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2016 season in review

 
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Louis Friend


Joined: 07 Apr 2010
Posts: 10968
Location: Detroit, Michigan
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:00 pm    Post subject: 2016 season in review Reply with quote

Well our season is over and it's time to reflect before moving forward.

What were your highlights and lowlights this season? Where do you feel we overachieved and underacheived?

I think two things stood out to me positively this season.

1. Matthew Stafford is a QB you can build around. He is not the product of Calvin Johnson. Before he hurt his finger, he was having the most efficient season of his career. He was spreading the ball around, and not turning the ball over.

2. Our young OL is growing. Taylor Decker had a few bumps in the road, but stepped right in at LT day one and solidified that position for Stafford. Glasgow played well at both LG and C but I think he's a C moving forward. Tomlinson lost his spot middle of the season but was earning it back before Swanson went out and Glasgow moved over. When Glasgow moved to C, the whole side of our OL played well. Cornelius Lucas didn't play all year but did one helluva job against Bennett in Seattle on the biggest stage for our team. With Reiff and Warford being FA, it's going to be interesting what we do on the right side. But overall, they did well.

Three things that stood out negatively to me this season.

1. Our defense struggles overall without any pass rush. A'Shawn out performed my expectations at DT, but he's not a pass rusher. Without Ziggy getting after the QB all season, our entire defense struggled. We need to build this line back up. We lost alot of talent there (Suh, Fairley, Avril, Willie Young, etc).

2. Our secondary cannot tackle. They go for the big hits and whiff giving up huge gains. It happened consistently throughout the entire season and was highlighted in the game last night. It's a team full of Delmases.

3. Our return game is awful. I know Roberts had to return TDs but he had so many more bad plays that those two TDs aren't worth much. He needs to be replaced. he cost us field position on numerous occasions, sometimes pinning us back for no reason (ball was catchable and the opposing team was able to pin in inside the 10).

I expected a 8-8 record this season with a potential wildcard spot. Most weren't that optimistic. From that standpoint, the season was a success. For me, this season showed me exactly where are weaknesses are and how we need to address them. I'm hoping for a defense heavy draft/offseason.

Here's to 2017 ladies and gents!!
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Calvin-Stafford


Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 1771
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Overall, this offseason needs to be about three things:
1. Improving the defence's athleticism. Our defence plays slow as heck. When you watch other teams, you consistently see teams make plays defensively I rarely saw out of the Lions. TFLs, sacks, etc. The scheme was conservative, and the players rarely penetrated or made plays in coverage, particularly against TEs/RBs in the middle of the field. Even when the defence diagnosed the play, we generally didn't make the play needed to stop them either in the backfield or at the LOS, and often gave up more yards than necessary on those plays. Our LBs and safeties simply aren't fast or talented enough to shed a block and make a genuine play before the RB is two yards past the LOS or the TE/RB makes a catch 5/6 yards past the LOS.
2. Improving the defence's general nastiness/ability to control the LOS. Another thing I noticed is that our team can't hit with any sort of genuine force or intimidation. When a TE/RB catches the ball over the middle, other defences can smash the TE/RB to put fear into the middle of the field and potentially knock the ball out. Not the Lions. They can tackle, but they can't HIT with a nasty edge. Semi-related is the fact that the defensive line can't control the LOS. Our DEs can sometimes rush the passer, but our DTs can't rush the passer, or even collapse the pocket, worth crap. Our DTs can sometimes stop the run, but our DEs can't control the edge worth crap. These are major problems,because if we ever plan on doing anything in the NFL, we need to control the LOS on at least one, preferably both, sides of the ball.
3. Improving the run game. I loved Stafford this year, his toughness, his clutchness, and his consistency pre-injury was the only reason the Lions could do anything that even so much as sniffed the playoffs. I also thought the O-line, while not good, was alright, and given how young the collective group is, I think they can only go up from here. But we need desperately to get some kind of run-game that can relieve Stafford from time to time. This means we need to upgrade the TE position; Ebron was a failure this year, not impactful enough in the passing game to make up for how awful he is blocking. Balanced TEs that can both block and catch will be at a premium. Also, we need to genuinely address the RB position; Riddick is a valuable pass-target, but he's not actually good at running the ball, and Ameer's struggles with injuries and fumbles mean to me that he can't carry the load alone. This draft is stacked with RBs; multiple picks at RB wouldn't shock me at all. As well, I think we need to actually make the run a priority consciously. I'm not impressed with how easily JBC has abandoned it.

I think every move we make, draft or FA, needs to directly address one of these three concerns this offseason.
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Jrugges


Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 9657
Location: White Lake, Mi.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was a step in the right direction imo. Most expected/predicted disaster. I consider it a success to be completely honest. The draft yielded good players. The Lions didn't take a step backwards and now we know there strengths or some of them and what they're weak at and need to strength.

With money to spend, Lions can add talent on top of the draft and take another step forward if they make the right moves this offseason.
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Sllim Pickens


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Joined: 02 Jan 2007
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Location: Middle of the Mitten
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to see some money spent on the D line as well as a high draft pick or two.

I hope we hang on to Warford and Reiff, but at least Warford. I disagree with the OP on the line, I think line as a whole was better when Glasgow was at OG and Swanson was at C. Tomlinson still looked lost to me, struggled in the run game...

I think our DBs played rather well this year given the lack of pass rush. No DB will always be in the right spot all the time but I think Lawson looks like a solid #2 and Diggs is a decent nickel. I would prefer an upgrade at S before worrying about CB, although depth can be improved.

