There are a lot of narratives in the NFL. Things like, the team who has the ball last in a shootout usually wins, or west coast teams playing at 1 p.m. ET don’t travel well. Today the Detroit Lions learned the age-old lesson that it’s really hard to win on the road against winning teams.
I’m sorry, what? Are you sure?
OK, I have to print a retraction here. It turns out the Lions lost 35-21 to the Dallas Cowboys at home in Detroit. I was confused by the Cowboys wearing their home jerseys and the city of Detroit seemingly cheering for everything they do. What an embarrassing day in for the Lions and their fans.
As always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.
Bo Scarbrough might be pretty good
Scarbrough was drafted by the Cowboys in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Since then he’s made stops in Jacksonville and Seattle before being signed by the Lions. He was activated just a few days before this game and immediately made an impact on the field when he scored his first NFL touchdown on his third NFL carry in the first quarter.
After that he tapered off but ultimately finished the day with a mediocre 56 yards on 14 carries and the aforementioned touchdown. It’s so sad, but 56 yards passes for an OK running performance around here.
I’m not sure where things go for Scarbrough from here, but right now he looks like a serviceable option going forward.
Did you guys know this defense was bad?
It’s no secret that the Cowboys offense is really good. So you have to give the slightest of passes to this defense. They allowed over 500 yards of total offense by the Cowboys and allowed them to convert eight third downs They just could not stop them.
It has to be crystal clear at this point where all the money and draft picks are going this offseason. The Lions need help at every single level of defense and they need to actually get the best players available instead of more square pegs.
Paul Pasqualoni also needs to be excused for taking this defense from 10th overall in 2018 to dead last last.
Lastly, Matt Patricia needs to turn in his “defensive genius” card immediately. He ain’t that.
Driskel also ain’t it
Don’t get me wrong. The kid put on a decent performance, especially with his feet. At times he was hard to tackle. I’m sure some will say this was proof that the Lions should ride with him for the rest of the season. I’m sure they will.
But we need to address that Darrell Bevell is clearly not comfortable with this kid. The first three quarters of the game were nothing but blown-up screen attempts. When Driskel did go down field he had limited success and got lucky on multiple occasions when his pass didn’t get picked.
Driskel also made poor decisions on his feet when he continuously opted not to use them in situations where he would have flourished, or at the very least given the Lions the first down.
These are things that can be learned and maybe they will be. But right now, the Lions should really be the team winning the Colin Kaepernick sweepstakes., especially if Matthew Stafford’s injury is worse than the Lions have let on. As Dave Birkett noted earlier, this is the same injury that ultimately ended Tony Romo’s career. If Stafford can’t recover in full (which for the record I believe he will but I’m not a doctor) the Lions need to start working on a contingency plan. Jeff Driskel isn’t it.
Then there’s the offensive line
Everyone is looking at the Lions defense as the thing that needs the biggest fixes this offseason. They’re totally right to do that too. But another gigantic concern is this offensive line, which stands as the most consistently mismanaged portion of the Lions franchise for years now.
Between injuries, Taylor Decker’s rapidly declining play, penalties and this stupid Kenny Wiggins/Graham Glasgow flex, the Lions are killing their chances for a run game; with Matthew Stafford’s back injury, they may have finally killed their quarterback.
A lot of decisions need to be made this offseason. Decker will be owed no dead money and would give the Lions over $10 million extra dollars; they have an out with Wagner too and Glasgow is set to become a free agent.
If this was the “The Bachelorette,” Frank Ragnow would be the only one getting the rose. I think that means that he wins, right? I’m not sure how it works. I just know that Frank eventually gets his own show I think. I’m not big on current reality TV Competitions. I’m still watching Legends Of The Hidden Temple.
I’m not mad. I’m not even disappointed. Let’s just get to January
Stranger things have happened in the NFL. That said, the Lions season is more than likely over. They just have to hold on for another month and a half and we’ll be home free and ready to look at mock drafts and I’ll be ready to write a bunch of free agency articles.
We’ll also maybe get some time where we get to wonder who the Lions new defensive coordinator is going to be. If things get really crazy we might even wonder who the Lions new head coach or general manager might be. It’s not getting to that point. Don’t get your hopes up.
The offseason is our time. Nothing can hurt us there. It’s all about hopes and dreams and you spend so much time thinking about all the great things your team did. We’ll be there soon. Until then.