken open.

9:58 - So if people are blaming Akers for blocked field goals, can I blame Sam Martin for this blocked punt?*

9:11 - Ansah with another sack. First, he used his speed to get the edge on the left tackle, then used his strength to fight through the tackle's last ditch effort to keep him at bay.

7:48 - Nice to see the opponent miss a field goal. I was beginning to think it was impossible to miss field goals in Ford Field.

7:35 - What an effort by Kris Durham to fight for the extra yard and a half. I thought he picked up the first down, but he got close enough for Stafford to sneak it on fourth down for the conversion. Love this Durham kid. I don't think he could do anything wrong to change my opinion of him in the next four plays or so.


4:41 - No idea why Glennon took that sack on a play he could have easily thrown the ball away on. I'm sure those extra yards lost will have no impact on the gaOH MAN, HE MISSED IT AGAIN!

2:00 - Really don't like Stafford forcing this ball to Calvin on 2nd and 7 with the Lions on the edge of field goal range.

1:06- Really don't like Stafford forcing this ball to Calvin on 2nd and 12 with the Lions on the edge of field goal range.


This last one is a little more forgivable because Stafford was pressured, but Bell and Fauria were both breaking open and were much safer options. Of course, this ignores the fact that Calvin probably should have held onto it, and the Lions would have won the game if he had. But, still, this is insanely frustrated.


*I realize this snark carries less weight after Akers missed a 31-yarder on Thanksgiving, but I don't like punters nor do I like people blindly hating Akers because they wanted a youtube star on their team.

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