I don’t know how to feel about the Lions’ 31-24 loss to the Packers on Sunday. There was some good stuff, and there was some bad stuff. I feel somewhat happy and somewhat upset. Since this is a weekly series in which I share my thoughts and feelings on the game, I should just go ahead and do that.
So as always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.
Hell on an effort
Let’s start it off here. The Lions have been a really bad team in 2020, especially during the Matt Patricia days. On Sunday they looked like a completely competent team that’s been good all year, but simply lost to potentially the second best team in the NFL. What a change.
Say what you will about Darrell Bevell and company, but they coached one hell of a game. The Lions have the worst defense in the league and they still managed to get some stuff done in big moments. That Mike Ford PBU alone was beautiful.
Offensively, the Lions showed the same type of play they did against the Bears. They looked great for most of the day outside of the third quarter. Matthew Stafford was on point and D’Andre Swift looked great again. It wasn’t perfect by any stretch. The Lions lost this game. But the thought going in was that it would be a blood bath and it wasn’t. That’s a moral win.
Could that be the end of Stafford’s year?
I’m sure a lot of media outlets will ask if that’s the end of Stafford’s run as Lions quarterback. I don’t think that’s happening until the day Stafford retires from the NFL. Was that his last game of this season? Possibly.
Stafford was clearly hurt after taking an ugly hit in the fourth quarter. He was hurt enough to not come back out, and that says a lot when you think about a guy like Stafford. A guy that would play on fire if the trainers would let him.
The Lions should play it safe here. Shut Stafford down for the rest of the year and coast your way into the offseason.
Brayden Coombs is my boy and
Seriously this guy is good. Every week Coombs makes a new case for why he should remain with the team and why he should at least get an interview for the head coaching spot.
I know the onside kick didn’t work. But I’m gonna give a ton of credit for the idea. Imagine if the execution was spot on. Outside of that, he continues to be a great coach for the best unit on the team.
Plus the hair man. You can’t teach that.
Who’s the worst Bob Quinn draft pick?
This was a fun a little game that Lions fans played while the action was happening. It all comes down to Jahlani Tavai, Teez Tabor or Jimmy Landes. It’s got to be Tavai. Every week you see this guy getting destroyed in coverage. It’s like watching a poorly-dubbed movie where the subtitles don’t show up until after the actor stops talking.
Tavai is one of those guys that the next GM will probably excommunicate in 2021. That’s how bad he is, he’s bad enough to probably get dropped after two years. Tabor was pretty bad too. So was Landes. Ok they’re all bad.
Hockenson appreciation section
We just don’t do it enough. We don't talk about how good of a tight end that T.J. Hockenson is. He’s a stud, and he’s likely on his way to the Pro Bowl if the votes hold up. On Sunday he made that case again posting six catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. Not monster numbers, but numbers good enough to be happy that the guy is not a bust.
Hockenson criticism section
TJ, buddy, you don’t have to fall down every time you catch the ball. Look, I’m happy that you’re catching it. Don’t get me wrong. The catches are great and more often than not, they’re for first downs. But a little YAC would be nice. How about some catch and runs? Are you afraid of getting hurt after the hurdle thing last year? No worries, man. Just don’t hurdle anyone. Lower that shoulder and run through them with that big body of yours. That’s it. That’s all the criticism.
Let’s enjoy the rest of the season for what it is
We all know where it’s headed, right? It’s time to do a little tanking. I’m sure everyone would be happy with one more win if it happens. But a little tanking never hurt nobody. The big thing here is that all the stress should be gone now. We can simply watch the games and evaluate and pontificate on which players the Lions should bring back next season. Maybe we’ll get lucky and see some fun plays. Maybe Matt Prater will throw another touchdown pass. Maybe the Lions will run a cool play that the Super Bowl winning team will steal from them and get all the credit for creating.
All that matters is that nothing matters anymore.