The way the Lions lost, however, is completely demoralizing. It’s an embarrassment to the fans, the city, and the players themselves. I came into this season with a lot of hope, as did many of my fellow Lions fans. That hope is all but gone now, and the cynic in me wants me to stop watching these games. Football is supposed to be entertainment, but as I watch the Lions struggling in every facet, I really can’t call them entertainment. At this point, it’s an addiction. It has a negative consequence on my health. I’m cradling a vodka bottle, blinds shut, sitting alone in a dark room wondering “Why?”
Why can’t this offense thrive despite a lot of talent?
Why does this defense look like they’re playing tag and not tackle football?
Why isn’t the front office making enough moves to improve this team?
Why did I volunteer to write this week’s stock report?
I am forgoing the tradition of alliterative stock report titles. This game doesn’t deserve anything fun.
Stock Up: Damon Harrison, DT
Harrison continues to be the best defender on the Detroit Lions. Since his acquisition, the interior of the defensive line has been incredibly stout. The Bears running backs were held to below 3.0 yards per carry, despite leading most of the game. In previous weeks, the Lions have actually been quite decent against the run—a majority of the yardage has come on one or two large runs, which were usually a result of the linebackers failing to tackle. Unfortunately, Harrison doesn’t offer as much as a pass rusher, which has been a significant flaw for the defense.
Well, if you want a silver lining: Lions run defense: 16 rushes, 41 yards (2.6 YPC)— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) November 11, 2018
Stock Down: Nevin Lawson, CB
The Lions secondary continues to be a nightmare to deal with... for Lions fans. Darius Slay didn’t suit up due to injury, and that left Lawson as the No. 1 corner on the day.
It was not a good day.
Lawson’s coverage was severely lacking. Bears receivers Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller went over 100 yards. Mitchell Trubisky had a career high in yardage. While the secondary as a whole was awful, Lawson was the headline. Pass interference penalties have been a problem for Lawson in his career, and he had another in the end zone that led to a touchdown. The Lions badly need a CB2 across from Slay. Otherwise, this defense will continue to get torched.
Bears touchdown and 2-point conversion. Allen Robinson with the TD catch on Nevin Lawson and Trubisky hits a wide-open Trey Burton for the 2-pt conversion. Bears up 34-10 in the 3rd. #DETvsCHI— Tori Petry (@sportstori) November 11, 2018
Stock Up: Kerryon Johnson, RB
The Lions offense has been very dysfunctional in recent weeks. Johnson, however, has not been a reason. Johnson was bottled up rushing against Seattle and Minnesota, and while his 51 yards and a rushing touchdown against the Bears isn’t overly impressive, he displayed some excellent vision and burst, despite suffering an ankle injury earlier in the week. Kerryon is getting more involved in the passing game as well, registering six catches for 38 yards and a touchdown. He continues to be the Lions most effective weapon on offense.
I know he had the fumble earlier, but I love the way Kerryon is playing right now, especially on a bum ankle.— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) November 11, 2018
I hope the Lions don't destroy him.
Stock Down: Jarrad Davis, LB
Inconsistency has been a huge issue for Davis this season. He had an excellent game versus Miami, while performing decently against Dallas and Seattle. On the other end of the spectrum, his games against New England and Minnesota were disastrous.
Sadly, the Bears game was one of Davis’ worst performances. Coverage continued to be an issue for him. Tackling is always a challenge. For once, discipline was also a huge factor. Davis took an idiotic penalty by shoving Trubisky despite the quarterback clearly being out of bounds. Coupled with a poor job of pursuit, Davis took the mantle from Teez Tabor of worst 2017 draft pick of the day.
Last play: Jarrad Davis flagged for shoving Trubisky out of bounds late, then tries to fight the Bears on the sideline while A'Shawn Robinson lays on the ground injured.— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) November 11, 2018
Next play: Pass interference by Nevin Lawson in the end zone.
The wheels are off.
Stock Up: Cody Parkey, K
People will argue that Parkey was bad today. I disagree. Parkey was incredibly precise. He managed to hit the upright four times on his kicks. Each post is six inches wide. Parkey managed to hit a post from 33 yards (twice), 34 yards, and 41 yards. If you asked an NFL kicker to hit the uprights four times in one game, I doubt they could do it. This was a performance for the record books for Parkey.
Wait, what do you mean Parkey isn’t a Detroit Lion?
Parkey so far today: 2 missed FGs off the right upright and 2 missed PATs (one off each upright)— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) November 11, 2018
Stock Up: Zach Zenner, RB
It was an incredible day for Zach Zenner. Re-signed on November 6, Zenner was primed for a resurgence with the Lions. Ameer Abdullah, his longtime teammate, was waived in his stead. Not only was he competing for a roster spot, but he was competing to prove that he was worthy of his friend’s.
