Hoping For The Best, But Expecting The Worst

Hoping For The Best, But Expecting The Worst

The title of this blog post is part of the lyrics of the Alphaville song, “Forever Young,” and I feel as though it applies perfectly to rooting for the Detroit Lions.

Inching closer to capturing their first division title in nearly a quarter century, the Lions laid a giant egg at East Rutherford, New Jersey as they fell 17-6 on Sunday. It was a weak and lethargic performance by the offense, arguably its worst all year.

There’s plenty of blame to go around. Coach Jim Caldwell, the offensive line, the run game (or lack thereof). But no one should shoulder as much of the blame as Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.

Cooter’s offensive game plan was atrocious, it lacked creativity and was quite lazy. Even with the injury to Matthew Stafford’s middle finger on his throwing hand, we were still able to see that he could throw the ball downfield. Minus two or three successful down-the-field plays, the rest of the game featured Cooter continuing to stick to a run game that is downright dreadful and calling screen plays on third-and-long.  Cooter had a “play not to lose” game plan against the Giants, and look what happened. His team lost.

[graphiq id=”7mQpsRD8I5L” title=”Lions at Giants on December 18, 2016 1:00pm – Game Recap” width=”600″ height=”751″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/7mQpsRD8I5L” link=”http://nfl-games.pointafter.com/l/20502/Detroit-Lions-at-New-York-Giants-on-December-18th-2016″ link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

The Lions have eclipsed 30 points just twice this year, and one of them was in week one. The offense has really struggled to score points under Cooter’s reign in 2016 and Sunday was no different. Give credit to the Giants for having one of the NFL’s best defenses, but scoring just six (!!!) points when you have a great quarterback and two reliable wide receivers at your disposal is completely unacceptable. Cooter and this offense have a lot of issues to address and correct before next week’s Monday night matchup against the Cowboys.

Making things harder for the Lions is the fact that the Bears let Aaron Rodgers beat them on a deep ball (gee, that sounds familiar), cutting Detroit’s NFC North lead to just one game. All of a sudden, I sit here, a guy who was cocky and confident just one week ago, completely deflated and expecting the worst to come. A division lead that looked insurmountable three weeks ago with the rest of the division playing bad football is now up in the air. The Packers are the hottest team in football and a team nobody wants to play. In all likelihood, the NFC North crown is coming down to the Lions showdown with the Packers in Detroit on New Years Day. The idea of playing against Rodgers in a winner-take-all game is something that make the average Lions’ fan nervous.

But, that’s our reality.

Dallas and Green Bay, two very tough teams, await the Lions.

So what happens now?

Are we going to finally see the team we love, cheer for and bleed over get that monkey off their backs and win this division? Or will it be the same old sad tune?

The concluding lyrics to that Alphaville song are about hope…

So many adventures given up today,
So many songs we forgot to play.
So many dreams swinging out of the blue
Oh let it come true.

Hope. It’s all we got. But, frankly, I’m expecting the worst.

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