The Detroit Lions continue to beat themselves


Let the depression begin. Not only is the 2012 season now over for the Detroit Lions, but we face the very real possibility that this team will lose twice next week and once again their tradition of ruining our Thanksgiving Day will continue. The very sad thing about that is beyond the Monday Day Night fiasco in Chicago no team has beaten the Lions. Just like this afternoon in Minnesota the Lions continually beat themselves. Last week we saw a complete game effort against a poor Jacksonville Jaguars team. This week we saw another pitiful effort against a slumping team.

Nov 11, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) catches a pass as Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jasper Brinkley (54) stops him short of teh end zone in the fourth quarter at the Metrodome. The Vikings win 34-24. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Some may not like my use of the word pitiful, but this team continually keeps taking the first half off. In my mind that is the fault of the coaching staff. There is no sense of urgency on the team. No drive to put points on the board until the fourth quarter when they are already down by 10 or more. That is not how successful NFL team approach games, and ultimately it will lead to more Sundays like this one than it will anything else.

I will sum up one the 2012 Lions season with this one simple fact, in week 10 of the 2012 NFL season Matthew Stafford threw his first touchdown to Calvin Johnson and he has caught just two TD’s all year. When the Lions started 2011 5-0 he was averaging almost two TD’s a game. Sure, the Lions offense has evolved (or not) to one that uses the passing game to get down the field and the running game to punch in the end zone. At east that is what we have seen when they have been successful this year.

For whatever reason the offense is not in sync. Blame it on nagging injuries to Calvin Johnson, blame in on the execution by Stafford and the other receivers, or blame it on the over all game plan. However, the point remains the same this is not an offense that is dominate. With five first round picks invested in the offense, and another three second round picks, and we see that having an offense that cannot play a full game at a high level is totally and completely unacceptable.

Blame Matt Millen all you want, but current Lions General Manger Martin Mayhew has made plenty of mistakes on draft day. Simply put using the 20th overall pick on a tight end for a team that was as bad as the Lions were when they drafted Brandon Pettigrew is a luxury they could not afford. Pettigrew is good, but he was not that good or worth that high a pick for this team. He is not the game changer the Lions need him to be to justify that high of a selection.

Again pick who you would like to blame because there is plenty of blame to go around, but face the very real possibility that Lions will not win another game this year. Think about that, I only see two games the rest of the way that they might be able to win, but nothing is a given in the NFL and when a team plays this poorly and continually beats itself with out the coaching staff having a complete fit on the sidelines anything is possible.

It’s not like this is new territory for us long time (and long suffering) Lions fans but with the absence of hockey and with us still licking our wounds over the World Series flame out of our Detroit Tigers it seems harder to accept. Maybe we just all bought into the fact that better days were here for our Lions.

In fact since beating the Bears on Monday Night in October of 2011 this team has gone 1-7 against its divisional rivals. Over the 2011 and 2012 seasons combined they are just 3-6 against their divisional foes. Simply put that is not good enough. They are such a frustrating team to watch because they have so much talent, and time and time again that talent fails at a key moment or makes a really stupid mistake that costs this team a drive, a score, or a game.

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