Anyone else struggling with how to feel right now? I mean yeah, the Lions got a 30-27 win over the Washington Football Team, but did they deserve it? It’s really hard to tell since this game was heading in the familiar direction of the “blown lead and loss” thing that the Lions love to do under Patricia until it miraculously didn’t happen.
As always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.
The coaching staff should go after this one
The Lions won in spite of themselves on Sunday. That’s unlikely to keep happening in the future when the Lions play teams that are better than Washington, so you really have to look at the meat and potatoes of this game if you’re Sheila Ford Hamp. The Lions went from being up 24-3 to allowing the leagues 30th ranked offense to come back and tie the game with relative ease.
Again, the Lions won this game but they didn’t deserve it. There, I answered the question I asked at the beginning of the article.
If I’m the team owner, I’m looking at what this game signifies for the future. It’s not the start of turnaround that leads to the playoffs, at least not under Patricia and Quinn. It’s a mirage in the desert, only the mirage isn’t a sparkling lake where you can cool yourself and have a drink: it’s a landfill with a half-full water cooler in it. I mean this game should surely show you that this coaching staff can’t handle the job. They need to be excused before morale hits an all-time low in the coming weeks.
It’s hard to argue that, though, because the Lions added another win to their column. For that reason, the staff will probably be safe until after they’re destroyed by the Panthers and then the Texans on national television on Thanksgiving.
D’Andre Swift is the future
After nine weeks of confirming that Adrian Peterson isn’t big bad “Adrian Peterson” anymore, the Lions coaching staff finally did what seemed to everyone even nine weeks ago to be the smartest thing they could have done. They started their second round draft choice D’Andre Swift.
It paid dividends right away. Swift ran for 81 yards and caught five passes for 68 yards and this beautiful touchdown:
THE ROUTE BY D’ANDRE SWIFT— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 15, 2020
I know it’s been said multiple times before with guys from Kevin Smith to Kerryon Johnson, but it would appear the Lions have finally found their guy at running back. The biggest difference between Swift and the many guys that came before him is that the offense generates electricity while he’s out there. Meaning the offense can flow through him like it often flows through Stafford. The offense is just a completely different animal when he’s out of the game, but like an animal that bites you and steals your pizza off the table afterwards. Yes, that was a cry for help. My dog is holding me hostage. Send help.
Matthew Stafford was himself
Much has been made of Stafford’s play this season. In particularly his play in the last two games. There’s been a lot of “is this the end for Stafford in Detroit?” articles floating around these days. Is it time to put that thought to bed in 2020? Maybe it is.
I have personally always been on the side of the fence that says Stafford is not the problem. He’s the selling point to anyone that’s looking to be head coach or general manager of this football team.
On Sunday, i’m sure Stafford’s play had some people hopping over the fence to my side. Stafford completed 72.7% of his passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns against the league’s number one ranked passing defense. This wasn’t supposed to be a walk in the park. Good players overcome these types of things and that’s what Stafford is.
The Lions got sacks!
Matt Prater comes up big
Prater was perfect on Sunday, and it feels like it’s been while since we were able to say that. Prater has been struggling all season long with missed field goals that we normally think he wouldn’t miss. The good thing is he seemed to be taking the bad times in stride.
He showed that much on Sunday when he stepped up to the plate and nailed a 53-yarder, a 37-yarder and the big time 59-yard game-winning field goal. You have to hope that Sunday was a sign that Prater was just going through a phase and he’s back to being himself. We’ll see in the coming weeks.
Marvin Jones appreciation section
I feel like we don’t talk enough about how well Marvin Jones Jr. has played in the last few weeks. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s not Jerry Rice out there or something, but Jones has been steady for the most part. In the three games leading up Sunday he had racked up 11 receptions for 162 yards and three touchdowns. That’s not a ton, but it’s indicative of Jones stepping up as best he can in Kenny Golladay’s absence. On Sunday he continued his steadiness with eight catches for 96 yards and this pretty touchdown:
How did Marvin Jones Jr. catch this?— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 15, 2020
Happy for Alex Smith
Yeah I know this is a Lions site, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say how happy I am that Alex Smith is out there playing football again. It’s been inspiring to watch someone work their way back from an injury as bad as his was. It’s the kind of thing that you can point to when you want to prove that anything is possible if you work your hardest.
Where do we go now?
my brain refuses to compute the fact that the Lions are 4-5— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) November 15, 2020
Our most requested podcast guest who’s becoming a real Moby Dick-like project is right.
It’s totally weird that the Lions are just a tad under .500. They’re still somehow in the middle of the playoff hunt. It’s like they’re the 2016 Lions if the 2016 Lions were created by accident in a horrible laboratory explosion.
It’s sure to upset both the “tank” crowd and the “fire Patricia” crowd. Actually I think those crowds are the same crowd right? I digress. The Lions still have a shot at making the playoffs.
Pause for laughter.
Seriously though, they have the 3-7 Panthers and 2-7 Texans coming up in the next two games. They also have a Bears team that’s lost three in a row and will probably make it four on Monday night. In Week 14, the Lions host a Packers team that just almost lost to the same Jaguars team the Lions handled just a few weeks ago. It’s there if the Lions want to take it.
The problem is that they probably won’t take it and in all likelihood, they can’t — not playing like this. People are going to think I’m crazy and as most of you already know, I’m ok with that. I think the Lions have a shot to pull it off if they fire their coaching staff and roll with Brayden Coombs. Not a giant shot. Not even a medium shot, but a shot. It’s just not going to happen unless the Lions get weird and get creative. Even then it probably won’t happen.
Anyways, the Lions won. Let’s dance.