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 Gameday: Lions @ Steelers 
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
m2karateman wrote:
Our secondary played, perhaps, their absolute worst game of the year. I don't blame Gunner for that either. He can't cover the guys for the corners. Interior D line wasn't forcing Ben out of the pocket and into the rush ends. The ends weren't getting enough pressure to push Ben up in the pocket into the interior rushers. Linebackers weren't handling their coverage assignments very well either. This was a poorly executed game plan. Is that the coaches fault? Possibly, but I blame the players more.
Agree to a point. While Gunner isn't out there (not) making the plays, he is responsible for getting them ready and having them in position. The Dline has been performing well under expectations for a few weeks now; he needs to fix it. Period. Same with the secondary. Tulloch & Levy have played well tho, I'll give them that much. Wasn't the Dline supposed to be the identity of the defense? Then again, maybe they are.....

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November 19th, 2013, 5:24 pm
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
m2karateman wrote:
Absolute hogwash Billy. Catching, blocking, tackling, protecting the ball....all FUNDAMENTAL parts of the game. And most of these guys have been playing this game since they were in elementary school. Every chance they get the players want to remind the fans that they are 'professionals'. Well, time to f**king act like it. Catch a pass, hold onto the football, make a tackle, and hold a block. They get paid, and paid well, to do it...and better than they have been. This team is wildly inconsistent in their performances.

As has been pointed out, the Lions are NOT a young team. Not. Even. Close.

And as someone else pointed out, making a change to the HC and staff often DOES meet with great success. You put the right pieces of the puzzle together, and you get a much better fit. The core of this team has been together for several seasons now, Billy. They are NOT GETTING IT DONE. In the current NFL, you cannot simply 'sit and wait' for it to happen. With free agency, players are hopping all over the place. You won't be able to keep the core of the team together forever.

The fact is Billy, the same old Lions fans would have simply been sitting on their couch, EXPECTING the Lions to lose and being pretty resolved to it. The Lions are frustrating now because they DO SHOW PROMISE, but they aren't playing to their potential when they need to be. This isn't being a 'same old Lions fan', this is expecting something better from a team that has been frustrating for over half a century. If you want to settle for a team that hobbles into the playoffs, if at all, only to get embarrassed and blown out in the first playoff game, then it is YOU who is being a SOLF, not us.

There is nothing wrong with a fan expecting the team they follow to do things better, particularly when that team is trying to sell them on how good they are. If the Lions faced Carolina, New Orleans or San Francisco today in the playoffs, they'd get their ASSES KICKED. It wouldn't even be close.

That type of performance is not acceptable to me, and it shouldn't be acceptable to ANY TRUE Lions fan. We've been patient long enough. We've f**king waited more than long enough. Time to get some return on investment.
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November 19th, 2013, 5:26 pm
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
I'm not too advanced in knowledge on the defensive side of the game, so can someone please explain to me why Carolina's defenses is so much better than ours? They have very talented DEs, good NTs and a very solid LB corps, but their secondary is average at best. On the other hand our defensive line isn't as good most of the time but fairly close, we have average LBs, the same level of CB play but better safety play. On paper we're not too far off. Who's to blame for this?

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November 19th, 2013, 5:33 pm
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
Shotty wrote:
I'm not too advanced in knowledge on the defensive side of the game, so can someone please explain to me why Carolina's defenses is so much better than ours? They have very talented DEs, good NTs and a very solid LB corps, but their secondary is average at best. On the other hand our defensive line isn't as good most of the time but fairly close, we have average LBs, the same level of CB play but better safety play. On paper we're not too far off. Who's to blame for this?


Two words: Ron Rivera. He's had great Ds wherever he's gone.

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November 19th, 2013, 6:02 pm
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
The difference is a combination of things. First, teams are switching to a quick passing attack, to not give the DTs a chance to get to the QB. If you watch the tape, you'll see that they when they get to the QB, he's holding it longer than the play is designed for. That's on the secondary to bump more to give time. That works perfectly fine on dry grass/turf, but on a rainy day like Sunday, it's a recipe for disaster. Gun always have them playing back, so to try to switch it up for just this game, it showed just how poor they are at pressing man.

