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 What happened to the Lions offense? 
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Post What happened to the Lions offense?
The Lions offensive philosophy going into the season was pretty simple teams would have to pick their poison in who to stop Reggie Bush or Calvin Johnson.

That worked for the first game and half until Bush got hurt - he was never the same the rest of the season fumbling the ball, dropping passes and not breaking any big runs while looking worse than his backup Joique Bell.

Calvin Johnson was not himself either - bothered by knee all season Calvin almost never practiced and showed as he dropped more ball than usual. But I think the big difference was teams no longer felt the need to double and triple cover him. Teams were content to let guys like Darrelle Revis, Jimmy Smith and Charles Tillman guard him one on one.

This created a lot more traffic as teams continued to play the pass against the Lions for all 3 downs. Stafford struggled as teams sat back and covered the field in zone defenses. Despite Stafford's struggles the Lions continued to use their pass first philosophy on offense even as teams continued to only put 6 men the box.

At the end of the day I blame Scott Linehan for the Lions and Matt Stafford's struggles on offense.

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December 25th, 2013, 4:37 pm
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Post Re: What happened to the Lions offense?
Honestly the plays were there much of the season, the team just didn't execute. I thought Linehan had his guys in the right situations most of the time. For me, it falls more on the overall attitude of the team (Schwartz) and the quarterback position (Staff). The OL well exceeded my expectations this season, Bell is underrated and was a nice duo with Bush, Joe stepped up at the TE spot while Pett was Pett. CJ didn't have the same record breaking year as 2012 but still produced, Nate played well when healthy. The key for the offense was to not turn over the ball, couldn't do it. Most of that falls on Staffords inaccuracy IMO.

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December 26th, 2013, 10:40 am
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Post Re: What happened to the Lions offense?
I disagree this offense was so inconstant in performance and play calling. When a team is struggling you go back to basics and run the ball especially when defenses are only playing a 6 man box on first and second down and 5 on third - force them to stop the run don't abandon it. Try to open up the passing game instead of trying to constantly to force the ball into blanket coverage.

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Last edited by Leo on December 26th, 2013, 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.



December 26th, 2013, 2:10 pm
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Post Re: What happened to the Lions offense?
The offense was able to move the ball and even dominate the stats during the second half collapse. The problem was fumbles, interceptions, and dropped passes. If just 1/3 of those turnovers could have been eliminated, our conversation would be about which team Detroit would host in the playoffs right now.


December 26th, 2013, 2:34 pm
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Post Re: What happened to the Lions offense?
Turnovers were a major problem, but besides that the play calling was way too conservative at times it needed to be aggressive and aggressive when it needed to be conservative. And it usually happened at crunch time when it mattered most. Linehan could call an extraordinary game at times, and then call a game that makes you wonder if he's ever watched game film at other times. Add into that Stafford's accuracy issues (and a majority of the drops were poorly thrown/placed balls) and you've got an offense that dominated stats, but not the scoreboard.


December 26th, 2013, 2:41 pm
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Post Re: What happened to the Lions offense?
The problem was they were never that good to begin with. Statistics don't put the manner in which they were made into context. This is a pass happy, big play offense. The entire offense was predicated on Johnson drawing double coverage and Bush making something happen to make the defense pay. When you throw that ball more than fifty times a game and you can overthrow your top receiver on a deep ball and he can make exceptional catches it tends to skew the stats. This was not a precision offense, this was a offense based purely on talent making plays.


December 27th, 2013, 12:16 am
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Post Re: What happened to the Lions offense?
They passed 40 times a game, and rushed 28 times a game. It's not like last year or the year before. People were open, and Stafford missed them. It wasn't the one trick pony when they led the league in pass attempts, this year they were 6th. Better play calling would have led to a better record and better results. You can blame the receivers all you want, but then they're getting wobbly balls or balls that are in positions they shouldn't have to be in due to a poor throw, at some point you have to put it on the QB. And his preparation all leads to that. Poorly coached QB, regardless of talent, is going to struggle if he's prepared wrong.


December 27th, 2013, 1:53 am
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Post Re: What happened to the Lions offense?
What happened to the offense? Two words.....TURN OVERS.

