The Monday Morning Microscope: Week 14

I'm going to have to take a bit of a mulligan for today's version of MMM.  I am home from work nursing not only my own illness, but both of my little ones' as well.  In fact, you'll have to forgive my lack of posting in general lately as it seems that life as a single, working father as finally caught up with me.  Our new über-hectic schedule, complete with two hours of commuting each day to drop and pick up kids at sitters and pre-school, combined with cooking, cleaning and oh yeah, my other full-time job (the one that pays my bills)... and I think you get the picture.  Actually, I am going to use this time to say that I've had fun writing MMM this year, but I simply don't have the time to do a regular column anymore.  I will still try to post when I can, but Monday mornings are just becoming increasingly more difficult to try to push out content worth reading.  So with that, today will be the last of the MMM series.  Maybe by next year, circumstances will change and I can resume writing it if there is still a desire to read it.

As for yesterday's game... three words... "What - a - mess!"  I think Sean's summary of the game yesterday was spot on.  In my opinion, Kevin Smith was the only bright spot in a complete and utter drubbing at the hands of a mediocre 6-6 team.  We played better against the Saints and Vikings... teams with a combined 24-2 record.  I feel that the official race for the highest draft position has begun.  With Stafford hopefully back next week, that should at least make the last three games entertaining and worth watching (although, the two home games will most likely be blacked out).  After watching our defensive line get shredded yesterday, it's now about trying to get Ndamukong Suh in next year's draft.  Both St. Louis and Tampa Bay got a thorough beating yesterday, so it doesn't look good.  Right now, there are four teams in the running:  St. Lous (1-12), Tampa Bay (1-12), Cleveland (2-11) and Detroit (2-11). 

As far as I can tell, the current strength of schedule is ranked like this (without the Arizona vs. San Francisco game being played yet):

Tampa Bay:    117 - 91

St. Louis:         112 - 92

Detroit:            110 - 96

Cleveland:       108 - 100

Here is the breakdown of what each of these teams have left schedule-wise and our chances in surpassing them:

Cleveland:

Wk

Date

Game

Stadium

15

Dec 20

CLE @ KC

Arrowhead Stadium

16

Dec 27

OAK @ CLE

Cleveland Browns Stadium

17

Jan 03

JAC @ CLE

Cleveland Browns Stadium

  • So the Browns helped our cause with a big win over the Steelers on Thursday, as it appears that the win pushes us into 3rd place. The Browns have had a mini-resurgence since the loss to the Lions and it could translate into another win or two. They have a pretty easy schedule left and I think they could win at least one more game. That could come in any of the three remaining weeks, as both Jacksonville and Oakland have struggled on the road and Kansas City is well... Kansas City.

Tampa Bay:

Wk

Date

Game

Stadium

15

Dec 20

TB @ SEA

Qwest Field

16

Dec 27

TB @ NO

Superdome

17

Jan 03

ATL @ TB

Raymond James Stadium

  • I feel much less warm and fuzzy about Tampa Bay on three different levels. First, it's much less likely that they win any of these games. It looks like Seattle on the road is our best bet... and I'm not sure I would take that bet. But I don't think one win is enough. Because of the goofy strength of schedule thing, I think Tampa Bay would need to win two more games to be 3-13 and Detroit finish at 2-14. Lastly, it also worries me that Tampa Bay is most likely to take Suh. I can't really see any circumstances where they pass on his immense talent. In order for us to get in front of Tampa Bay, it appears that they will have to take Seattle on the road and then (hopefully a Matt Ryan-less) Atlanta at home (although, I think Ryan will be back by then). Oh yeah... and Detroit still would have to lose their remaining games.

St. Louis:

Wk

Date

Game

Stadium

15

Dec 20

HOU @ STL

Edward Jones Dome

16

Dec 27

STL @ ARI

University of Phoenix Stadium

17

Jan 03

SF @ STL

Edward Jones Dome

  • St. Louis still has to win another game either way, but the head-to-head loss does nothing for us (yeah... ridiculous). It would then come down to strength of schedule, where the Rams have us by two opponent wins. This could go a multitude of different ways and will be a week to week thing, but it still comes down to the Rams having to upset a team. I don't like those odds too much.