That's been my biggest head scratcher for me with Gun's defense. It relies on pressure up front, which can get there if the passing routes are slowed down. And for some reason, they always play off, which forces them to play into a route instead of breaking on it. The soft secondary is what's giving up yards, not the players. The scheme is putting them at a disadvantage, especially when teams go to a quick passing game, which is the only counterpoint to the pass rush.

The injuries with Ziggy and Jones also haven't helped. Devin Taylor will be a nice addition to the rotation, but he's still got work to do. In comparison to Carolina, just look at when Charles Johnson went out and how that defense suddenly couldn't get pressure. I still think a premiere DE is needed to bring the D up another notch.


November 19th, 2013, 6:11 pm
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
BillySims wrote:
By all means. Complain all you want. This is a young team. And it's inconsistencies are caused by them being a young team. You can call for the coaches head all you want. If you keep firing the HC and or the GM, you will never get to the consistency you claim to want. Sometimes patience really is a virtue. Be patient. You will get what you want. Maturity only comes with time. You want the same old lions to disappear. Well, the same old lions fan should disappear also.

A young team? How do you figure? By average age, the Lions are the oldest team in the league (and it's not close).
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Even if we look only at Detroit's starters, the average age is 26.33 (listing slay as a starter instead of Mathis). With Mathis as the starter, it jumps up to 26.86.

Detroit is not a young team. The key players on the team (Stafford, CJ, Suh, Fairley, both Safeties) are at least 4-5 years in the league. That's plenty old enough to not be making dumb errors, and the team continues to play dumb. That falls on the coaches. The coaching staff sets the tone for the team, and Detroit plays undisciplined football. Look at the teams who win consistently (Patriots, Steelers, Giants, Packers, etc): they typically play disciplined ball and don't make critical errors to shoot themselves in the foot. That's a cultural thing, and the coaches and management are the people who set the course for the culture of the organization.

I think Schwartz is like a lot of other coaches who are good, but won't ever take their teams over the hump to ultimately win the big games. I just don't see the Lions every making a real playoff push with him in charge.


On a 53 man roster, it only takes a few old farts to skew the number. Nate, Olgletree, Aikers, Hill, Idonije, Mathis, Muhlbach, and Raiola are 8 players that really skew the numbers.


November 19th, 2013, 9:56 pm
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
BillySims wrote:
On a 53 man roster, it only takes a few old farts to skew the number. Nate, Olgletree, Aikers, Hill, Idonije, Mathis, Muhlbach, and Raiola are 8 players that really skew the numbers.


Make all the excuses you want Billy, this is still NOT a young team. Their core players are veterans, not rookies. And it still boils down to the fact that the inconsistencies come from their lack of fundamentals, not the more intricate and advanced portions of the game. Bush fumbling? Dropped passes? Once again, these guys have been playing for more than just their professional careers. It ain't rocket science.

These players aren't being FORCED to focus on those fundamentals, or they simply don't care. Either way, as fans we shouldn't accept the utter ineptitude of it. If you want to be a same old Lions fan and say 'wait til next year', then be my guest. People will laugh at you. I prefer to see them pull their heads out of their collectives asses this year and start playing at a high level on a more consistent basis and being something that other teams and coaches fear to face, rather than look forward to facing.

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November 19th, 2013, 10:08 pm
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
m2karateman wrote:
BillySims wrote:
On a 53 man roster, it only takes a few old farts to skew the number. Nate, Olgletree, Aikers, Hill, Idonije, Mathis, Muhlbach, and Raiola are 8 players that really skew the numbers.


Make all the excuses you want Billy, this is still NOT a young team. Their core players are veterans, not rookies. And it still boils down to the fact that the inconsistencies come from their lack of fundamentals, not the more intricate and advanced portions of the game. Bush fumbling? Dropped passes? Once again, these guys have been playing for more than just their professional careers. It ain't rocket science.

