A Lions Playoff Review 2011


I wrote before the Lions played the Chargers that the Defensive back field was going to be the key to the Lions making a run at the end of the year. Part of the reason was the fact that the DB’s are clearly the weakest group of players on the Lions and the other part was the Lions had to face a red hot Philip Rivers, the Packers and then whoever they faced in the playoffs. That team ended up being the RedHot Saints.

The Lions played amazingly against the Chargers, holding rivers to only 10 points. The next week in Green Bay was a different story. With Delmas out and Houston hobbled the Lions defensive back field gave up six touchdown passes and 480 yard passing to backup Matt Flynn. On a side note, this seems like the perfect opportunity for some absent minded GM to overspend on a QB who shined as a backup. See: Scott Mitchell, Jay Feeley, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jon Kitna twice and Matt Cassel.

With an opportunity to win a game and break the Lambeau curse which now stands at 21 years and also to control our destiny and play the winner of the Dallas-NY Giants and have a shot to move on in the playoffs the Lions completely crumbled and fell apart allowing Matt Flynn to do something Aaron Rodgers or some guy named Favre never came close to doing.

The favorite saying for all Lions fans is always “Same old Lions” because for 50 years the team has been the same, they will always falter when the pressure is put on them. The other big reason is because when there is a chance for a big play to be made on D, they will fuck it up everytime.

So with an embarrassing loss to Green Bay out of the way, the Lions gathered by the old television to watch the Falcons take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , because if Tampa Bay could upset the Falcons the Lions would still play the winner of NY Giants/Dallas. However, by the time I turned the Falcons game on after the Lions the Falcons were up 42-0 just a few minutes into the second quarter. So there goes that dream.

The Lions had to pick themselves up and get ready for what some called “The greatest home field advantage of any team in playoff history.” The Saints were 8-0 at home during the regular season, they averaged over 40 points per game in their own stadium, and the Superdome is the loudest stadium in the country.

On top of that Drew Brees has been scalding hot as of late and Jimmy Graham actually might be a machine, the guy is a perfect football specimen. All of this adds up to a Lions upset right?

I think it would be fair to say that the Lions would have to be almost perfect, need the refs to be perfect, need to be opportune and take advantage of mistakes, and be lucky to win the game.

Now let’s fast forward to Saturday night. The Lions took the ball down the field and scored a touchdown with an ease that got every Lions fan wet. Looks like the Curse of Bobby Layne is over someone’s dad yelled to someone! To make things even better, the Saints actually turned the ball over on their first possession, so you got to figure it’s about to be 14-0 Lions. Unfortunately a second and long running play was called again and Scott Linehan showed why he was the worst offensive coordinator in the league for the first 14 games of the year.

Later on in the half the Lions sacked Drew Brees and jarred the ball loose from him hand, he hadn’t even gotten his hand back yet let along bring it forward. Justin Durant scooped up the fumble and headed towards the end zone. Lions go up 21-7, except one small thing. A referee called the play dead. Yes, a referee in the game for no reason called the play dead. I can see how he may have messed this up since Instant Replay has only been around for 13 seasons now. With instant replay the referees are supposed to let a play run if there’s any question, that way it can be reviewed. Unfortunately the fucking asshole ref in this game caught the Clap in a New Orleans whorehouse and was distracted by the burning sensation in his dick.

That’s the only possible conclusion I can come up with, I was reading tweets from Mike Pereira , who is without a doubt very much against the Lions. He was going on and on about how the call developed and whether the Lions should have gotten the ball, or not. How about the fact that a team that needed every break to go for them, just had the biggest one taken away?

So after a huge stop to force a field goal at the half, the Lions went into halftime leading 14-10. Lions fans all over the Michigan flooded Expedia.com and Cheapoair.com during halftime booking flights to Green Bay for next week’s game, it was over.

Then the second half happened. The second half of the game to a lions fan was the equivalent of Barry Sanders retiring all over again. The only reason people weren’t so hurt about the second half is because it took a while to come down from the high of the first half. If any of you have the stomach for it and are unlucky enough to still have it on DVR, watch just the second half again and let me know how it went.

Drew Brees threw for 33-43 for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. The last part of that stat line is whats important. Zero interceptions!? Drew Brees is probably the most accurate passer in the game right now and if you read that stat line you think to yourself, that’s amazing. A Lion’s fan who watched the game has a different outlook. Drew Brees threw a pick 6 that Eric Wright dropped. He also threw two other passes that should have been intercepted. Last but not least with the Saints up 24-21, Drew Brees threw a pass directly to Aaron Berry of the Lions who didn’t even get hands on it even though it hit him in the chest. The Saints then scored another touchdown, then another, then another.

Clearly you can’t put a loss on one play or one player. The culmination of dropped Int’s, broken tackles and the referees though was too much for the Lions on Saturday.

However, Aaron Berry must have been getting some nasty tweets because about thirty seconds after the game he tweeted this:

“Y’all can go back to being Broke & Miserable…now back to regular scheduled programming…”

He has since apologized for it, and it looks to be deleted, but it will be pretty tough to come back from that.

One last note on Saturday’s game. There were 86 passing plays between the two teams, and only one hold on Lions Gosder Cherilus. How the fuck it is possible that two very good D-Lines only got held one time total in a game with that many passing plays?

Is there any possible way that Gunther Cunningham keeps his job? The guy knew what had to be done in the last two weeks of the year, and who he was playing and the Saints end up not punting and matt Flynn did his best Colt Brennan at Hawaii impression. I don’t recall one time this year where Gunther called for a blitz and the blitzer got anywhere near the Quarterback. Theres also those last two games the defense got completely embarrassed.

So it looks like the Lions need Defensive backs, Offensive Line help, and depth at linebacker. Looks like the draft will once again be the Lions Super Bowl.