Sunday, December 02, 2007

Another road game debacle: Final thoughts on Lions - Vikings

There's not much to say about the Lions loss to the Vikings, but I'm going to try. Here's the links to my gradual decent into madness that was today's live blogging...

The Lions have to win: 1st quarter Lions - Vikings thoughts

It's a blowout: 2nd quarter Lions - Vikings thoughts

An exercise in futility: 3rd quarter Lions - Vikings thoughts

Playoffs? Not this year: 4th quarter Lions - Vikings thoughts

1. Two of the biggest names going into the 2007 NFL draft were Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson. The Lions took Johnson without a second thought, while the Vikings were thrilled to have Peterson drop to them.

Their seasons have since gone in different directions, with Johnson struggling with a nagging back injury, learning Mike Martz's offense, and with actually catching the ball. Peterson, on the other hand, is the unanimous NFL rookie of the year, and may already be the best running back in football. He still leaves the league in rushing, despite missing 2 games with a knee injury. As you might guess, the second guessing has already started.

Their stats reflected their seasons.

Johnson - 1 catch for 17 yards. He also dropped a pass, and was never a factor. His only catch was in garbage time.

Peterson - 15 carries, 115 yards, 2 TD's, 7.7 YPC, 1 catch for 10 yards. Peterson had a great game, while barely playing in the 2nd half. He would have easily had 200 yards on the ground if the game had been in question anytime after halftime. Peterson's touchdown runs were Barry Sanders-esque. He was that good...

Time will tell who will be the better draft pick, but I'm sure the Vikings are quite happy how it worked out.

2. The Lions road losses have been as follows:

Philly: 56-21 - A debacle.
Washington: 34-3 - Another debacle.
Arizona: 31-21 - Not quite a debacle, but the Lions were dominated.
Minnesota: 42-10 - A 3rd debacle.

Sense a trend? Nothing but blowouts and embarrassments. None of the games were as close as the score indicated. Jokes all. The Lions have a big problem, and it's been one for Matt Millen's entire tenure. They blow goats on the road. Unfortunately, the Lions are also blowing goats at home as well. I have no idea how the Lions can stop the free fall, and I honestly believe Rod Marinelli doesn't either.

All I heard from Marinelli after the game was, "It's on me, it's on me." Damn straight it's on you, and if the Lions finish the out season 7-9 or 6-10, which is entirely possible, and looking more likely by the week, you should be held responsible. This is becoming a collapse of epic proportions. One that should cause heads to roll.

3. Think Mike Martz will be back as offensive coordinator in 2008? Me neither.

Martz has been a HUGE disappointment as OC. Remember when the fear was Martz would bolt at the first head coaching opportunity? Now no NFL team in their right mind would hire him.

I was thrilled when Marinelli hired Martz a couple of years ago, as he still had the glow of "The Greatest Show on Turf" about him. We all expected big things, really big things, from him, and the Lions offense. At times, we have seen that offense. But not near often enough.

Much more often than not, what we've seen is Mike Martz's bullshit, and why he was run out of St. Louis on a rail. A non-existent running game, today's example being a total of 1 yard rushing, with all of 3 rushing attempts, deep into the 4th quarter. A QB taking so much physical abuse, the department of social services needs to be notified. The oddest playcalling this side of Mouse Davis, with game plans seemingly made more out of media spite, than how best to attack to opposing team. Why else would Calvin Johnson be the target of damn near every passing attempt on Thanksgiving, then totally ignored today?

There's no rhyme or reason when it comes Martz's offensive game plans, or his playcalling of that plan.We're told it's all about his "Scheme." From what I've seen, his "Scheme" isn't fooling anyone in the NFL anymore.

4. Not the the defense is off the hook. They couldn't stop either Peterson or Chester Taylor, but many teams have trouble stopping them. What's much more damning? Tavaris Jackson was 18-24-204-2 TD's, 1 pick, with a 75% completion percentage. The Lions defense made the worst QB in the NFL appear competent. Nothing more needs to be said.

5. The Lions have pissed away their 6-2 start. I honestly can't see them turning the season around. Their schedule won't allow it. I can't fathom Detroit beating Dallas, San Diego, or Green Bay. Kansas City is beatable, but the odds are damn good the Lions will be on a 6 game losing streak by that point, so all bets are off. A 1-7 or 0-8 finish is almost inevitable.

If making the playoffs is the goal, then the Lions' season is over. At least the Lions made it to the 12th game before calling their season dead.

Place of death: Minneapolis, MN, the Hefty/Homer/Baggie/Metrodome
Time of death: Sunday 12/2/07, approximately 4:15 PM.
Cause of death: A combination of the following: The hubris of Mike Martz, an overall lack of talent, bad decision making on and off the field, an inexperienced head coach, all aggravated by presence of Matt Millen.
Whom to blame: Millen, Marinelli, William Clay Ford, take your pick. Does it really matter?


  1. Damn this team for once making me hope. And damn me for ever believing.

    I think I need to talk to my boss. The last time I had a Sunday off was the Broncos game and I was able to watch almost every game before then...

    Coincidence? I'm starting to worry. Being down in the southwest, I know there's no way I'll be able to get the day off for the Cowboys game.

  2. The cynical Lions fans have been waiting for the Same Ol' Lions to show up and what do you know? We got SOL again...

    I think that the blame for the pitiful offense most of the season can be thrown at the feet of the offensive line (and obviously, the coaches and management who put that line together). It was obvious today what the difference was between the Lions and the Vikings. The Vikes opened up holes for their running game while the Lions didn't even bother because they knew they couldn't. While the Lions keep putting out a poor line, they'll keep getting a poor offense.

  3. The o-line is a huge issue, D-Man. Good Lord, they have a career guard playing tackle. They traded their pro bowl CB for a tackle who isn't even activated for game days. Jeff Backus is paid like an elite tackle, when he's average at best. It's a mess.

    Joe Thomas would look awful good right now, but as always, hindsight is 20/20.

    I'm almost to the point where I want the Lions to lose the rest of their games, in vain hope that it will finally cause the inert WCF to can his moronic ass. A person can dream, right?

  4. BTW, in case nobody else has, I hereby announce the beginning of the Martz death watch.

    Will he make it thru the season?