October 7, 2007
Driving ten hours through the night after the MSU game was my heroic deed for the weekend. I came to our nation’s capital to see a professional football game; I didn’t get to see one today. I did get to see what Spartan fans had feared on Saturday…a collapse! The Detroit Lions where present in the physical form, but mentally they looked like they had checked out in the second quarter. I did see a bunch of guys wearing Honolulu and Blue and Lions helmets. What happened to the team that beat Chicago just one week ago?
There was one bright spot. Kevin Jones played very well today gaining 48 yards only 11 carries. That was the ONLY bright spot. The Lions did nothing right. The offensive line was just that… offensive. Jeff Backus was horrendous. His play was best demonstrated when he gave up a safety. He was brutally manhandled by the ‘Skins Andre Carter. I have not seen a player dominated like that in 18 years and it happened in a high school game. If anyone had any doubts that Backus is not an NFL left tackle (something I have been bemoaning for years), then slip in a copy of today’s game, grab a trash can (for projectile vomiting) and down some Pepto.
Kitna was only 16 for 29 and had two INT’s with no TD strikes, but even that isn’t the real story. He was chased from sideline to sideline running for his life. His final stat line showed him sacked five times! His protection was horrible and the effort was a total disappointment. This one was not Kitna’s fault!
The Lions defense gave up 128 yards of rushing and allowed the Redskins young QB Jason Campbell to look like Joe Theismann. Campbell was 23 of 29 for 248 yards and two TD strikes with no interceptions. The Lions had virtually no pressure and got no sacks. This was a Lions team that got dominated from start to finish.
Another story line was the time of possession. The Redskins dominated the clock possessing the ball more than 34 of the 60-minute contest. Ugly?… that is an understatement.
One of the major disappointments (and there were many) was that the Lions couldn’t stop the ‘Skins anywhere on the field. The ‘Skins dominated the Lions D and the Lions offense as well as special teams. What would a Lions game be without another blown coaches challenge? 34-3 losers would be the answer because they lost another one today.
When I predicted nine wins I circled this as a game the Lions had to win. They didn’t win. You have to be scratching your head a wonder after today’s total collapse. The frustration is growing with the many questionable decisions that the Lions staff keeps making.
T.J. Duckett was healthy and had a good week of practice. They held him out of the game in favor of newly signed Aveion Cason who had been here previously and was cut. You’re telling me that a guy fresh of the street was a better contributor than a healthy T.J. Duckett? Cason had no rushes, but did contribute a fumble to the stat sheet! The Lions clearly could have used Duckett as a compliment to KJ in short yardage situations. They also left rookie phenom Calvin Johnson on the bench (essentially) catching only 1 pass for the entire game. Today the Lions needed plays and they left two playmakers on the sidelines that could have helped. One as an inactive and one rendered ineffective!
Here is a stat that will make you cringe. The Lions were 1 for 10 on third down. That is right 10% efficiency for the fourth ranked offense in the NFL led by Mike Martz.
The team didn’t look ready from the start and the score and the stats demonstrated that. Luckily for the Lions (and probably the fans) they get a bye next week and a do over. Make no mistake the scoreboard didn’t lie. This team wasn’t ready and it didn’t play well. Thank God it only counts as one, but it was a big one. Ten wins is a long shot.