Picks and fumbles littered the stat line over the last six games, and that's why the Lions offense went to sh!t. Stafford was inconsistent throughout the season, but really went down hill in the second half of the season. The Lions rewarded him with a huge contract extension, and he repaid the team and fans with his worst season. It may not be his worst statistically, but performance wise it was definitely his worst. He's a five year veteran, and this season he looked like an undrafted rookie with his shoulder pads on backwards. Watching Stafford play is like playing golf. That one good shot makes you forget about the twelve bad shots before it, and the twelve bad shots after it. You keep playing in hopes of re-enacting that one good shot. Same with watching Stafford. That one good throw that few, if any, other QBs can make keeps you coming back despite the numerous other bad reads, bad throws or boneheaded plays he makes.

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December 28th, 2013, 9:26 am
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Post Re: What happened to the Lions offense?
Following M2K's lead, and hoping to encourage someone in the greater Metropolitan Detroit area to step up and create a small business I would like to propose the following.

Open a bakery, specializing in TURN OVERS! If the Lions can do it, then why not a Bakery in Detroit? The catch slogan could be, "producing what we're known for" So who's up? AND I'd send the first batch, complimentary, to the Ford/Lions Alan Park front office! Any takers?

I now return you to your regularly scheduled forum!

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December 28th, 2013, 5:42 pm
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Post Re: What happened to the Lions offense?
its easy to blame things on stafford but stopping there is shortsighted and idiotic. bush had 4 fumbles lost, bell had 3. the receivers dropped tons of passes and when you only get 3 plays to get a first down many of those might as well be qb hurries or sacks. several of the stafford INTs werent his fault, many were a result of inaccurate passes and another handful were bc the lions got themselves into stupid situations by either being ultra conservative or ultra aggressive with no in between and forced the qb to press. the coaching staff couldnt just keep playing a game - they either took the foot completely off the gas or decided to go for the death blow. i didnt watch any game where stafford came out and made 2-3 first half INTs that put the team into an unsurmountable hole that cost the team the game. sure you can easily point to many of the losses and pick a play that if it went differently the Lions would have won that game and most of you would pick something that stafford did even though there are 6-7 more terrible plays and decisions that happened in those games that had little or nothing to do with the QB. stafford improving isnt the only thing this team needs to get better on offense. quite simply they dont have the personnel to run a shotgun, heavy pass offense. going 5 wide loses its effect when one of those guys is the best WR in the NFL, the 2nd and 3rd WR would be lucky to have NFL roster spots next season, the 4th guy is usually a TE who is either washed up (scheffler) or has no polish (fauria) or an even worse WR and the 5th guy is a RB that struggles to catch screen passes. does stafford deserve some blame? yes but the surrounding cast at WR and TE needs to be revamped and offensive intention shouldnt be so obvious by formation.


December 29th, 2013, 2:14 am
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Post Re: What happened to the Lions offense?
I don't think anyone has blamed Stafford and left it at that. Blame has been spread to the running backs, receivers, secondary and coaches. And that's exactly how it should be. The RBs have fumbled and dropped passes. Receivers have dropped too many passes. Our secondary is horrible, in both coverage and tackling. And the coaching has been a joke. But when it comes down to it, if you don't get quality play out of the QB spot, your team is going to struggle regardless of how well the rest of the players perform or how well the coaches do their jobs. It's just how it is. Stafford has been the Lions' most inconsistent performer this season, since day one. He has not played one game where it seemed like he was making good decisions throughout the game, throwing the ball pretty well throughout the game, and looking comfortable behind center. I don't know exactly what happened and when, but something got in Stafford's head early and it hasn't left. Quarterbacks thrive when they get into a good rhythm, and he hasn't been in a rhythm once this season.

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December 29th, 2013, 3:15 pm
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Post Re: What happened to the Lions offense?
m2karateman wrote:
I don't think anyone has blamed Stafford and left it at that. Blame has been spread to the running backs, receivers, secondary and coaches. And that's exactly how it should be. The RBs have fumbled and dropped passes. Receivers have dropped too many passes. Our secondary is horrible, in both coverage and tackling. And the coaching has been a joke. But when it comes down to it, if you don't get quality play out of the QB spot, your team is going to struggle regardless of how well the rest of the players perform or how well the coaches do their jobs. It's just how it is. Stafford has been the Lions' most inconsistent performer this season, since day one. He has not played one game where it seemed like he was making good decisions throughout the game, throwing the ball pretty well throughout the game, and looking comfortable behind center. I don't know exactly what happened and when, but something got in Stafford's head early and it hasn't left. Quarterbacks thrive when they get into a good rhythm, and he hasn't been in a rhythm once this season.


I agree. I am hoping that it was something akin to a sophomore slump for Stafford this year.


December 29th, 2013, 8:16 pm
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