Stirred, Not Shaken: THUD

Stirred, Not Shaken: THUD

Thud!

That thud you heard from Detroit was the sound of a fan base in panic. I’ve written here, in this blog, numerous times about the Same Old Lions (SOL), and up until this point they have proven me wrong again and again. But the fan base recognized something in the Giants game Sunday they haven’t seen since the first go-round with the Bears this season. The thud was our collective hearts hitting the floor after the Giants beat the Lions up and put all the chips in one basket (that one labeled “Green Bay at home in Week 17”).

While many have griped about Teryl Austin’s handling of the defense and allowing something called Asa Jackson (who was cut by the Ravens right before their defense returned to quality) to cover Odell Beckham Jr., multiple times late in the game. Another big question is why the Giants’ moribund rushing attack gashed the Lions repeatedly with wham and trap style runs. Where is the gap discipline? This is the strength of a defense with no stars, and it disappeared when it mattered most.

[graphiq id=”a6fbpv2QjyZ” title=”Lions at Giants on December 18, 2016 1:00pm – Game Recap” width=”600″ height=”751″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/a6fbpv2QjyZ” link=”http://nfl-games.pointafter.com/l/20502/Detroit-Lions-at-New-York-Giants-on-December-18th-2016″ link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

While these questions need to be asked, and let’s face it, there are no good answers, the bigger issue by far was the performance of the offense.

Since Theo Riddick’s wrist injury, the Lions offense has been a thing of ugly. In the red zone, which was a strength early in the year, has absolutely disappeared. Is Riddick the catalyst for this? He is Stafford’s favorite check-down, and he is a matchup nightmare for linebackers underneath.

We have heaped praise on Jim Bob Cooter for his handling of Matthew Stafford, and rightfully so. Perhaps, though, it is time to question the rest of his playbook. Are there are no other matchup problems on the Lions’ offense? Where does Eric Ebron go in the red zone? Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin seem to be able to get open in space on the frequent third-and-longs that the Lions face; where do those guys go when they get close to the end zone?

The worst news, though, is that the Giants, in winning Sunday — and the Bears, to a lessor extent, by playing Detroit close — have given both the Cowboys and the Packers a blueprint from which to design a game plan that will beat the Lions in the next two games. While a Dallas loss would be disastrous, it would not be unexpected — but losing to the Packers at home would re-kindle the kind of angst that this fan base has harbored for 60 years of gross ineptitude. The types of things that only happen to the Lions would have come back to bite us in the bum once again.

Brace yourselves, Lions fans. And pick those hearts up off the floor. We’ve got two games to go.

[graphiq id=”iaBusym3Mi1″ title=”Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys – Game Coverage” width=”600″ height=”1000″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/iaBusym3Mi1″ link=”http://nfl-games.pointafter.com/l/20529/Detroit-Lions-at-Dallas-Cowboys-on-December-26th-2016″ link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

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