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Laimbrane


Joined: 04 Mar 2005
Posts: 3902
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:35 pm    Post subject: Where's the perspective? Reply with quote

Fire Crosman. Mayhew sucks. Linehan can't call plays. The offensive line can't block. The defensive line can't rush the passer. The corners and safeties can't defend. Stafford looks terrible. The receivers can't catch the ball. The running backs can't run the ball.

Jeez, guys - the way we're acting, you'd think that the Lions have been blown out in all three losses, that they're already out of the playoff hunt, that the whole team sucks, etc. I understand that it's frustrating to have such high hopes for the year and watch crazy event after crazy event happen, but let's not get carried away; these last two weeks have been two of the flukiest games I, personally, have ever seen, and we can't judge the team based solely on what's gone on with them. Can we have a nice fresh dish of perspective?

I don't have all the answers. I'm not a football mastermind. I played in high school but I was slow and way too skinny to be useful. But is everything really as disastrous as everyone's making it out to be?

Stafford hasn't been great, but aside from some bad reads in the first game, he's been solid; his receivers have dropped a ridiculous 17 passes already. He'd be at a 75% completion percentage without those drops, and would have at least one more touchdown. ProFootballFocus actually sees him as having lost almost 200 yards (not including YAC) because of those drops, most in the league.

So the receivers have been terrible, right? Sort of. CJ only has one touchdown (he dropped another on a good play by the safety against Minnesota), but he's still on pace for almost 1700 yards, and that's with regular double and triple-teams. Burleson has been his usual serviceable self, and he's on pace for 800 yards. Those two guys are doing their jobs. Young and Broyles have added nothing, though, and that's a huge problem because if safeties are dropping deeper, the passing game should open up for those guys.

It should also open up for the tight ends, but they've sucked. Pettigrew has been awful. Awfully awful. Only Jason Witten has more drops than him, and he's playing with a broken spleen. Actually, the TEs for the Lions in general have been bad - Pettigrew has actually caught a higher percentage of the balls thrown his way than Scheffler and Heller. Of course, Pettigrew hasn't blocked particularly well in the run game, but we all know that the line hasn't been stellar, either, right?

Actually, they kind of have. Aside from Jeff Backus' run blocking, the offensive line has been pretty good. Pass-blocking-wise, they've been excellent - PFF has them as the fourth best pass-blocking line in the NFL so far this year.

And the run-blocking? Average. Backus has been pretty terrible, but truthfully, LeShoure and Smith have been very average backs. But you know what? Who cares? It's the running game, and it doesn't matter. Look at the Vikings on Sunday - Peterson supposedly "thrashed" the Lions' defense, but their offense still only put up 6 points. I don't know why I have to keep beating this drum, but the run game is not that important anymore. It just isn't. You can establish balance by throwing screens and running draws and reverses. Ramming a player ahead four yards a run 25 times a game just doesn't cut it anymore. The Lions are built to be a passing team and to win games in shootouts.

Of course, you have to stop the other team's passing game, and the Lions have been completely unable to do that, right? Again, sort of. Houston has quietly become one of the best and most underrated corners in the league, actually; without any interceptions to bring it down, opposing QBs still only have a 56.3 passer rating against him. It's only been two games and against non-elite receivers, but he did play well last year. He's a solid corner.

Across from him, though? Well, Drayton Florence actually had a couple pretty good games before he broke his arm. Then they used Lacey and Bentley against Tennessee, but Bentley was starting his first game and Lacey sucks. Take away the two penalties, and Bentley didn't play too poorly. It's way too early to give up on him.

The safeties, though, have actually been a joke, right? Well, yes. Yes they have. A tragically unfunny joke, but a joke nonetheless.

What about the linebackers and defensive line? Well, KVB still sucks, but you know how you have that grandpa that fought in the war and at Christmas he goes on about his crazy theories and basically nobody says anything cause he's old and when you open your mouth to argue with him your mom elbows you in the ribs and tells you to be quiet because of all he's done? Basically, KVB is like your grandpa and Jim Schwartz is your mom elbowing you, telling you to shut up. There is no metric available that can possibly defend KVB's usage rate, but he brings an attitude and grittiness to the team that the coaches think is important so while they probably tear their hear out over his inability to properly defend a reverse, they just kind of take the good with the bad here. Veteran leadership doesn't show up in the stats books.

