Another week has passed by. Time for another week of what we learned, this one coming a bit later than usual due to unforeseen reasons. In any case, this week had the Lions travel to Los Angeles to battle quarterback Matthe... quarterback Matthew... *sniff*... quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams. This is a game I'm sure a lot of fans would remember for different reasons. How would we remember it in the end? Let's find out.
They may lack talent. They may be injured. But DAMN they can be fun to watch!
I will admit, If you would've told me that the Lions would've been leading the Rams at any point of the game, I wouldn't told you to get off whatever drugs you were on. Dan Campbell came out guns-firing, to say the least. If a 63 yard touchdown on a screen pass to Swift doesn't thrill you, fine. You must've enjoyed the stunning onside kick they went for immediately after scoring.
What, not your cup of tea? Alright, let's see Jack ‘Brady' Fox lob a 17-yard dot for a first down on a 4th and 7! Later in the game CJ Moore would make another 4th down conversion on a massive run to keep momentum out of the Rams control. This is an 0-6 team we're talking about that's on the road against an undisputed Super Bowl contender. I don't think anybody thought Detroit would be up 10-0 at any point of the game, let alone be ahead period. In any event, yes, they fell short, but it was a fun game to watch. They showed they've still got some fight left in them despite so many setbacks.
If only they can compete like this with a talent-loaded and non-crippled lineup...
Cornerback injuries are becoming ridiculous. Jerry Jacobs is next.
Okudah, gone. Melifonwu, gone. Add rookie star AJ Parker to the list of cornerbacks that are now injured. Hard to believe it, but our #2, 3 and 4 cornerbacks are all injured, some for the season and others not. Jerry Jacobs, who's been fairly impressive the past few weeks, is likely the next to be cut by the cardiac cats cornerback curse. Since the curse decided to not attack Oruwariye, it'll continue chopping through the reserve corners like Paul Bunyan's axe against helpless trees.
What's next? The football gods have already taken Decker, Okwara, Ragnow, Okudah, Melifonwu, and now AJ Parker as sacrifices. We're not even halfway into the season. These aren't all the injuries the Lions have either. When has fate taken enough from this hospital-ridden squad?
Finishing drives must become a priority
When a team scores five times in one game, that's not a bad stat whatsoever. The problem is when you figure out that those five scores equaled out to 19 total points, that's a serious concern for the offense. Yes, I know this is LA's defense. Yes, I know this is the Lions offense. It was a perfect storm for fantasy football owners. Well, some owners at least. In any case, five scores comes with an asterisk; there were twelve points scored from field goals.
You won't win games scoring like this. The Lions defense was actually not as bad as many people thought it would be against the Rams, and the offense essentially did what it was expected to do. The problem? Since the offense did what it was expected to, even with the defense outplaying expectations, it was no match for the juggernaut of LA.
Stock up: Penei Sewell
While Sewell's performance on the field has steadied out to a solid pace over the past few weeks, I think it has something to do with getting over that nagging injury he was playing through around weeks 3 and 4. He's been solid enough, but his vintage moment came over the weekend against LA in what has to be one of the coolest moments I've seen in Lions football. Yes, I'm being entirely serious.
For those who did not have the beautiful pleasure of seeing what happened, Aaron Donald and Penei Sewell got into a shouting match after a play was over in Sunday's game. Yes; this is the same DPOTY Aaron Donald and the same one who teams must double-team in order to protect their quarterback from turning into soup.
As Donald and Sewell continued to jaw at one another, a push or two was exchanged. This eventually led to Donald grabbing Sewell's facemask, as if daring the rookie to antagonize him further.
What did Sewell do with all eyes on him?
He grabbed Donald's facemask in return, yanked him closer and kept on jawing at him before officials and teammates broke up the scrap. This exchange would go viral across social media, as Sewell's "no sh*t taken* mentality against the league's finest would get him marks of approval from fans across the country.
I love the fight in him. If he can stand up to AD, there's nobody in the league he can't stand up to. Penei is no pushover, and it's making me love the pick even more with each passing day.
If you're still not convinced Dan's the right man for this job, sorry, can't help you.
It's time. I know I may get some heat for this, but it's time to lock in a stance.
Some may argue that the 0-7 record means Campbell shouldn't be the right guy for the job. Let me ask you this question in return: Other than Dan Campbell's presence and him constantly putting the Lions in a position to overachieve and possibly win every week (other than the Cincy game,) what bright side has there been this season?
The Lions entered this season a consensus bottom 3 team. We're still trying to piece together a modicum of a roster thanks to Matt Patricia and his partner in crime, Bob Quinn. There are too many key players on an already talent-depleted roster sitting on IR. We're stuck into awful contracts or those that just aren't worth it. For reference, you can see Vaitai's $50 Million dollar contract, Trey Flowers' $90 million dollar contract, Goff's albatross contract, etc. In addition, while I like Flowers, the dude isn't worth $90 million dollars.
How could anybody expect a team that's locked into tons of bad deals, recovering from a futile regime led by two turnstyles, in the first year without their star quarterback that anchored the team for over a decade, and battered around enough to the point where they could be mistaken for a walking hospital, win games? To the Dan Campbell doubters, how can you expect a team this deprived of talent to win any games, let alone be competitive?
And yet, every single week, this team comes out to play scrappy. Sure, the Bengals game was a one-off, but doesn't every team have one of them? The Lions nearly mounted a 24 point comeback in less than two minutes in week one, they had the lead at half against the Packers, the refs bailed out the Ravens in week three, if two of their three first half drives inside the five actually got any points, who knows what happens against Chicago too. The Vikings had to overcome their own curse to beat us in week five, and then came the only true goose-egg against Cincy.
This is a team that, by all regards, should be losing by twenty or more every single week. But Campbell and his crew get this team ready to play every week and are working with what they have. They look impressive in some aspects every week with this beaten-up squad.
I have complete faith in our lord and savior Dan ‘Kneecap' Campbell. If you think otherwise, I truly feel sorry for you. You have to be at least somewhat delusional if you believe Campbell is the problem, let alone a negative force on this team.
If you really think Campbell is the problem, then answer me this: with a .584 SOS, the injuries, the contract situations, losing your starting QB and six wideouts, the lack of talent on the roster, rebuilding aspirations and yet still finding a way to compete every week, how can you blame Campbell? And who would possibly be better?
Keep whining Campbell haters! He's the Dan the man. For this season, I will rep him proudly.
Hail to our king.
Soooo... What position should the Lions prioritize this draft? As it seems we're committed to a rebuild, there's a lot of gaps to fill... let me know!