Detroit:

Wk

Date

Game

Stadium

15

Dec 20

ARI @ DET

Ford Field

16

Dec 27

DET @ SF

Candlestick Park

17

Jan 03

CHI @ DET

Ford Field

  • The Lions only real hope for another win is the final game against the Bears at home. I don't think too highly of the 49ers, but it is a road game, so scratch that one. All things considered... the Bears game will be blacked out and the difference between 2-14 and 3-13 is negligible.

So here's the skinny... we need to root for Cleveland to just win one more and they are basically out of the picture altogether.  We need St. Louis to upset Houston at home next week (and then have the SoS go our way) and the big one... Tampa Bay must have a revival and take down Seattle on the road and then upset Atlanta at home.  Tall, tall order indeed.  If the Rams can just upset Houston, that might just be enough for the 2nd pick and a shot at Suh, albeit it a long one.  In the end though, Tampa Bay will most likely shaft us all.

 

Thoughts About the Game:

  • I'll start with Culpepper's performance... or lack thereof. I'm not quite as down on him as Sean was, because he got little help from the line and his receivers, but he was borderline atrocious. The difference between the horrible interceptions thrown by Culpepper (and there should have been three of them) and the horrible ones thrown by Stafford is separated by 10 years of NFL experience... and that's the bottom line on Culpepper. Some of those decisions were just flat out rookie mistakes that a grizzled veteran can't be making. I'll say it for the umpteenth time... he's done in this league as a starter and maybe even as a back-up. He's certainly done in Detroit after this year.

  • Jim Schwartz made a Marinelli-like error in not putting Stanton in at some point yesterday. This made no sense. The only thing I can figure is that this staff has no more faith in Stanton than the last staff. I can't understand this. Stanton must have just horrible practices (although, he's probably just running the scout team most weeks). He looked promising during the preseason and always seems exciting to watch. I don't know what's going on, but I can't believe that Schwartz is not smart enough to give Stanton a look while Matt is down. Big mistake, in my opinion.
  • What a shame about Kevin Smith. The kid has played so hard the last few weeks and was really coming into form. If I was forced to place a bet on his injury... ACL, out for the year, might not be ready for next year's regular season. Some people might now get their wish for the Lions to take a back in this year's draft.
  • The defense was an appalling train wreck yesterday. There's really nothing more to say about it. Where was that decent run defense that we've been seeing over the course of the year? The Raven's offensive line simply man-handled the Lions' defensive line. That line has to be priority number one in the off-season. More and more it looks like there are simply too many holes to fill in 2010 to make enough of a difference to be competitive. Players who we were pinning our hope to - like Avril, Cohen, Buchanon, etc. - all let us down this year. Personally, I was hoping that Avril, Hill, Cohen and White would turn out to be a defensive line worth fearing. Now, I think that Hill is the only one of those four that might be starter-capable. I'd love to see Hill and Suh next to each other. Yeah... that sounds good... :o) Okay, I'll admit my man-crush on Suh right now. It was about this time last year when my Stafford crush started, so I'm just going to go public with my infatuation this time around.

I've really enjoyed writing this column and I hope you've enjoyed reading it.  Actually, this one ended up being much longer than I set out to write.  It's just finding the free time that seems to shrink by the day.  If and when Congress ever changes the length of day to 32 hours... I'm gold again.  I'll try to post from time to time and stay a part of the POD community, but please forgive me if I disappear for days or weeks at a time.  It's most certainly not because I don't want to or because my interest in the Lions is waning.  Sometimes life just gets in the way.

 

Take care,

Drew

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Pride Of Detroit

You must be a member of Pride Of Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pride Of Detroit. You should read them.

Join Pride Of Detroit

You must be a member of Pride Of Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pride Of Detroit. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker