Just throw the tape out and forget it ever happened. That would be my tip for coach Jim Schwartz. Pretend like Sunday never actually happened. It was simply a bad dream we are now up from and don’t have to worry about any more. In other words, it was the Detroit Lion’s one and only mulligan of the season.
I’m ok with using the mulligan though after the Lions were beat up at the hands of the Bears, 37-13. The reason being? The Lions weren’t THAT bad. I know that sounds crazy when you lose by 24 but there was a lot of atypical behavior from the team this past week that they can’t afford to have repeat.
First of all, Matthew Stafford had thrown 4 interceptions all year. He threw four in Chicago. What will be interesting to see is how this week against Carolina goes. It’s been announced he’s got a bum finger. Can he take the gloves off in the dome? If he can, can we expect the normal Matthew Stafford? Though it’s Carolina, there are no easy weeks in the NFL and the Leos need an impressive follow up performance.
Secondly, mulligan on kicking to Devin Hester. Why do teams still kick to him? I don’t understand. He’s been in the league, what, five or six years, and he already owns the all time punt return record. Don’t kick to him! I don’t care if you have a rookie or a 15 year veteran. Don’t kick to Devin Hester.
Thirdly, Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson fumbled away drives that started very well. If I remember what I heard correctly during the broadcast, they said it was Calvin’s first fumble since ’09! Both fumbles occurred with the Lions approaching mid-field or beyond. Those hurt…but again, those aren’t something you see the Lions do every week.
Next on my list, the defense wasn’t that bad. They held Matt Forte to 68 yards, while Jay Cutler had a completion percentage of less than 50%. If you would have told me those numbers going into the game, I would have thought the Lions would have won by 2 touchdowns. Instead, 21 points off of pick sixes and special teams is just too much for a defense to overcome.
Finally, the game was lost in the first half after getting inside the 10 twice and settling for six points. You just can’t do that, especially after you fell out of the gate 20-0. During the radio broadcast, Dan Miller even said that one of those drives had a drop by Calvin. That’s right up there with a fumble. When does Calvin drop passes?
Don’t get me wrong, it was bad. When ever you lose by more than 20, there is little to take out of it. But, I’m always worried that the wheels are going to fall of the wagon for the Lions. Like the start is too good to be true. As bad as it was in Chicago, there were a lot of things that were outliers to how the season has gone thus far. As long as it’s not a preview of what’s next, the Lions still have a lot to look forward too.