There are almost no words, but really there are and I think Aaron Rodgers had the gist of it in his post game comments. Rodgers and something along the lines of good football teams find ways to win games like the one between his Packers and the Detroit Lions at Ford Field this afternoon. That is really the crux of it; good teams find ways to win when not much is going right. The Packers won today when they tried every way to lose this game. The Lions lost this game, despite once again having multiple chances to win.
This is going to wind up being a game that Lions QB s going to want to forget. All day he was not in sync with his receivers he went a disappointing 17 for 39, for 244 yards with two picks and one TD. However as bad as that state line sounds what we all saw either live at Ford Field or on TV was a passing attack that was not in sync for much of the game. Again most of us have seen a game like this at least once this season and likely several times. The one big difference was the fact that the score 10 points in the first half, of course they would score 10 more in the second half, but once again they failed at key points during the game.
Everyone wants to blame the defense, but for what the defense is I think they have played fairly well all year. The Packers only gained 314 yards overall, and that seems like a reasonable amount for a defense that has limited talent in the secondary to begin with and has multiple injuries there. Amari Spievey is gone for the year with a concussion and his career may be over. This team will have to invest high round draft picks in the defensive secondary in next year’s draft.
The offense is of a far bigger concern. It would seem that there is a need to rebuild the offensive line. If this team can only manage to gain 100 yards on the ground on a day when Stafford clearly isn’t on that is a huge issue. Mikel Leshoure looks like the kind of back that can carry a team when the passing game is in a funk; however the Lions game plan rarely goes that direction. I do not see the value in letting Stafford chuck the ball all over the field when the passing game is so ineffective. Maybe Leshoure isn’t that guy; maybe this offensive line isn’t that great run blocking. Of course Stafford was sacked five times so maybe they are just not that good. Sure, Jeff Backus went out with a leg injury and we saw the LT of the future Riley Reiff step in, and take a few rookie penalties, but overall I think this was a poor showing for them.
There is always some positives to take away, and someone reminded today to keep the big picture in mind. With that being said let us give a big round of applause to DT Nick Fairley. If teams are going to double down on Ndamukong Suh that creates a big matchup problem for Fairley who can, and over the past two weeks, has dominated his single blocker. He will get strong consideration for our weekly player of the week award.
Another thing for Lions fans to keep in mind is that fact that they have only lost one of these games by double digit points. That was last week when they lost to the Minnesota Vikings by ten points. That means on average they are losing by less than one touchdown per game. That means one more completed pass (especially today deep to Calvin Johnson) or one less mistake and this team may have been victories. As bad as the Lions on Monday night in Chicago was, they lost that game by six, they lost to the Titans by three, and today the Packers squeaked out a four point win. One more play, one less penalty, one more positive is why this team is now 4-6.
This is not a good football team yet, but there is potential. The question becomes is this coaching staff the best group to get the full potential out of this cast of players. Based on what I have seen so far this year I do not know if they are.
•Detroit Lions news and notes