If anybody was playing a drinking game that revolved around the words “miscue” or “mistake,” I feel sorry for their livers. The Lions had the opportunity to show the world they were ready to hang with the big boys, and they showed exactly why they still belong at the kid’s table.
The Lions melted down in every way, injuries, penalties, turnovers and penalties doomed the Lions from the first drive of the game. Just when it appeared they were on the brink of bouncing back they found new ways of shooting themselves in the foot.
Despite my concerns, the Lions actually came out with the perfect game plan. Balanced play calling, short passes and a ball control offense kept the Packers’ offense off the field and the Lions churned out yardage. Penalty after drive killing penalty kept them off the score board and finally the wheels began to fall off with a Stafford pick inside their 20. The Packers converted the short field into seven and never looked back.
The wheels completely fell off for the Lions in the second half when they stopped the Packers inside the five forcing a field goal attempt with a 7-0 lead. Ndamukong Suh got into a scuffle and was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct giving the Packers an automatic first down. The Packers took full advantage of the mistake and extended the lead to 14-0.
A pair of Stafford interceptions gave the Packers all the momentum they would need to cruise to an easy win as they converted them for an additional 10 points to blow the game wide open.
I have been saying for weeks that the Lions lack the discipline needed to be a truly good team. As far as talent goes they are easily one of the most talented teams in the NFL. But Jamarcus Russell blows Tom Brady out of the water in the talent category. When the game is on the line against good football teams the Lions have imploded far more often than not.
The Lions have lost for years because they lacked the talent, but now that they have the talent they need to maintain discipline and play smart. That goes for the coaching staff too. Why has it taken so long to commit to a more balanced offense, why do the penalties keep piling up and why keep enabling this bad boy mentality? What has it gotten them so far? This team has the makings of 8-8 because they cannot avoid the mistakes and stupid plays that cost teams close games. They have won every game they should win because they were more talented and lost almost every game they were evenly matched in. Those stupid mistakes will continue to plague them and keep them in the realm of .500 football rather than championship caliber football.
Injury note: Kevin Smith was carted off in the second quarter with a lower leg injury.