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Lions vs. Saints: What Just Happened?

A collection of thoughts on the Lions’ Week 6 showdown with the Saints.

NFL: Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Seriously. What the hell just happened? This was one of the craziest Lions games I’ve ever seen. Crazy Turnovers and fat guy touchdowns. Sadly, things didn’t fully bounce the Lions way and they head into the bye week at 3-3 after losing to the Saints 52-38.

As always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.

This game was pure insanity, but you somehow have to be proud

Believe me, I know this is crazy to even think. It was a bad game despite all the crazy moments. But the Lions were down by 35 points in the second half at one point. Then they did that thing where they refuse to die and brought the game back to within one touchdown. I mean, they did die after that, but still, man... You have to be at least a tiny bit impressed by what this team keeps doing late in games.

Matthew Stafford is the toughest SOB since Stone Cold Steve Austin

This guy just keeps getting beaten physically every week. Just destroyed in every way. Hit from both the left and right. But he just keeps going. That’s not to say he had a great game or anything. He threw three interceptions after only throwing one all of this season. They were all freak occurrence interceptions, as usual.

You may be upset that the Lions are losing. And you should be. But man, you still have to respect your quarterback’s grit on the field. The dude just won’t quit until he gets a leg ripped off. Even then I’m not sure he would quit.

Lions poop their pants on fourth down

You had to know it was coming right? The Lions need a touchdown before the half and everything goes right. They get great field position at their own 40-yard. Skill players are making plays and you’re getting in position. Then the Lions went full Lions.

The Lions got blanked on four straight tries from the Saints’ 5-yard line. The Lions have been a premier team in the red zone in the last few years. The plays the Lions ran were giant question marks, especially on their second down attempt when Stafford let Theo Riddick sit wide open in the end zone. Just embarrassing stuff.

Not as embarrassing as Nick Bellore’s one carry

This isn’t knock on Nick Bellore. He’s a good player in his own right. This is a knock on the Lions coaching staff. You can’t run the ball all day long. You can’t run the ball all season long. So on a crucial third-and-1, you bring in a linebacker to play fullback, and that’s how you try to gain a first down? Why?

Now for the real overreaction

Is it time for the Lions to make some changes in the offensive play calling department? I’m not saying that the Lions should fire Jim Bob Cooter. What I am saying is that perhaps it’s time to look into some other ideas. Perhaps it’s time to rework the playbook or have Jim Caldwell dust off one of his old playbooks. Who knows? What I can tell you is that this offense is bad. Like really bad. Like Fantastic Four bad.

The bye week couldn’t come soon enough

The Lions have had just a horrible last few weeks. Stafford has been sacked 17 times in the last three games. That’s not a fake stat. The Lions defense has allowed NFC South quarterbacks to run rampant all over them, the offensive line is banged up, Glover Quin left Sunday’s game, Kenny Golladay hasn’t played in weeks. This team needs the time off.

The good news is that you give Stafford another week to get healthy. Coming into the Lions’ Week 8, Sunday night game against the Steelers, the Lions could be getting both Taylor Decker and T.J. Lang back, as well as Quin and Golladay.

The Lions can also take some time to figure out what the heck is going on with this team right now. Keep in mind these guys were considered to be one of the best teams in the league just two weeks ago. Seriously, had them ranked second in the league. That’s not a joke. Stop laughing.

Or maybe laugh harder?

How could you not? Seriously. Sometimes laughter is good for you. Sometimes things are just going so wrong that the only thing you can do is laugh. Sometimes everything goes wrong and all you can do is burst into laughter and begin to cry.

Turnover after turnover, injury after injury. Dumb play call after dumb play call. Where does it all stop?

Ok... let’s see... good things. What was good?

Golden Tate was good

I’ve been wondering when we would see Tate start making big plays in 2017? Apparently it was week six. Tate went off on this beautiful touchdown. But he also added another six receptions as well. He caught every ball he was targeted on and finished with 96 yards. Unfortunately, that finish came when he was pulled from the game with an injury.

The Lions are still forcing turnovers

It’ll go somewhat ignored, but the Lions continue to force turnovers week after week. What should be talked about at the very least is that the Lions were able to get turnovers on a Saints team that had not allowed a single turnover all season—and were just one game away from setting a record for being the first team to play their first five games without a turnover. The Lions ended that. Be somewhat happy.

It was a good day to be fat

If you’re fat, and you want to score touchdowns, Sunday was game for you. A’Shawn grabbed a pick-six. Probably what will be the only one of his career. Cam Jordan then grabbed one on the next drive. Fat men scoring touchdowns makes the rest of us fat guys feel like heroes.

Marvin played well, too

While Marvin wasn’t as sure-handed as Tate was, he still grabbed six receptions for 96 yards and a beautiful one-handed touchdown. Sadly, it was all too late to actually matter.

Hey, Jim Bob, keep playing Riddick

You can argue that the Saints defense was playing soft after going up 35 points, but Theo Riddick still deserves some credit for making plays out there. He’s been seemingly missing all year long. On Sunday, he grabbed four receptions for 50 yards, and probably should have had that touchdown earlier in the game. Keep using this guy, JBC. Riddick is a weapon that should be used as such.

I love Jamal

I can’t tell you how much I love this guy. From the moment I saw his highlight tape, I knew I wanted him to be my punt/kick returner. He’s made me the happiest man in the world. Agnew grabbed his second punt-return touchdown of the year. But he also did smart things like take advantage of the kickoff rule where the player stands half in and half out of bounds to force a flag and gain field position to the 40-yard line. This is the kind of thing that the Lions haven’t had from their return man in a long time.

Jamal did screw up late in the game, but I’m willing to look past this one being that he is just a rookie. If this happens next year, I may have to reconsider everything.

Then there’s this

Let me be clear: There is nothing good about any player getting hurt and missing significant time. I’ve hated the Packers my entire life and I feel like Olivia Munn should have dated Jake Rudock instead, but I hope Aaron is okay. You hate to see this type of stuff.

On the other side of this coin, the Packers are the team that is consistently standing in the way of winning the NFC North. The Lions have been handed a golden opportunity here. All they have to do is turn things around and outpace the Vikings and Bears. Of course, just because Rodgers is down doesn’t mean the Packers are going to lose every game.

The Lions need to get things in gear during the bye. More than anything in the world. It’s time to unbreak my heart.

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