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 Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for SB 
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Post Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for SB
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Drew Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for Super Bowl
September 25, 2012

It shouldn't surprise that Jim Schwartz got a little too cute on a fourth-down-and-inches call in overtime Sunday.

He coaches a cute football team.

That's what the Lions are. They're pretty boys in a league in which the "uglies" still rule. They're fun to watch. Look away from them at your own risk considering their propensity for igniting offensive fireworks in fast, massive volumes. But they've developed an in-game smugness that's increasingly annoying.

Their repeated reliance on emergency second-half comebacks because they've fallen too far behind suggests a team that can't stop looking at itself in the mirror until they realize it's time -- finally -- to get down to business.

That's what pretty boys do.

Pretty boys don't seriously contend for NFL championships.

The sooner Schwartz figures that out, the sooner this franchise recognizes the challenges of its new position in the NFL. It's time that everyone stops assessing this team within the context of four years ago -- more appreciative of how far they've progressed from its occupation of professional sports' sub-basement than understanding that the hardest step forward is the one that takes you from ordinary to outstanding.

It wasn't a singular play that killed the Lions in overtime against Tennessee, but rather a singular attitude that the Lions already have accomplished a measure of greatness through never surrendering despite facing multiple-touchdown deficits late in the fourth quarter in several games since 2010.

Schwartz thought he could successfully pull off the absurdity of attempting to draw the defense offside inside the opposing 10-yard line in an anxiety-amplified overtime, when a short field goal would've continued overtime against the Titans.

Why?

The Lions have pulled so much magic out of every orifice imaginable the past two years in the fourth quarter, Schwartz thought he was immune to basic football common sense.

You wanted to run a play on fourth down. Then run it! Don't screw around. Don't attempt to be cute.

I'm reminded of a line Vince Lombardi reportedly made to his players during the iconic Ice Bowl game against Dallas in the NFL championship game in 1967 when Green Bay stood a yard from the end zone with 16 seconds remaining. Lombardi supposedly said that if you can't get a yard in that situation then you don't deserve to be a champion.

There was admittedly miscommunication. Dominic Raiola said Monday he misread backup quarterback Shaun Hill's lips on the call, thinking it was going to be a fullback dive through the gut.

"I'll take all the blame that everybody wants to give me," Raiola said.

Hill took the blame. Schwartz took the blame.

I hear that even Tigers third-base coach Gene Lamont took the blame for waving in the play from the sideline a little too aggressively.

But this idea that Schwartz thought they could have attempted such a ruse -- on the road with a boisterous, potentially very disruptive crowd very close to the line of scrimmage -- further validates that the Lions are a little too full of themselves right now. They need some desperate ego deflation. And maybe a 1-2 start provides the necessary humbling.

Arizona is 3-0, and many dismiss it as one of those fluky starts recognizable from every recent start of the NFL season.

But the Cardinals are 10-2 in their past 12 games .

The Lions' 1-2 start would be more easily tossed aside if they weren't now 6-9 in their past 15 games since last year's 5-0 start. That's a pattern indicative of fundamental execution flaws.

They're no longer the joke they once were. Opposing teams now respect them. That's cause for a little more optimism and a lot more national recognition. But the Lions' problem is that they think they're better looking than what the mirror actually reveals right now.

Contact Drew Sharp: 313-223-4055 or dsharp@freepress.com.

http://www.freep.com/article/20120925/C ... it%20Lions

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September 25th, 2012, 2:21 pm
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
I hate to say it but thats the best Drew Sharp piece i've ever read, and I normally hate the dudes negative crap.

he pretty much nailed the Lions.


September 25th, 2012, 5:15 pm
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
Pretty much sums it up there.

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September 25th, 2012, 6:31 pm
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
Sharp is an idiot.

It's not like Schwartz ran a trick field goal or something. Trying to draw the other team off sides happens all the time in the NFL. And, it wasn't like it was a total cluster****, everyone appeared to have gotten the memo except Raiola.

Frankly, I would've been completely fine with the Lions going for it. The way their defense was playing, I thought for sure Tennessee would have gotten the field goal on the ensuing possession and won the game. Hell, they might've returned it for a TD given the play of the Lion's special teams.


