The first six games are in the books and the Lions will hit their by week with a 1-5 record. The record itself is disappointing but perhaps even more disappointing is the way they got there.
The injury bug has taken its toll on the team, most notably in the form lost time for quarterback Matthew Stafford and middle linebacker DeAndre Levy. Injuries are part of the game and not something the Lions can not completely control. Their propensity to commit untimely penalties, however, is a different story. The Lions are currently the most penalized team in the league, a tough hill to climb for even the most talented teams.
Take a step back and play the tape in your mind. A disappointing week one loss on a technicality, a comeback attempt that fell short in the home opener, an up and down performance in the defending division champion’s house, a defensive stand short of a chance to tie or win in Wisconsin for the first time since 1991, a blowout win in front of a home crowd, and road loss to tie the franchise’s worst mark of 24 straight. Taking all that into account, how would you grade the Lions heading into the bye week?
NFLmocks.com has updated their team needs for the NFC North. Here is what they had to say about the Lions.
When are the Lions going to catch a break? They were down to their 3rd string QB this weekend after Shaun Hill broke his arm late in the first half. And they were still only a possession away from overtime on the road against a hot defense. Much like the Bears, the Lions have to keep their quarterback from getting injured. Unlike the Bears, if the draft where today the Lions would have the 5th overall pick. There isn’t any value in a weaker offensive line class, but having a top five pick means at chance at a highly ranked player and someone like CB Patrick Peterson would beef up the secondary and special teams considerably. LB Akeem Ayers would also help out a greatly improved front seven, but they need to keep the QB healthy.
While I think it is generally too early to pay much attention to the draft during the season, a bye week might be the best time to take a look ahead since not much else is going on. Last Summer, NFL Mocks put together scouting reports on the two players they mentioned in their Lions team needs, LSU’s Patrick Peterson and UCLA’s Akeem Ayers. Click the player’s name to check them out.