This is my 1st ever post and I am a die hard Lions fan even though I'm in Montreal. Even here I get scoffed at but I don't care, it's just a game. The Lions, this year are one of the most exciting teams in the NFL (excepting the Buffalo game) even if they lose more games than they should. It seems to take time for them to learn how to win somehow. They do give a good show.
The Buffalo loss was brutal. It seemed to remind me of the 1st game of the infamous 08 season when they walked into Atlanta thinking all they had to do to win was just to show up. They got their asses whipped and never recovered. The rest of the season became history. I hope they have been humbled to the point of correcting their mistakes for the next game because the Buffalo outing was downright ugly.
This season, the running game has never been ignited. Can we blame the O line? Are they the most undisciplined bunch in the NFL? Raiola and Peterman seem to be in a contest as to which ends up with the most penalties. How do they protect their QB's? Well 1 left shoulder separation and 1 left broken arm says enough about this O line or could it be the offensive formations that allow QB's to be disconnected from their body parts? How much is Linehan's fault or the O line's, I have no clue. How can you blame the RB's when they hit a wall before or at the line of scrimmage?
There's a lot of work ahead if we hope they beat the Cowboys. Most losses this year were about the Lions beating the Lions. I actually see a big improvement in the defense this year with an awesome front four. Again, they've been handicapped by stupid penalties and poor tackling. Poor tackling is now part of the NFL, each team has big hitters and poor tackers. How many times did I see backs and receivers bounce off the big hit and tag another 10 yards (see the Jets last drive of regulation time 2 weeks ago). The much maligned secondary (at the beginning of the year) has turned out to be pretty darned good. There is hope that the Lions show up with their A game.
What does it take to win? Discipline 1st and foremost. If you're going to lose, make them beat you, don't give it away. No ground game equates to no possibility of winning at any level of football. Simplify the schemes, get 2 RB packages as you really need a lead blocker to search and destroy. Stick with the run, it'll break through. It will also open the passing game. Get Linehan to plan a game where the run/pass ratio is 50/50. That keeps QB's in the game and not on the injured list. Stafford is too good to be a target dummy. This kid has all the intangibles you wait 50 years to so see, he's that good. Don't ruin him with formations that will cripple his career because he has mediocre protection at best. You coach what you have and the O line is not good enough to protect a jewel like Stafford. I know Staff is not playing but the fact remains that the game is not about a coach's great intellect but using the resources at hand to get the most out of what you have. Running the football can get the job done, this is where they should concentrate on. At least this is my opinion, just hoping they show up for this one and prove us all wrong by controlling the clock and ramming it down their throats with the much needed ground game.