September 25th, 2012, 8:33 pm
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
So we went from the dirtiest team in the league to 'too cute' in 6 months? [-(

Plus, as Blueskies mentioned, the whole premise of the article is incorrect. We were not going for it.

The fact is, if some of those comebacks hadn't worked out last year (Carolina, Minnesota, Dallas, etc. etc.), we'd have been saying the same things. The offense needs to find a way to develop a rhythm early (see aggressive playcalling against San Diego last year for an example), and we have to some how find a way to cover up for our dreadful/oft-injured secondary. Nothing cute about it.

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September 25th, 2012, 9:43 pm
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
I just don't understand how Raiola could botch it up so badly. The absolute worst thing that would have happened if he had just held the ball was a false start penalty.


September 26th, 2012, 12:25 am
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
I don't completely agree with the article.

But I'm glad Sharp wrote it. I hope the Lions players read it and it motivates them to prove him wrong.


September 26th, 2012, 5:17 am
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
I couldnt bring myself to read teh article...every time AI read Sharp I get upset about how someone so ignorant could be an authority on anything. the guy is just not known for being factual...

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September 26th, 2012, 8:30 am
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
detroit is not the only 1-2 team, maybe the patriots, steelers, and packers(yes i know they SHOULD be 2-1) are all playing a little too cute too, for gods sake its only week 3, im personally glad we pooped ourselves this week instead of at the end of the season, the NFL is not about how you start but how you finish. and did i mention were not entirely healthy... yea we looked bad, reallllllllllllllllly bad as far as the secondary is concerned. but even if this season is a disaster, we can finally get rid of whose heads weve been calling for and improve the roster. that being said, we could easily turn this ship around, ITS ONLY WEEK 3. lets at least try to be optimistic for once :)


September 26th, 2012, 9:28 am
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
regularjoe12 wrote:
I couldnt bring myself to read teh article...every time AI read Sharp I get upset about how someone so ignorant could be an authority on anything. the guy is just not known for being factual...


Agreed. I've always thought Sharp was a douche. Goodness, I miss Killer!


September 26th, 2012, 9:58 am
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
I actually, somewhat agree with what he wrote about the Lions thinking they are cute. But, I don't agree that Schwartz was trying to be cute on the play at the end.


September 26th, 2012, 10:26 am
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
I don't understand how this is too cute? This is a fairly intense situation, if the Titans jump the Lions get a first down. If the Lions move or get a delay, they move back 5 yards and it is still a chip shot for Hanson. It is basically a "no-lose" until a 10-year veteran center inexplicably snaps the ball.

Was the "Music City Miracle" return too cute by the Titans? It would have been if it had backfired.

Calling a TO to ice a kicker is "too cute". This was not IMO!

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September 26th, 2012, 10:40 am
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
Pablo wrote:
I don't understand how this is too cute? This is a fairly intense situation, if the Titans jump the Lions get a first down. If the Lions move or get a delay, they move back 5 yards and it is still a chip shot for Hanson. It is basically a "no-lose" until a 10-year veteran center inexplicably snaps the ball.

Was the "Music City Miracle" return too cute by the Titans? It would have been if it had backfired.

Calling a TO to ice a kicker is "too cute". This was not IMO!


If Leshoure stretches the ball out, it's never an issue. When is Sharp not ripping the Lions for something?


September 26th, 2012, 10:43 am
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
regularjoe12 wrote:
I couldnt bring myself to read teh article...every time AI read Sharp I get upset about how someone so ignorant could be an authority on anything. the guy is just not known for being factual...

+1. I can't stand him. He just complains and presents his bull___ as fact. I avoid his articles too

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September 26th, 2012, 2:23 pm
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Post Re: Sharp: Titans game proves Lions too cute to contend for
Hystrix wrote:
regularjoe12 wrote:
I couldnt bring myself to read teh article...every time AI read Sharp I get upset about how someone so ignorant could be an authority on anything. the guy is just not known for being factual...


Agreed. I've always thought Sharp was a douche. Goodness, I miss Killer!


I Have hated everything else hes ever written that ive read (30+before i learned my lesson) ....

but i still agree with everything in this article, at least in general. He is overly nit-pikcy, but this isnt as bad as his normal stuff, and has poignant points.







He's still a douche and a fraud. Even a blind squirel finds a nut once in awhile.


September 26th, 2012, 8:33 pm
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