Zenner made an impact on special teams, recording a tackle... I think. It might have been credited to someone else. But my heart credits him with the tackle. Zenner was also the most efficient runner on the day for the Lions, with an amazing 12 yards per carry average. He also had the longest run of the day for the Lions. This man can do it all.
Zach Zenner is ACTIVE in his first week back with Detroit— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) November 11, 2018
Up No Change:
After such a disappointing result, I can’t justify giving many players a stock up. Even if they did play well, this season is almost over. While I cannot speak for the players, I have to imagine that morale is low.
Theo Riddick, RB: The Lions have been using Riddick as their Golden Tate replacement, to mixed results. Though he posted a decent six-catch, 60-yard performance, he is not as effective as Tate was, specifically at gaining yards after catch. Riddick’s best role is as a mismatch weapon against linebackers, not corners.
Kenny Golladay, WR: Golladay emerged from a three week hibernation to post a solid 78 yards on six catches and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he and the Lions offense failed to make much of an impact in the first half.
A’Shawn Robinson, DT: Much like Damon Harrison, Robinson was largely effective as a run defender. He and Snacks have made an excellent duo, and the big man has rebounded well from an early season benching. However, he suffered an ankle injury. We’ll see what happens.
Da’Shawn Hand, DE: Hand had the lone sack for the Lions, and he continues to be a steal of a fourth-round pick.
Darius Slay, CB: Slay was inactive due to an injury, but I’ll consider this a positive: he didn’t have to suffer through this game. Give him extra time to heal. This team isn’t going anywhere, so there’s no point rushing your stars.
Quandre Diggs, DB: Diggs was the Lions’ best member of the secondary against the Bears. He had an excellent play where he broke up a would-be touchdown. Essentially no one on this Lions team has made plays like that.
Charles Washington, S: Washington hasn’t made an impact on defense this season (which you could argue is a good thing), but he made a superb play on special teams. When the Lions attempted an onside kick, Washington managed to swat the ball away from the return man, which Nick Bellore promptly fell on.
Matt Prater, K: He made a solid 52-yarder, but unlike Parkey, he did not manage to hit any uprights.
Everyone else: I am doing something different for this stock report, but hear me out.
The team’s struggles against the Bears were not due to a single player. There is no “i” in “team,” nor is there an “i” in “stock down.” There are individual moments that accumulate into the conglomerate mess that was the 34-22 loss to the Bears.
The offensive line is allowing numerous sacks.
Glover Quin is looking incredibly slow.
Sam Martin is shanking punts—and leaving on an ambulance.
LeGarrette Blount is failing to do anything with the football.
Tavon Wilson and DeShawn Shead are getting burnt in the secondary.
Romeo Okwara and Devon Kennard are failing to put consistent pressure on quarterbacks.
Lions tight ends struggle to make plays, while Eric Ebron thrives in Indianapolis.
This game was a failure from everyone, even the players I gave a stock up to. Even though it ended as just a 12-point game, it was a classic instance of the Lions falling behind early, only to put up points when the game is out of reach. The Lions can’t win games by playing like this.
Matt Patricia, Head Coach: Stock Down
Jim Bob Cooter, Offensive Coordinator: Stock Down
Paul Pasqualoni, Defensive Coordinator: Stock Down
Joe Marciano, Special Teams Coordinator: Fired
Once again, I am going to cheat because the coaching needs to be address as a unit. Earlier this week, we saw the first head roll, as Joe Marciano was fired. The Lions don’t technically have a replacement coordinator, instead opting for a makeshift staff primarily led by offensive assistant coach Derius Swinton.
This is a Lions team that has not shown improvement. Issues that were apparent in the devastating losses to the Jets, 49ers, Cowboys, and Seahawks, and Vikings are still prevalent—if anything, they’ve gotten worse. The play calling on offense has been lackluster, to put it politely.
The defense has been so, so, SO incredibly frustrating to watch. There was one play where Anthony Miller was so wide open that his head did a 270 degree scan to see where the defenders were. It is mind-numbing that a professional football team can look so entirely clueless.
Special teams were decent compared to recent weeks, but that is more of a statement regarding how poor they were playing. They managed one special teams penalty this week, and while this is an improvement, it is still a troubling sign. Meanwhile, when considering a 55-yard field goal, one member of the kicking unit was late, so the Lions called a timeout. The Lions then opted to punt, pinning the Bears at the 9. They promptly went 91 yards for a touchdown. Even the successful onside kick was not without complication—that was actually the second attempt at an onside kick, since the previous failed attempt was nullified due to an illegal formation on Diggs that was offset by Miller intentionally batting the ball out of bounds.
In the end, all of this should fall on the shoulders of the head coach. Matt Patricia has not been able to resurrect this team. Jim Caldwell was fired from a 9-7 team because the organization wanted to do better. They wanted playoff success. Half a season through the Patricia era, it doesn’t seem like that will happen. I’m not condemning him yet—after all, some of the blame can be attributed to the team Bob Quinn has assembled. However, we need to see some form of improvement. This is rock bottom.