Monday, November 12, 2007

Above the Fold - Same old Lions?

The Lions did the best they could to ruin everyone's Sunday by reverting back to the team we all expected them to be at the start of the year. Much like the losses to Washington and Philly, the 31-21 loss to the Cardinals was another hard slap of reality to the face of Lions fans. Fans who were beginning to lower their guard, and scale back on the cynicism, like yours truly, now wonder if we are going to be burned by the Lions...Again.

As I listen to the Fox 2 streaming webcast of "Jamie and Brady and Shep Shep Shep" ex-WDFN morning show do a Monday morning Lions recap (Which, surprisingly, has been pretty good "Radio," if more than a little ragged around the edges), let's see what the MSM and blogosphere have to say about the same old Lions.

In the Freep, Drew Sharp blames the desert. Weird things happen to the Lions when they enter Arizona, such as the infamous Bobby Ross "Go for 2 when down 4" meltdown in 1999. As much as it pains me, I have to agree with Sharp that the Lions have not earned the "Benefit of the doubt to casually toss aside games like these as ignorable blemishes."

Good teams don't let opportunities slip through their fingers. The Lions not only lost a game in the NFC North race to Green Bay, but they could have placed some valuable space between themselves and their likely wild-card challengers, Washington and the New York Giants, after both lost.

This loss doesn't downgrade the Lions to fraudulent status again, but it proves that perhaps they're not comfortable with the heightened expectations that follow great performances.

Mike Valenti brings his tough guy schtick to print from the radio, calling the upcoming Lions - Giants game, "The Phoney Bowl."

Not only have these "Paper Kitties" not beaten anyone of consequence, they haven't even played a decent team! Add to it their fraudulent defense that uses turnovers as their sole lifeline to respectability and you have a dynamite combination.

At the News, their editors must have seen the same old Lions coming, as rather than send A-list columnist Bob Wojonowski, they sent the "Worst Columnist in America" to cover the game instead. Befitting the news' Z-list columnist, all he could come up with was, "This one will sting." No shit, Sherlock...

After all, the Cardinals were playing with a one-armed quarterback and had a running game that appeared to be on its last leg. Worse, the Cards entered the game on a three-game losing streak.

It appeared as if the Lions were primed to reverse their losing trend in the desert. Coming in, the Lions had not won in Phoenix since 1993, going 0-for-3.

It didn't happen. Ouch!

At Mlive, the Killer grades the Lions, and tears into the awful offense.

OFFENSE: F When you combine five turnovers and minus-18 yards in the running game, you don't deserve a grade, you deserve detention. Quarterback Jon Kitna is going to take a lot of heat for the turnovers, but he wasn't getting much help from his blockers, and it wasn't just the offensive line. This unit can't do anything with any consistency.

But the Killer also says this loss wasn't "Much of a setback." It's all about the next 2 games at home against the Giants and Favres.

If the Lions win both of those games, they're official playoff contenders. If they lose both, they'll have to fight like heck to hang on throughout December and make this a meaningful season. If they split, they're still in excellent shape -- of either winning the division or nailing down a wild-card spot.

The blogosphere as been fairly quiet, as if they are still in shock from the Lions 3rd debacle of the season.

Quo Vadimus puts it bluntly. "When the Detroit Lions lose, they lose ugly."

Well, that wasn't very good. The Detroit Lions were blown out (again), on the road (again) on a day where they could have picked up a game on every NFC Wildcard rival. The Giants lost. The Saints lost. The Panthers lost. Washington lost. And, so did the Lions. So, we lose a game to Green Bay in the race for the NFC North (now two games back) we didn't lose any ground in the Wildcard hunt. That's the good news. The bad news? Well, the entire game for the most part. Penalties. Sacks. Turnovers, and lots of them, four by Jon Kitna by himself, after not having any the last three weeks.

Lionbacker called the ugliness in Arizona a "Trap game," in that the Lions played as it they were overlooking the Cardinals.

Trap game? As hard as it might be to believe the Lions might actually over look a team perhaps that is what happened to Detroit out in the desert. What had been working for the Lions, a balanced offense and winning the turnover battle, abandoned the team as the Cardinals looked more like the playoff contender in this game.

That's "Above the Fold" for Veteran's Day, Monday, 11-12-07!

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