Well, here we are again after another heart-breaking loss. 2 in a row. Boy it sucks. Not that I’ve ever experienced it, but I’d imagine it’s somewhat similar to cocaine or the like. An unbelievable high, before a horrible low. That’s what it’s been up until this point. 5 very solid wins, two unbelievable come from behind victories and then two losses which are somewhat hard to fathom.
The Lions went down to the Falcons on Sunday 23-16. The final nail in the coffin was a deplorable defensive effort on a checkdown to Jacquizz Rodgers who, to his credit, manoeuvred his body however he could to get the first down. Unfortunately, he got the first down and ended the Lions’ chances of coming back and tying it up or winning with a two point conversion.
I honestly don’t know what’s happened to the Lions the past two weeks. I can kind of swallow the loss to the 49ers, cause their D was just outstanding, but the Lions beat themselves against the Falcons. Their Special Teams was the worst thing I’ve seen them produce since their ’09 season. Constant missed tackles, poor punting, horrible coverage, horrible blocking. Just EVERYTHING was horrendous.
Now, you might be thinking “Special Teams shouldn’t be what wins and losses you games”. And you’re right, it shouldn’t be and it wasn’t. The offense wasn’t a lot better than Special Teams. The run game was productive, but the Falcons allowed the Lions to run in order to stop the pass, which is what they ended up doing on all but one play, more or less. The one enjoyable aspect of the Lions game was Calvin Johnson’s 57 yard TD catch, which was basically all him. Yes, sure Stafford threw him the ball, but Calvin made the moves to take it to the house. Other than that, though, Stafford played his worst game while completely healthy (which didn’t even last the 60 minutes *sigh*). Stafford went 15/32 for 183 yards and 1 TD. It’s the second straight week that Stafford hasn’t thrown an interception, which might be the only positive to take out of this game. And even then, it’s a very minor one. He should start throwing interceptions like a bawse if it’s going to win the Lions the game!
As I mentioned, the running game was somewhat productive. The Lions ran for a combined 104 yards on 20 carries. That’s a good average of 5+, but it led to no TD’s which is the only real important part. The Lions were without Jahvid Best, so they leaned on Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams, both getting 9 carries, while Nate Burleson got 2 end-around carries, resulting in 10 yards. The loss of Best was clear, as Morris just isn’t the same kind of RB and definitely doesn’t help anywhere near as much on checkdowns. I also believe this is why the Lions ran effectively. If Jahvid Best was completely healthy and playing, the Falcons would’ve been a lot more wary of his running ability and his pass catching ability, meaning they would’ve given more respect to the run, instead of just playing the pass. But knowing that Morris, nor Williams, had the same type of explosiveness as Best, they didn’t bother to try and shut them down, cause it would’ve taken away from their pass defending.
The one positive, I guess, was the Lions Defense. They did a pretty good job against the Falcons. They intercepted Matt Ryan twice and sacked him 3 times, however they allowed Michael Turner to rush for 122 yards on 27 carries, but kept him out of the endzone. They did let Ryan sneak into the endzone for a score, though.
I’m not sure if we should just chalk this one up to another bad week, to the Falcons or to an imminent downfall of unforeseen proportions. Whichever one it is, it’s not good and the Lions will have to be on their guard against the Denver Tebows and their QB, Tim Broncos.