As far as the rest of the defensive line, they're probably a victim of their own hype. Suh is on pace for 12 sacks. Avril hasn't done a whole lot, but I'm choosing to look at the bright side here - if he continues to suffer from his camp holdout for the rest of the season, it will significantly impact his value and the Lions will be able to sign him for much cheaper next year. I still expect him to get back into game shape here and improve. Hill has been good as usual and Fairley has been mediocre, but to me the most surprising thing has been how unproductive Young has been. He and Jackson have done diddly squat.

Okay, this is turning into a much longer post than I had anticipated, so let me round it off here...

Conclusion
Overall, the Lions are not playing as badly as everyone seems to be saying. Special teams breakdowns have been catastrophic, but the defense is actually playing better than I'm reading about, and the offense is oh-so-close to fixing its problems. Even if the Lions only allowed one ST touchdown in those two games, they're 3-1 right now and we're talking about how much better they could be, and about how they're tied with Chicago for a lead in the division. I'm just hoping everyone steps back from the ledge, calms down, and looks at the team for what it is - flawed in areas, but not as bad as it's record indicates.
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Nnivolcm


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Where's the perspective? Reply with quote

Laimbrane wrote:


Conclusion
Overall, the Lions are not playing as badly as everyone seems to be saying. Special teams breakdowns have been catastrophic, but the defense is actually playing better than I'm reading about, and the offense is oh-so-close to fixing its problems. Even if the Lions only allowed one ST touchdown in those two games, they're 3-1 right now and we're talking about how much better they could be, and about how they're tied with Chicago for a lead in the division. I'm just hoping everyone steps back from the ledge, calms down, and looks at the team for what it is - flawed in areas, but not as bad as it's record indicates.


So.... Fire Crossman?
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TL-TwoWinsAway


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could not agree more. Incredible summary.

I look at the way we've played (underwhelming) and the margin of defeat (slim). We haven't played well, but we're average ST play away from potentially being 3-1.

Guys. We can win games. There are 12 left. We only need 9 of 'em. We can do that. The Packers aren't the 2011 Packers, the Bears are immensely flawed, the Vikings are beatable... what teams in this league can't we compete with?

This is Laim's work, so I'll step away. I agree completely with this thread.
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Laimbrane


Joined: 04 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Where's the perspective? Reply with quote

Nnivolcm wrote:
Laimbrane wrote:


Conclusion
Overall, the Lions are not playing as badly as everyone seems to be saying. Special teams breakdowns have been catastrophic, but the defense is actually playing better than I'm reading about, and the offense is oh-so-close to fixing its problems. Even if the Lions only allowed one ST touchdown in those two games, they're 3-1 right now and we're talking about how much better they could be, and about how they're tied with Chicago for a lead in the division. I'm just hoping everyone steps back from the ledge, calms down, and looks at the team for what it is - flawed in areas, but not as bad as it's record indicates.


So.... Fire Crossman?


Or tell him to do his job. One or the other.
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Locke


Joined: 23 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the reason for optimism being so low is because our schedule upcoming is pretty harsh.

However!

I don't trust Philly. If we could win here, I think it would give some positive momentum going into game at Chicago. Philly has a tough matchup this week @ Pittsburgh.

The three game stretch with Seattle at home, Jacksonville on the road, and Minnesota on the road could make or break our season.

I think if somehow we could get to 4-4 at this juncture, there is a chance we could make the playoffs once again.
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stylish313


Joined: 17 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Physically, this team is outmatched every week. Mayhew decided to build this team outside/in, and it shows in so many embarrassing ways.

1. Pettigrew is the softest giant that I know of in the NFL, and Titus doesn't seem to get separation in the intermediate range; which is probably the reason he's appeared to become invisible while Calvin is receiving blanket coverage down the field.

2. We can't run-block effectively, consistently; and we miss a ton of tackles. Although our LB's have performed admirably, there have been a bunch of occasions, especially seen against AP last weekend, where we've seen more than 3 missed tackles on a single possesion.

3. ST's have been the exclamation on how soft our team is. These guys are being over-powered, missing tackles, and most(all???) don't contribute in any other manner to our roster. What a enormous waste.