We need to get healthy at RB. This offense was able to control the ball with Abdullah and maintained some threat of run/screen with Riddick. That will help both the pass game and D if they can get a little more time on the sideline.

Finally I think we need another receiving threat. Someone who can stretch the field/make opposing safety's respect the deep ball.
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TL-TwoWinsAway


Joined: 19 Feb 2008
Posts: 27375
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely a success.

There's this notion that the year was built on 'luck'. I think that's ridiculous. This sport has a significant element of luck, but that doesn't mean that we were any worse than our record indicated. We're exactly what we proved to be: a flawed but pretty good team that finds a way to win against equal or lesser opponents, but that's outmatched against better teams.

A clutch, reliable TE would do wonders for this offense. Sadly, it appears that we're stuck with Ebron, an inconsistent playmaker, for the foreseeable future. The OLine is young with a lot of potential, and the other skill positions are acceptable.

Defensively, we're 'good but not great' at nearly every tier, and that's just not good enough. We need a dominant until, whether that be the DLine with an added stud DE to start alongside Ansah, Robinson and Ngata, or a star linebacker to play with Levy and Whitehead. The secondary is solid, and has looked worse than it is due to inconsistent pressure from the front 7.

The needle is pointing upward. I hope that we're able to continue to improve while Stafford is in his prime, and not waste his ability on years of failing to surround him with sufficient talent.
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theuntouchable


Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 10048
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We need a playmaker on the defense. Whether it be DE, DT or LB I don't care but we need a playmaker in the front 7. Taylor sucks, whitehead sucks, ngata is done. I'd like to see what killibrew can do at SS. He played limited snaps but I like what I saw.

All together I'd like most of the focus to be on defense and I wouldn't be upset if they went after a RB. I like the duo of Abdullah and Riddick but not sure either one can stay healthy at this point. I don't even remember seeing Riddick hurt his wrist yet it kept him out of the final what 5 games?
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TimeForChange


Joined: 15 Oct 2013
Posts: 3394
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

theuntouchable wrote:
We need a playmaker on the defense. Whether it be DE, DT or LB I don't care but we need a playmaker in the front 7. Taylor sucks, whitehead sucks, ngata is done. I'd like to see what killibrew can do at SS. He played limited snaps but I like what I saw.

All together I'd like most of the focus to be on defense and I wouldn't be upset if they went after a RB. I like the duo of Abdullah and Riddick but not sure either one can stay healthy at this point. I don't even remember seeing Riddick hurt his wrist yet it kept him out of the final what 5 games?
Agree with you here. Would like the bulk of FA to focus on the defense. CB, S, LB, and DL all need help. We have some nice pieces but just need a complete unit.

How do you feel about Levy moving forward?
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TimeForChange


Joined: 15 Oct 2013
Posts: 3394
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TL-TwoWinsAway wrote:
Absolutely a success.

There's this notion that the year was built on 'luck'. I think that's ridiculous. This sport has a significant element of luck, but that doesn't mean that we were any worse than our record indicated. We're exactly what we proved to be: a flawed but pretty good team that finds a way to win against equal or lesser opponents, but that's outmatched against better teams.

A clutch, reliable TE would do wonders for this offense. Sadly, it appears that we're stuck with Ebron, an inconsistent playmaker, for the foreseeable future. The OLine is young with a lot of potential, and the other skill positions are acceptable.

Defensively, we're 'good but not great' at nearly every tier, and that's just not good enough. We need a dominant until, whether that be the DLine with an added stud DE to start alongside Ansah, Robinson and Ngata, or a star linebacker to play with Levy and Whitehead. The secondary is solid, and has looked worse than it is due to inconsistent pressure from the front 7.

The needle is pointing upward. I hope that we're able to continue to improve while Stafford is in his prime, and not waste his ability on years of failing to surround him with sufficient talent.
I didn't like Ngata this year and I think he is toast.

Bright spots are Ansah, Whitehead and Slay. I still have hope Levy returns to dominant play. Robinson, Quinn, and Killbrew are nice pieces as well. I would like to add DT, LB, and CB. I really think that should be our focus going into the offseason.

With the way Stafford played before his finger issue I think our passing weapons work fine. Need that Oline to shore up and figure out the running game whether it will work with AA, Riddick, Zenner, and Washington or we try to add a dominant #1.
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theuntouchable


Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 10048
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TimeForChange wrote:
theuntouchable wrote:
We need a playmaker on the defense. Whether it be DE, DT or LB I don't care but we need a playmaker in the front 7. Taylor sucks, whitehead sucks, ngata is done. I'd like to see what killibrew can do at SS. He played limited snaps but I like what I saw.

All together I'd like most of the focus to be on defense and I wouldn't be upset if they went after a RB. I like the duo of Abdullah and Riddick but not sure either one can stay healthy at this point. I don't even remember seeing Riddick hurt his wrist yet it kept him out of the final what 5 games?
Agree with you here. Would like the bulk of FA to focus on the defense. CB, S, LB, and DL all need help. We have some nice pieces but just need a complete unit.

How do you feel about Levy moving forward?


Hesitant for sure. He never really seemed to get back to form but he also.only played a few games. I'm.not ready to give up on him yet though. If he could even be 80% of what he was he'd still be a decent LB.
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Lions017


Joined: 15 Feb 2009
Posts: 7462
Location: Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was very pleased with this season. Even with the easy schedule I didn't think that there was a chance that this team made the playoffs. Our rookie draft class looked really solid as well.
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