“The Detroit Lions offense was tipping their plays.”
Remember this old narrative from the era in which Joe Lombardi was offensive coordinator? Well, it’s back.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, the New York Jets knew what was coming on Monday night, and they punished the Lions to the score of five interceptions and just 10 offensive points allowed.
A number of Jets defenders said they knew what plays the Lions were going to run based on formation and Stafford hand signals. Allowed them to jump routes, get five picks.— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) September 11, 2018
Matthew Stafford reverted to his mistake-prone self of years ago, the Lions run game was anything but established, the red zone offense continued to struggle and there was no tempo to the Lions offense all game outside of one drive to start the second half.
This offseason, Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn decided to keep offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter around despite the regime change just about everywhere else. Cooter has been well-renowned for his efforts in turning Stafford into a consistent, efficient top 10 quarterback. One poor game from Stafford isn’t going to undo all of that, but outside of improving his franchise quarterback, concerns about Cooter’s offense have always lingered in the background.
Play-calling has been a common complaint of Cooter’s offense, and Monday night was no exception. On a key third-and-1 situation, the Lions dialed up an angle route pass to Theo Riddick. The Jets seemed to know it was coming, and Stafford completely overlooked Jets linebacker Darron Lee, who picked it off for a touchdown.
It turns out Lee is exactly the one of the Jets players who said he knew what was coming Monday night:
The #Jets picked off the #Lions five times tonight. Lots of talk inside the locker room that defenders knew what was coming. Jamal Adams, Darron Lee were calling out plays before they happened. Morris Claiborne credited film study— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) September 11, 2018
Back in 2015, then offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi was accused of making a too-predictable offense that led the Lions to struggle their way to a 1-7 start in 2015.
“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,’” Golden Tate told a radio station early in the 2015 season.
Lombardi was fired a month later, leading to Cooter’s promotion.
At this point, it’s too early to call for Cooter’s head. However, if the offense continues to look predictable and this mistake-prone, it may be time for Matt Patricia to clear out one of the few remaining coaches from the Jim Caldwell era.