Stafford has been off target more than not. Although his completion percentage is at a career high, players are consistently having to lay out in order to haul in his passes. I have a feeling that our WR corps are leading the league in drops due to Stafford's erratic nature, and Linehan's offense would probably be better served if Stafford knew how to hit WR's in stride.

That's the major difference in Stafford's game, and the true elite QB's in the league. Stafford puts the ball in the vicinity of the WR, so they don't really have a chance to turn a quick toss into a huge gain; whereas, the elite QB's place the ball where it needs to be so that RB's and WR's can keep stride. This is a significant hindrance to our offensive output, and the difference between us having an elite offense or what we're looking at right now.
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carlande


Joined: 21 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Laim, but this is a hard sell. To say that the team could have been (3-1) if not for special teams is lacking broader context.

I firmly beleive in the Lion's (1-3) record right now and here's why:

The Rams were 2 seconds away from going into the 2 minute warning with an extra down which would have given the ball back to the Lions with no time-outs and just over a minute to drive the length of the field. The Lions won the game, but needed the luck of that Rams time-of-posession on their final drive to make that happen. Very close game.

The 49ers just beat the Lions flat out.

At Tennesse the Lions needed a hail-mary tip miracle just to tie the game. After that they let the Titans kick a field goal that would have won the game prior to the new overtime rules. The Lions then choked their opportunity. The hail-mary was ridiculous as it was. The Lions just got beat.

The Vikings special teams were great and the Lions were terrible, but the Lions offense couldn't score and were smacked around by the Vikings defense. You also seem to think running the ball is an NFL afterthought. You've been watching the Lions too long. Peterson and the ball-control offense works. He wears defenses out with his aggression. It eats up TOP and is demoralizing to a team that prides itself in being tough up front. If I was Suh or those Lions linebackers I'd be embarrassed right now. I would think twice before comparing the value of Peterson to ball screens, reverses, or whatever gimmickry or soft yardage plays you were loosely equating. When a team is ahead they need a between tackles run-game to move the sticks, limit mistakes, and keep the clock running. Football 101.
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studdogs


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Growing pains are hard to swallow. From all the above postings were all watching the same game.

An average team with not a lot of depth.

Still cannot understand how those of you can watch those game a second time?...JK.
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tytalton


Joined: 12 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laim I think you make your good points as is the norm for most all of your posts - I hate to disagree with you but I feel like I gotta this time.

I feel like the problems on this team are alot more systemic than we want to believe. Soft play and fluke plays aside this team is getting beaten more often than not. Those fluke plays have gone both ways as well - a couple of dropped INT's thrown by Stafford right to the defender, a couple of overthrows or drops by our opponents have kept some of these games mercifully close. This Lions team is not playing anywhere near where it needs to be competitive and I think players, coaches and fans are starting to recognize it.

1) I'll start by saying Pettigrew isn't the softest giant in the game right now. He may be #2 behind Suh and his comrades on the DL though. Suh has not played the dominating brand of football he has played in the past. Suh has made a few plays but he and the rest of the DL are a non factor for long stretches. Suh shows none of the burst or leverage he displayed in the past. I think this is a player that has been completely declawed through a combination of his own stupid penalties leading to a more timid brand of play, and a lack of fundamentals. If he doesn't beat you with a bull rush/speed move he is out of the play save for the odd coverage sack. This effects others all the way down the defensive line as the center is unable to consistently provide a push up the middle while the ends can't beat anyone to the outside. Joe Staley really said it best in calling this unit overrated.

Avril is a completely unmotivated non-factor on defense. I truly credit Mayhew for recognizing the lack of desire in Avril and not caving on his contract demands. If he played as hard as he negotiated this past offseason we'd have a great player...

2) In terms of focus and preparation in the receiving corp Burleson is probably the best we have right now. I don't know about CJ because he really isn't a part of the offense for many stretches of the gameso it is hard to tell if this because of double-triple coverage, Stafford being tentative in targeting him since getting abused in game 1, or inept offensive scheming. I don't know on this one besides he certainly isn't the threat to score he once was. The double and triple coverage do little to involve the other players in the passing attack as they lack the focus or ability to contribute.

