For as long as I’ve been a Lions fan, three or four times during a bad stretch of a given season, comments start coming out about the fans deserving information from the head coach, GM and the owner.
Over the last 3 weeks, the Lions fans have had there fair share of heartbreak. From the refereeing debacle in Green Bay on Monday Night Football, the reeling home loss to Minnesota and the trade of a quality player in Quandre Diggs.
Lets take these last three weeks one at a time:
Monday Night Football Robbery
I was all fired up for the Monday Night Football game against the dreaded Packers. Sure, at the time, they were sitting at 4-1 atop the NFC North. The Lions, playing some really good football, came to Lambeau with a 2-2-1 record.
I am not going to get into all the details of the game. Suffice to say, the Lions outplayed the Packers the entire 60 minutes. Stafford went 18/32 and 265 yards, the offense played very well between the 20’s. However, they scored only 1 TD and had to settle for five Matt Prater field goals in the Red Zone.
The defense played it’s most inspired game of the season, pretty much holding Aaron Rodgers in check until the fourth quarter. And it’s not Rodgers who took over the game, it was the referees. Two hands to the face on Trey Flowers on critical 3rd downs practically gave the win to the Packers.
Yes, yes, I know. We got into the Red Zone six times and settled for field goals on five occasions. There is no question that the Lions had to do better than that.
The Packers, while getting the win, really didn’t earn it. And the Lions, having to take the loss, didn’t deserve to take it. The referees had a direct effect on the outcome of the game in the last five minutes. The NFL admitted that the last hands to the face shouldn’t have been called on Flowers. I want to know why there wasn’t any discussion on at least six other calls that went against the Lions that shouldn’t have been called either.
Meltdown Against the Vikings
Lions are at home with a 2-3-1 record but still can make a statement against a division rival, the Vikings, coming to Ford Field at 4-2. At the time, no team had yet to score 30 points on the Vikings.
Matthew Stafford had perhaps one of his most complete games of the season, throwing 4 touchdown passes while going 30/45 and 364 yards with one interception.
Lions Red Zone issues were put to rest as they scored 4 TD’s (all passes to Marvin Jones) and only one Matt Prater field goal. And they became the first team to drop 30 points on the Vikings defense which should have been enough for a win.
But this time, the defense let the Lions fan base down. They were over-matched and it showed. Gave up 42 points and Kirk Cousins had what seemed like hours to throw. And they were a leaking sieve allowing Dalvin Cook to rush for 142 yards and 2 scores.
Quandre Diggs Gets Traded To The Seahawks
At first glance, I thought this was a lousy trade for both teams. For the Lions, it appeared to be a knee-jerk reaction following to very tough losses. For the Seahawks, a desperation move after getting stomped by the Baltimore Ravens.
However, I think with what’s all going on, this doesn’t appear to be so reactionary after all by the Lions. Lions get a 2020 5th round pick and giving up a 2021 7th round pick in addition of Diggs. What I think is may be going on here is GM Bob Quinn is attempting to gain some draft capitol to work with on the upcoming October 29th trade deadline.
I have no speculation on what he may be working on, but it was fairly evident in the games against the Packers and Vikings, they had only one sack. In fact, the Lions are 27th in the NFL with only 10 sacks in six games. They haven’t been able to generate a pass rush against anyone.
OK, so there it all is. Outside of some comments from Matt Patrica (who has taken lessons from Bill Belichick) that offered absolutely no insight to the reasons behind these losses and the trade, the Lions brain-trust has offered little hope to the fans on the direction of the team.
There was hardly any outcry from the team around the lousy officiating of the Green Bay game. Instead, Patrica practically forgave the officials and instead mentioned there were at least 30 plays that were not executed that were the cause of the loss.
There was no fire in the Vikings game in the second half and there was no indication from Patrica on how furious he had to be with his team. The same platitudes of “I have to coach them better, this is on me” crap, while admirably protecting his players, give little insight as to what is being done to improve he team.
Reality check: Is there any team in the NFL that will state the inner workings of the team to their respective fan base? Most likely no.
Lions fans have been in a state of perpetual frustration for over sixty years. I don’t know what it is about players when they come to Detroit, they can put up great numbers but just can’t seem to get the consistency needed to have a great team. We have good teams but more often than not, it’s mostly bad to mediocre ones we have to put up with.
Lions spend just as much as anyone on player salaries. Martha Ford is way more willing to pay than William Clay ever was. But she also is a much more results oriented owner than her husband was. Which is probably why the Diggs trade occurred. Diggs wasn’t making the grade so the Lions got what they could get for him while the getting was good.
While we all feel the Lions owe us answers, in reality, they do not. And we’ll just have to live with that fact. No demands that we cry for in forums, blogs and other social media is going to make one damn difference on the decisions the Lions brain trust make.
Sorry to be the realist here, but it needed to be said.
Go Lions, One Pride!