These players aren't being FORCED to focus on those fundamentals, or they simply don't care. Either way, as fans we shouldn't accept the utter ineptitude of it. If you want to be a same old Lions fan and say 'wait til next year', then be my guest. People will laugh at you. I prefer to see them pull their heads out of their collectives asses this year and start playing at a high level on a more consistent basis and being something that other teams and coaches fear to face, rather than look forward to facing.


Where have you seen me say wait until next year? Have you seen my predictions for the Lions? It was just 1 loss. People act so sky is falling after a loss. I personally find all the people blowing an O ring funny. They act like 1 loss is the end of the world. It's a game people. And both teams get paid to make plays and keep the other team from making plays. The Steelers just did it better this week than the Lions did. Lions are still in 1st. And I bet they look a whole lot better next week. A loss tends to force you to correct a few things.


November 19th, 2013, 10:35 pm
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
TheRealWags wrote:
RE: Fake FG attempt

Many of us have been wanting the Lions to play to win/aggressive for years and this play, IMO, is exactly that. Going for the jugular and not playing 'not to lose'. Not too mention, when was the last time the Lions Org tried a fake FG???? There's no way the Steelers could've been expecting it.

Like him or not, Schwartz was playing to win; the team did not execute.

There's plenty of blame to go around, no doubt,, but IMO to bulk of it falls on the Defense. They HAVE to stop them from driving 97-yards in ~8 minutes; especially when they had them in a 3rd & long. Inexcusable. I've said it before and I'll keep saying it, Gun is past his prime. The 'D' needs to improve or this team will go nowhere.


re: the fake field goal you wrote - "Schwartz was playing to win; the team did not execute"

Maybe you are referring to the game as a whole but I read what you wrote as it pertained to the "fake" field goal play. I think there are many levels of wrong with the decision to go with fake fg such as the fact that we were winning, a FG puts us up a TD, that it was in the 4th quarter and the field conditions but the biggest problem I had with the play is that Sam Martin is the runner. Like you said "the team did not execute" but really it was martin that did not execute. He wasnt fast, he looked a bit tentative, he ran upright and without leverage, he didnt follow the lead block from a pulling larry warford that would have gotten the first down, and he didnt have ball control. Still, can anyone seriously blame him for his lack of execution on the play? Should a rookie punter thats never carried the ball or been tackled at any level of organized football be asked to do this. It shows, the coaching staff's most egregious error and that is that they didnt know their own personnel. Sam Martin is not a great athlete even by punter's standards and has no business running the ball except in some kind of emergency duress situation. Beyond that, I didnt like the play design given that there really was no "fake," martin never put the ball down and Akers didnt swing his leg like he was kicking. It was really an inside run by Martin without any misdirection or deception. The hope was that Pittsburgh had lined up wrong and maybe would be napping since it was a short kick but they werent. Despite excellent blocking on the play from the OL and Warford laying a nice lead block in the hole, Martin just didnt have the physical traits or running awareness to make this play work. Even though it was kind of a weird play design, Martin is the reason the play didnt work. Again, nobody can blame him bc thats not what he s supposed to be doing, its all on the coaches that asked him to do it rather than the team's execution. what happened on the play was actually one of the better scenarios short of converting bc Martin fumbled forward and PIT recovered to back themselves back to there own 3 yard line. Martin could ve easily fumbled the play away for a def return TD and nobody could seriously blame him. schwartz aggressiveness is in kind of an unstable state right now, he s gone from super conservative for 4 + seasons to know being maddeningly overaggressive. Maybe he can take a step back and end up in the middle and make judgements appropriate for game situatons, conditions, and personnel ability rather than just experimenting with aggressive vs conservative philosophies.


November 19th, 2013, 11:08 pm
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
Yeah, this isn't really a young team, but the core players (Stafford, Johnson, Suh, Fairely) are pretty young, which is why I don't think the window is closing for this team anytime soon. I would say the Lions have about a five year window of opportunity. Stafford should actually get better as he gets closer to 30, and Johnson won't get old for a while. Suh can and should be resigned, ditto Fairely, giving you a solid core of guys to build the team around.