Young is a complete non-factor ala Avril save for when he decides to take a stupid penalty. After seeing him lash out at opposing players last year, costing the lions a game in the process, and showing little else in the way of maturity since sucker punching Delmas in the off-season I think this idiot will probably remain invisible until his ego demands he do one of two things to get noticed - a) play harder and make some splash play(s) or b) take another stupid penalty most likely at a heated moment of a game. Never underestimate a dummy fellas.

And Pettigrew doesn't have the focus to play this game at the necessary level. His inconsistency is going to be more of a detriment than his ability could ever compensate for. It's one thing to get open and get targets; but it's another thing to get open, get targets, and drop the ball. You are actually diminishing the effectiveness of the unit more with the inconsistency because you take plays away from guys who have a shot at keeping the ball in their hands and making plays. 7 (or Cool drops against 23 catches on the year is a huge statistical void - a void that could be eliminated or improved by targeting a different player or scheming differently. Dropping the ball is worse than not getting open when you are that inconsistent.

3) The secondary is a complete and unabashed disaster. There is no depth whatsoever, there is no athletic ability to keep up with even mediocre NFL receivers, and when combined with the anemic pass rush we have this is a recipe for disaster. I really think we got off easy because we have played against four mediocre qb's so far. We are going to face 3 more the rest of the way in Gabbert (who has improved somewhat), Ponder again and then Russell Wilson in SEA. This is going to get a WHOLE lot worse before it gets better. We have the worst secondary in a league that thrives on the passing game. Unless Aaron Rogers and Cutler happen to fall down an elevator shaft together we are going to get torched in the passing game each time we play these guys.

4) Our ST is as overmatched as our secondary. Actually - alot of them are part of our secondary. Starting secondary. And they are just as physically overmatched on every pick and punt return. This is a unit that has historically seen an abundance of injuries and could not afford a single injury this year (especially since cutting Aaron Berry) due to the depth and lack of talent. And history repeats yet again this year with injuries to Delmas and Houston. The front office did not prepare in the offseason to address these positions the way they should have.

Crossman is an idiot -yes; but he is playing with a group of overmatched players. Naturally, his solution is to kick it into the teeth of the return team and believe, by some miracle, that the lions ST players will suddenly become bigger and stronger on the way down. Works for me - and he got his name in the record books...


But other than that things aren't that bad.

!!And we might have a shot at Amerson in the draft next year - maybe Lester in Round 2?? Lots of DE's coming out in 2014!

(wanted to end on a positive note there)
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El Duderino


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do think Mayhew deserves a bit of the blame for basically not really making any moves that help the Lions now.
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detroitroar


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its nice to know Im not alone on here. Its a very long season and we're only a quarter into it.

Also, you would think most on here would of learned something from the Tigers who just clinched the division last night. That team was a huge disappointment the first half of the year, but they got it together when it counted the most.
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TL-TwoWinsAway


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

El Duderino wrote:
I do think Mayhew deserves a bit of the blame for basically not really making any moves that help the Lions now.

I'd rather he make the moves that are best for the long-term success of the team. That's exactly what Reiff and Broyles were, and that's what he should have done. (In my opinion.)
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diehardlionfan


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stylish313 wrote:
Physically, this team is outmatched every week. Mayhew decided to build this team outside/in, and it shows in so many embarrassing ways.

1. Pettigrew is the softest giant that I know of in the NFL, and Titus doesn't seem to get separation in the intermediate range; which is probably the reason he's appeared to become invisible while Calvin is receiving blanket coverage down the field.

2. We can't run-block effectively, consistently; and we miss a ton of tackles. Although our LB's have performed admirably, there have been a bunch of occasions, especially seen against AP last weekend, where we've seen more than 3 missed tackles on a single possesion.

3. ST's have been the exclamation on how soft our team is. These guys are being over-powered, missing tackles, and most(all???) don't contribute in any other manner to our roster. What a enormous waste.

Stafford has been off target more than not. Although his completion percentage is at a career high, players are consistently having to lay out in order to haul in his passes. I have a feeling that our WR corps are leading the league in drops due to Stafford's erratic nature, and Linehan's offense would probably be better served if Stafford knew how to hit WR's in stride.

