After the Detroit Lions' latest loss, Denver Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby boasted that he knew what was coming with the Lions' offense:
Broncos CB Bradley Roby on the Lions offense: "We pretty much knew what they were gonna do, and they did it."— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) September 28, 2015
Then on Monday, Broncos safety David Bruton told the press that he knew what play was coming when Denver picked off Matthew Stafford late in the fourth quarter, saying (via: MileHighSports.com):
"It was just a formation where we knew what was coming. They’ve had a high tendency to show a particular play, especially a wrap-six, so usually the No. 2 receiver sits down about five or six yards with a guy running a dig route right behind it"
If that wasn't enough, Golden Tate went on Detroit Sports 105.1 on Tuesday and said the following (emphasis added):
I've had a couple occasions in literally each game, where they called out our play for one, then afterwards been like "hey, we knew what you guys were doing". I don't know how they know or what film they're watching that we're giving away...that's something we got to go back and watch our tendencies to figure out where we line up or how we line up or what formation or whatever it may be. We've got to figure it out because we're clearly giving away. All three weeks, a player's come up to me and said "we knew what you were going to do." That's bad.
Joe Lombardi has already been criticized for being too predictable. In January, Drew Brees said he could predict "95 percent" of the Lions' plays if he had sat down and watched a game from 2014.
If that's true, that is completely unforgivable from everyone involved in the Lions' offensive game plan. Part of the coaches job is to make sure the Lions aren't falling into predictable patterns, making the job of the defense exponentially easier. Whether this is Joe Lombardi or Jim Caldwell's fault remains to be seen, but if the Lions' offense hopes to turn things around, they better change their look or defenses will continue to pick them apart.
Detroit's offense ranks 27th in yardage, 23rd in points, 24th in passer rating and dead-last in rushing yards. Now we may finally know why.