Things are apparently so bad with the Lions that they don’t even show up for their games anymore.
The Lions yesterday set football back in Detroit all the way to…2008.
If this is them turning the corner, then they just ran smack dab into a bus, like that girl in that scene from “Final Destination.”
The Green Bay Packers, if this was dinner time, would have been scolded by their mother for playing with their food, as they skipped out to a 14-0 lead before adding a slew of field goals when touchdowns would have made things butt ugly.
The 26-0 whitewashing was about as much of an indication of how much the Packers dominated the Lions as a scoop of white rice tells you how much of the stuff they have in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant.
The Packers committed penalties by the boatload. Their offense mysteriously stalled in the “red zone” when it was a hot knife to the Lions’ butter between the 20s. Yet the Pack was never not in control.
It’s amazing the number of transgressions you can commit in a football game and still never be in danger of losing it, when you’re playing the Lions.
This wasn’t a football game—it was serio-comic performance art, played out in front of 50,000-plus bloodthirsty zealots.
The Lions lost control of this one as soon as Jason Hanson’s toe met the football for the opening kickoff, which was taken all the way back for an apparent touchdown. But the Packers were flagged, as usual, and it appeared as if the Lions dodged a bullet.
Yeah, they dodged a bullet alright—just like Bonnie and Clyde did in their car before being eventually aerated by lead.
It was painfully similar to so many of the Lions games last season, when the folks who were late to the game might as well have been ordered back at the gate by the ushers and the police.
“Nothing to see here, folks. Just move back to your cars and exit quietly.”
It was 14-0 before all the first beers and hot dogs were in the Packers’ fans tummies.
Then the Pack got sloppy and acquired a field goal fetish, making the final score marginally respectable.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was the latest passer to need a drool cup for all the salivating he did while looking over the Lions’ secondary. The Lions’ pass defending corps—which I had foolishly declared on “The Knee Jerks” podcast a few weeks ago was improving steadily—is the “easy” setting in the NFL for opposing QBs, while the rest of the league is categorized as either “moderate,” “tough,” or “expert.”
There weren’t seams in the Lions’ defensive backfield—there were canyons. Watching the other team pass against the Lions is like watching no-contact drills in practice. The Packers’ receivers might as well have been wearing just helmets and shorts.
As bad as it was, you figured that there might be Sundays like this, even in the Jim Schwartz Era. This made the Saints game in Week 1 look good. But what Schwartz and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham inherited could not possibly be fixed in one year. So a stinker like Sunday’s in Green Bay shouldn’t be too terribly shocking.
The idea, of course, is to have far fewer of them in 2009, and even fewer in 2010, and so on.
The Lions were a little banged up—especially on offense with QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson out with injuries, and on the d-line—and that didn’t help. At all. But this is the NFL, and others must step up, not step back.
Lions QB Daunte Culpepper was frightfully ineffective, and the game plan is so much more conservative with him in the game than when Stafford plays. It’s like o-coordinator Scott Linehan doesn’t believe that Culpepper can zing the ball further than 20 yards at a time.
Maybe he can’t.
So take this one and pitch it. Burn the tape, as they say. The Lions will now go into their bye week with the after taste of castor oil in their mouths. For almost two weeks.
The Lions didn’t play football on Sunday—they committed it.
I wonder if they wrapped Lambeau Field in crime scene tape after the game.