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Lions recover from identity crisis in the first three quarters to get an ugly win!

September 30, 2007

Detroit, MI

Ford Field 

The Lions didn’t even put an effort into running the ball in the first three games. O.K. an effort may be the wrong word, so let’s say any type of a convincing effort. So coming into today’s game with fellow NFC North rival the Chicago Bears (who were missing their ENTIRE starting secondary) things would look better you would think since they focus on the run and their pass D was gone.

To face your fellow NFC North rival, and a Super Bowl participant last season, with the entirety of their secondary out and try to beat them at their strength, running, was mind blowing. To let a Bears team that should have been blown out and stick around was a dismal failure on the offenses part through the first three quarters. The defense held the Bears through the first three quarters to 13 points. The Lions offense produced 3!

Martz displayed today that his confidence in himself (and the Lions supreme confidence in him) is not good for this team. If not for a fourth quarter conversion back to who he is, the Lions would have lost. When they went back to the air they won this game. The Lions WILL NOT be able to run this season and that is just the facts.Â

I understand and they know that if Kitna goes down the season for all intents and purposes is lost. I also understand that protecting him and losing is absurd. They tried that for three quarters.

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Let’s see…the Bears are one of the best rushing defenses in the NFL. They are without their ENTIRE starting secondary did I mention that yet? The Lions are one of the best passing teams in the NFL and are one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL. Hmmm…Hmmmm…let’s run the ball!

I realize that Kitna may get hurt. That is a risk you take. You still have a proven NFL starter as a backup that let you have plenty of opportunities to win…Ugh…wait, he is a Raider and the draft pick you got for him wasn’t good enough to make the team. If Kitna gets hurt then you can go to plan two. Simply chalk this season up to experience and you put in your first second round pick of the last draft, your QB of the future, and let him get some reps and the team time to mature. Oh wait, he is on IR and can’t even practice with the team even though he is healthy. O.K. let’s go to plan three. If Kitna gets hurt play your multi team, multi year journeyman J.T. O’Harrington (O.K. it really is O’Sullivan but I know you agree with me) and turn him lose. Martz is the QB guru. He took Bulger and Warner and made them into greats. Certainly he can do it with O’Harrington. D’OH (please see my Homer Simpson reaction) I forgot he had a chance and looked like, oh yea the O’Harrington, the nickname already tells you that.

The Lions defense was heroic today, but Martz’s side of the ball was not…at least until the 4th quarter anyway. The Lions players said at least 10 wins and the coaches certainly didn’t back down from that prediction. A chance to beat essentially your biggest division rival when they are down is what 10 win NFL teams do. The Lions did that. They won’t be able to go through today’s first three quarter identity crisis and expect to get five TD’s in the fourth quarter every game. Not all the teams are from the NFC North. Some actually play in the NFL.

The defense has been much improved under Joe Barry. I can see the improvement and I am content with the fact that we had to address the LB situation next season. I am also content that we can at least see them keeping the team (O.K. 3 of the 4 games) in games.

I say accept what you are. The Lions are a passing team that can’t run or pass protect.  The Lions made their bed, so they should give the fans what you demand of the players. No excuses. When you all made your predictions you knew what you had. So fix it. Take your shot with Kitna’s health and make it happen.

The Lions have a great opportunity to go to Washington next week. The Redskins are 2-1 and had a bye week today. They also have a young QB and the Lions D will get pressure. I just hope that the Lions accept who they are and come out attacking through the air.

 That is not what I want to see from any football team, and it certainly is not a formula for sustained success in the NFL. It is however who they are and getting to 10 wins in the playoffs is the goal. Wins in the post season are for next year’s wish list. Just do what you do. Pass the ball and run to keep them honest. Free agency and the draft are how you will fix the line, and neither is loaded with replacements now.

Sadly, many people see the score and the record and shout: yoo-hoo! I can’t. This team is about getting to double digits and taking the next step. Today’s win was great. In the modern NFL you take them anyway you can. It was not however a win to be celebrated. It exposed a lot of issues. If the Lions cover them up, then it was a success. We shall see next Sunday. I’ll let you know! Judging by the large amount of empty seats and the huge amount of Bears fans in attendance, maybe going on the road is a good thing.