That's the major difference in Stafford's game, and the true elite QB's in the league. Stafford puts the ball in the vicinity of the WR, so they don't really have a chance to turn a quick toss into a huge gain; whereas, the elite QB's place the ball where it needs to be so that RB's and WR's can keep stride. This is a significant hindrance to our offensive output, and the difference between us having an elite offense or what we're looking at right now.


After reading your post Laim I was going to respond with a lengthy rebuttal but this post by stylish echo's my thoughts.

I just want to add a few additional thoughts.

The makeup of the Detroit defence is such that if the dline doesn't creat pressure they get exposed......terribly.

What is most disappointing is the lack of physical domination from the dline. Suh has not lived up to his rookie year, Fairley hasn't lived up to his draft status, Avril certainly is showing he doesn't deserve top DE money. KVB may be old, he may have lost a step but at least he brings it to the best of his abilities every week.

It seems that with how ineffective the dline has been Gunther might call a few more blitz's but I suspect with how inept the secondary is he doesn't dare.

I also view the results differently than you. The Titans fans claim their interior online is weak but you wouldn't know it with the play of the DT's. Detroit needed a Hail Mary play from Hill to force overtime. Of course that was after a successful on side kick.So even with luck on the side of the Lions they managed to lose.

I have great respect for you as a poster Laim however your analysis can be applied to any loss. The Lions could always point to a few miscues that cost them the game.

What concerns me most about this team is what you see on the side lines. They sit there. No emotion, no ferocity, no one pumping anyone up. It's like someone has ripped the heart out of the team.

Stylish mentioned Stafford and I want to mention it again. His completion percentage may be the best of his career but he still isn't hitting receivers in stride and he still can't find a way to get the ball in the end zone. Mayhew has surrounded him with offensive weapons yet the offence which is supposed to be the strength of the team can't seem to get it together. Many of Staffords positive stats this year are simply a result of the opposition playing safety's deep.

People can claim we are over reacting but I would disagree. Lions fans are amongst sports most patient and loyal fans. There's a reason fans are upset and it lies in the fact that the team is under achieving. Sure they can win the rest of their games but that's not realistic nor is nine wins from the remaining 12 games. The team is mired in a string of poor performances that began with last seasons loss to the 49ers. That started the 6-10 run they are currently on. The foreshadowing of this seasons performance was visible last year. Combine that with an off season that didn't feature any upgrades through free agency or trade and a draft that to date hasn't seen a single player make a regular contribution and it seems obvious the team lost ground to those teams that did improve. The Lions simply aren't a good enough team to justify a draft in which all the players may contribute at some future date.

One last observation that I believe has already been mentioned. The opposition playing the safety's deep and doubling CJ should result in plenty of opportunity for other receivers. We have seen Pettigrew plenty but where the heck is Titus? He has been invisible out there.

As a fan I expect the players being paid like superstars to perform like superstars. That means Stafford, CJ, Suh and Avril. These young guns need to step it up, elevate their game and lead this team.
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El Duderino


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TL-TwoWinsAway wrote:
El Duderino wrote:
I do think Mayhew deserves a bit of the blame for basically not really making any moves that help the Lions now.

I'd rather he make the moves that are best for the long-term success of the team. That's exactly what Reiff and Broyles were, and that's what he should have done. (In my opinion.)


This would be all fine if they done this when the Lions could show they could consistantly be a playoff team.
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stylish313


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Out of 22 starters on this team, Mayhew has managed to draft 6 of them! And that's on a team that was 0-16 before he arrived Shocked

2009
#1 overall selection Matthew Stafford
#20 overall selection Brandon Pettigrew
#33 overall selection Louis Delmas- who isn't even contributing often due to his injury-prone nature
#76 overall selection Deandre Levy- who may have been Mayhew's best selection to date

2010
#2 overall selection Ndamukong Suh
That is all

2011
#57 overall selection Mikel Leshoure- who's off-season transgressions were an embarrassment, distraction, and probably had some sort of impact that has contributed to the teams current disjointed state.
That is all

2012
Nothing, not even a solid contributor on ST's Confused

Mayhew's made a couple of nice moves via trade and F/A, but none since 2009- so when you really look at his resume, he hasn't done much of anything in the form of adding starting caliber talent to our team since the season he arrived. That is beyond disturbing
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