Is Schwartz the coach to get you to the Superbowl at some point in the next five years? That's really the question you have to ask, and to be honest, I'm not sure. I think if he wins the division this year, you give him the benefit of the doubt, but if he somehow drops the division title to Chicago or Greenbay, you definitely have to move on.


November 19th, 2013, 11:20 pm
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
MLive wrote:
Detroit Lions second look: What went wrong on the fake field goal?
By Justin Rogers | jrogers@mlive.com
on November 19, 2013 at 11:20 AM,
updated November 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

A lot of things went wrong in the Detroit Lions' 37-27 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the most discussed element of the game was the fake field goal attempted by the Lions early in the fourth quarter.

It was a risky play call, and as many have said, difficult to justify given the down and distance, field conditions and weather, but what exactly did the Lions see that they thought could be exploited and why did the play ultimately fail?

The first thing you notice is the Steelers are in an unbalanced formation. It's certainly not uncommon for the rushing team to overload one side to overwhelm the offensive line.

It's clear, looking back at the tape, the Lions were looking for the Steelers to motion a seventh defender to the unbalanced side of the formation. I went back and watched a lot of field goal attempts around the league, and few teams motion a defender as often as the Steelers do. I'm speculating here, but the movement may be more about distracting the kicker than anything.

Regardless, the Lions anticipated the pre-snap movement and holder Sam Martin immediately called for the snap as safety Ryan Clark (No. 25) motioned, from left to right, across the formation.
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The fake starts to break down almost immediately because of good play recognition by the Steelers defense, particularly Steve McLendon (90) and Cameron Heyward (97).

On the snap, the Lions had guard Larry Warford pull to serve as a lead blocker for Martin. It's highly unusual for an interior lineman to be pulling on a field goal and McLendon and Heyward noticed this immediately, following Warford across the formation.
Image

Despite the recognition by the two Steelers linemen, the play still had a chance.

Dominic Raiola (the Lions player furthest left in the screenshot below) got just enough to seal his man on the outside. Warford came through the hole as a lead block and laid a debilitating block on William Gay (22) and Rob Sims and LaAdrian Waddle did well on the initial seal of the inside lane.

But Waddle's next move is the key. We're not blaming him, because we don't know the assignment, but instead of breaking off his double-team with Sims and eating up McLendon and Heyward's lane tight to the formation, the undrafted rookie goes across the field to put a body on Clark, who wasn't really in position to make a play.
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Without Waddle in place to slow McLendon and Heyward, both players come across the formation essentially untouched and have a free shot on Martin well before the punter gets to the first down marker.
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http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/20 ... hat_2.html

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November 20th, 2013, 10:04 am
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
BillySims wrote:
Where have you seen me say wait until next year? Have you seen my predictions for the Lions? It was just 1 loss. People act so sky is falling after a loss. I personally find all the people blowing an O ring funny. They act like 1 loss is the end of the world. It's a game people. And both teams get paid to make plays and keep the other team from making plays. The Steelers just did it better this week than the Lions did. Lions are still in 1st. And I bet they look a whole lot better next week. A loss tends to force you to correct a few things.


Billy, you were the one who said 'just wait and be patient' in regards to the supposedly 'young' players who are inconsistent and making too many mistakes. Is that not what you said? So, what you were saying is wait until later this season? Sorry, but then it's too late. And once again, we are talking fundamentals here, not the complications of an NFL scheme.

And it's not just one loss. It's one MORE loss, and yet another loss to a team they had no business losing to. How many more losses are you going to call 'just one loss'? If this had been their first loss or second loss, I can understand. And if they had been beaten by a truly better team, I could understand. But this was yet another example of the Lions beating themselves more than being beaten by the other team.

I'm sorry Billy, but I view you as more of the 'same old Lions fan' than those of us who are disturbed by this loss. No loss should just be waved off like that. To me, that is being more like a fan of a perennial losing team than a fan of a team that you expect to go somewhere. Predicting wins for the team doesn't make you a fan if a loss to an inferior team is so easily accepted.

