It hurts a lot more when you care. The Detroit Lions are really good at making you care and then hurting you really bad. On Sunday, the Lions did just that when they got straight up embarrassed by the Indianapolis Colts in a 41-21 loss.
As always, I have thoughts on this game, these are those thoughts.
This game was everything you feared come to life
This was a really interesting game for yours truly. I was stuck on a plane for much of it. For the first time ever I decided to finally pay $17 for the in flight WiFi. Due to not seeing video, my day on the job looked like this.
Here’s how I’ll be watching the bulk of today’s game. pic.twitter.com/YvBP0XVegS— Mike Payton (@POD_Payton) November 1, 2020
Still, I could see all the hopes and dream of Lions fans go down the drain. I could see Reggie Ragland commit a dumb penalty, I could see the Lions rush for exactly 5 yards in the entire first half, and I could see that the Lions were allowing Philip Rivers, who came into the game with a 7-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio and questions about his arm, run wild all over their defense.
Even on this little Yahoo Sports app, I could see that the Lions are exactly who we were sure they were a few weeks ago. They are not a good football team. They are capable of winning games against lesser opponents, but they are not going to beat anyone good. It just sucks that the Lions do this to their fans any time they feel happy and comfortable.
Speaking of comfort, that flight was anything but. Between the Lions getting routed, the turbulence and and me almost throwing up, it felt like that scene “Nightmare On Elm Street 5”. You know, this one.
Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Not only did the Lions lose this game, but they potentially lost Kenny Golladay, Jamal Agnew, and Trey Flowers for some time. With the possible exception of Agnew, these guys are all game changers for the Lions.
The defensive line works through Flowers and the entire offense works through the guy the team refuses to pay. I’m talking about Golladay, obviously. You see what the Lions offense looks like without him. It’s not a good scene.
The injuries weren’t the only issue. It was a real “when it rains, it pours” type of situation. The Lions fumbled the ball and then threw a pick six on the very next drive. That sequence is what essentially put the Lions out of reach.
That run game
I’m sure everyone is back on the fire Patricia train again. Some probably never left it. That day will more than likely come sooner than later. One of the biggest reasons this coaching staff will be dropped is because they refused to learn their lessons. For example, I was on a plane with bad wifi and I almost predicted the Lions’ entire first drive. I couldn’t even see it and I knew what they would do.
I can’t see the Lions offense, but I imagine Peterson just ran the ball twice?— Mike Payton (@POD_Payton) November 1, 2020
Adrian Peterson would get four more carries after that for a whopping 7 total yards. What is this guy even in Detroit for anymore? He can't run, he can’t pass block and he’s slower than molasses in the pass game. What does this coaching staff see in this guy? Why do they keep trying to make it work? It’s like trying to shove your American phone charger into an outlet in England. You can shove it in there as hard as you can, but you ain’t charging nothing.
Peterson wasn’t the worst running back on the team on Sunday though. That distinction goes to the rookie D’Andre Swift. The Colts saw him coming from a mile a way. Swift carried the ball six times for 1 yard. That’s 0.16666667 yards per carry.
I won’t put too much of the blame on these guys. There’s some blame coming for some other guys in the next segment. But the coaching staff has to finally learn that if something isn’t working, you have to stop trying to make it work. That’ll be the theme of Matt Patricia’s entire head coaching career at the end of the day. He’ll be the guy who could never put his pride aside or admit that he was wrong in favor of trying to force his scheme to work. It’s a really good thing the Lions don’t play in London this year, because it would be Matt Patricia who ultimately breaks is phone charger on that outlet.
Offensive line still a giant problem.
Granted, the Colts have a great defensive line. I’ll allow that to be a partial excuse, but that shouldn’t completely hamstring you the entire day. Oops, I probably shouldn’t say hamstring around the Lions. I digress.
The Lions offensive line got absolutely bullied all day long. That’s the reason the Lions ran for just 29 yards and allowed Matthew Stafford to get sacked five times. If the Lions are still buyers going into the trade deadline on Tuesday, they should be looking to upgrade this line. It’s not working. It’s just a bunch of pieces strung along in a fashion that doesn’t make any sense. It’s like Frankenstein's monster. De Niro’s Frankenstein, not Boris Karloff.
What happens now?
It’s the question we ask every week. The Lions still have a favorable schedule coming up with games against 2-5 Vikings, the 2-5 Football Team, the 3-5 Panthers and the 1-6 Texans. There’s a path to keeping the playoff hope alive through this stretch, but the Lions have shown that once they get to the portion of the season that features the Packers, Titans and Buccaneers, we’ll find out who they really are, and you probably won’t like it.