I want to start this edition of What Just Happened off with a personal congratulations to the 2019 Detroit Lions. They studied real hard and they put in the work that needed to be put in. So many people said they couldn’t do it. Everyone had their doubts. But at the end of the day, the Lions worked together as a team and became the “2019 Mitchell Trubisky is back” team.
The Lions went out to Chicago without their best player and laid an egg worse than the one that Robin laid when the Batmobile lost its wheel leading to Joker getting away. They lost 20-13.
As always, I have thoughts on this game, these are those thoughts.
Just a Matthew Stafford away
I won’t give the Bears too much credit. Their defense didn’t play particularly well, but the problem was that Jeff Driskel missed on a lot of the opportunities given to him.
This was one of the worst offensive performances the Lions have had in awhile. I’d say it was Jim Bob Cooter bad with a side of Joe Lombardi. But I can’t blame Darrell Bevell too much. What did anyone expect? The Lions went out there with a backup quarterback, a collection of running backs that the Madden algorithm would probably delete if they got cut, and an offensive line that can’t block anyone. Did any Lions fan think this would work out?
Having said all that, if you have Matthew Stafford in this game, we’re probably talking about another high-scoring game for the Lions. While it looks like they got hammered, they may have been able to outscore this Bears team by a decent margin with number nine behind center.
This coaching staff is terrified
The Lions punted in Bears territory on multiple occasions on Sunday. It’s clear they don’t trust the personnel they have on the field. On one hand, you can’t blame them. I just got done explaining how this offense was doomed to fail with Driskel.
But the fact remains that the Lions left money on the table in favor of fighting a field position battle in a game they were losing. This isn’t new, either. The Lions have been running this play all year. They are simply terrified of risk.
A certain somebody’s seat got red hot Sunday
It’s not head coach Matt Patricia, general manager Bob Quinn or offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Hell, it’s not special teams coordinator John Bonamego.
It’s defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni.
This was supposed to be the let up game for the Lions defense. Mitchell Trubisky has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the league all season long. I completely believe that this is an anomaly, and Bears fans should feel anything but comfortable about him.
So with that in mind, what already looked bad coming into the game ultimately looks way worse after the game. I doubt the Lions make a move during the season, but I would be more than shocked if Pasqualoni is still employed by the Lions when the season is over. There’s no reason a defense loaded with this much talent and with so much money invested in it should be this bad.
I’m gonna shed some blame on the receivers too
Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. have been two of the best receivers in the league all season long. While Kenny Golladay made a great play in the end zone on Sunday, he dropped just about everything else. He was targeted nine times in all and caught just three of those passes. Every other time it mattered, especially in the fourth quarter, Golladay sadly dropped the ball.
Marvin Jones just didn’t really get involved. I’ll give him a little bit of a pass here because, as we mentioned already, the Lions coaching staff was terrified of letting Driskel do too much down field. Part of that is Driskel’s fault, too.
When guys did make catches, they did very little after the catch. It was just a really bad showing by everyone involved.
Where do things go from here?
That’s it for the Lions. At the point they’re 3-5-1 and the only way it’s happening for them is if they win out. That’s not going to happen. At this point, we don’t even know if Matthew Stafford is going to be playing next week, the week after, or in 2020... nah, I doubt Stafford would allow that to happen. He’ll play no matter what. He’d play if his leg was falling off and he had a skin eating virus. Stafford would play on the field that Bane just blew up, even if he fell in the hole. The problem is it’s not totally up to him. If the medical staff doesn’t want to clear him to pay, they won’t.
With or without that in mind, the Lions are not a good team right now. The defense is horrible, they can’t run the ball, they’re constantly killing plays and drives with penalties and, in all honesty, they’re just not a well-coached team at the moment.
So here comes a wild question. Do you want Matthew Stafford to come back this season? I can’t believe I’m asking that, but this team is going nowhere and why risk it? Think about that over the course of the week before the Lions play the Cowboys back at home next Sunday. Do you want Stafford to even be in that game if he can?