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November 20th, 2013, 10:55 am
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
No excuses. Not the field, not the weather, nothing.

This was a sterling example of why I have been saying over and over again that the Lions are an inconsistent team, drive to drive, quarter to quarter, game to game. This is why IF the Lions get into the playoffs, they will not even sniff the NFC Championship game. And I am not being a fair weather fan, because those of you that have read some of my previous posts know that this is what I have been saying. I said Pittsburgh wasn't a gimme. Neither is ANY game left on this schedule, including the Minnesota game.

Up and until the Lions can perform on a more consistent basis, and start achieving the fundamentals (like holding onto the football, either in the run or pass game) they will not be a real contender at getting to the Super Bowl. Playoffs is nice...but if they do make it there this season they will have sort of backed into it due to the injuries to Cutler and Rodgers.

Schwartz just ain't getting it done. I don't know that a new coach will automatically be the answer, but I don't see anything that makes me think he will evolve this team into a consistent winner.

I think a new coach can absolutely make an immediate difference/be the answer. Look at Andy Reid in KC. Or Harbaugh in SF. They year before the coaches got there the team was talented, but underperforming. The right coach comes along and all of the sudden the team wins consistently (yes I know SF isn't doing as well this year, but they're still better than they were pre-Harbaugh).


I have personally fired many many Lions coaches dating back to Wayne Fontes. I fired him at least 3 years for sure. The lesson or maybe better the question from that was do th other fans around the league see their teams as sloppy and seemingly undisciplined as we see here? Is it because we watch all the plays? This stuff has gone on in Detroit for 35 years. From Darryl Rodgers, to Fontes, to Bobby Ross, to Moeller (who might have been the right guy), to Marty, to Mooch, to that clown with the f'ing pick, to Dick Jaroun, to Schwartz. They all have games where the team looks like they never practice. I am starting to wonder if the other teams just have enough in the tank to make it seem that way for 1/3 of the year. Is this a grass is greener kind of thing? I don't know any more.

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November 22nd, 2013, 12:25 am
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
on a side note, I'm not sure about the prediction angle as far as being a fan.

The team wins or loses based on how well they play that week in comparison to their opponent that day on that field. What a fan accepts or attempts to deny has no impact on the game or the team. What is, is. What happens, does. The Lions are contenders this year, enjoy the season and hope for the best. It's just fine to analyze the team and decide what is missing for the elusive championship, I do the same. This is much more fun to watch (which by the way is the entire point) than the days of past with Millen around.

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November 22nd, 2013, 12:44 am
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Post Re: Gameday: Lions @ Steelers
BillySims wrote:
On a 53 man roster, it only takes a few old farts to skew the number. Nate, Olgletree, Aikers, Hill, Idonije, Mathis, Muhlbach, and Raiola are 8 players that really skew the numbers.

Fine. Take the old guys out. It's still not a young team. As I stated, almost none of the key contributors on this team are 1st or 2nd year guys. Slay and Ansah are the only two I would consider to be key, and even that's a stretch. Plus, the people typically making the boneheaded plays are Fairley (3rd year), Pettigrew (5th year), who else? Suh sometimes (4th year)?

The bottom line is this: when Schwartz took over, the team needed a new identity. They needed to be tougher, and not let other teams walk all over them. That meant becoming a tough team. I think Schwartz did a good job instilling that kind of mentality. But, he hasn't done a very good job instilling discipline. Some of that is understandable. When you're trying to be tougher and meaner, some discipline breakdowns are likely to happen. But, from here on out, they don't need to just be tough. They also need to be smart, strategic, and disciplined...those are the attributes of teams that win championships. Organizations like the Steelers, Patriots, Giants, etc. all have those attributes. Nobody walks all over them (aside from the occasional down year), and typically they do not make stupid mistakes that cost them wins. It has nothing to do with youth or age. Discipline is discipline, whether old or young. The Lions largely do not have it, and they likely won't win any championships (or many playoff games) until they do.

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November 22nd, 2013, 4:54 am
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