Jim Schwartz Shouldn't Shoulder All the Blame in Loss to Jets

If you’re a Lions fan like me you probably had a punched-in-the-gut feeling following the Lions’ overtime loss to the New York Jets. I can only imagine what it must have felt like for head coach Jim Schwartz.

Schwartz said all the right things in his post game press conference and was quite clear to shoulder the blame for the Lions’ inability to put the game away. Admirable, but unnecessary.

You can question the decision to put Ndamukong Suh in to kick what turned out to be an important extra point but it is actually a scenario they were prepared for. Rather than letting the failure rest with Suh, Schwartz says he erred in not calling a timeout to let Suh better prepare for what he was about to do. Maybe, but I doubt that had much impact on the missed attempt.

Fans will question the decision to call a pass play on a critical third down when the Lions needed to run out the clock. Schwartz once again put the blame on himself by not making it perfectly clear that it was ok to lose yardage on the play. Stanton having not received the message and not thought the scenario through in his head let a pass go that went incomplete. Rather than ticking off another 40 seconds the clock stood painfully still. Schwartz’s fault? He might try to take the blame but I’ll lay that one on Drew Stanton. Part of being a professional football player is having a certain level of game-sense to do the smart thing whether you were reminded of it or not.

In the end, Schwartz’s handling of the media will probably go a long way with his players. Rather than point the finger or blame the loss on bad luck he took the responsibility on himself. Players tend to play hard for coaches that have their back and Schwartz publicly showed his team that he has their back, it is one decision for which he deserves credit.

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Tags: Detroit Lions Drew Stanton Jim Schwartz Ndamukong Suh New York Jets

  • Ross Z

    3 things –

    1st – did Suh do some kicking in college? I was watching the game on TV and they were showing a replay during the PAT. I heard what I thought were ‘boo’s from the live sound feed, and figured “the stupid refs probably decided there was an obscure block that they should call”, but then was left speechless as they quickly cut back to live and Suh was lining up to attempt the point after. I’m guessing there’s more to it than “hey everyone loves Suh, let’s give him a shot at it just for fun”.

    2nd – I realize the Lions probably needed to win this game in regulation in order to have a shot. With Stafford and Hill both injured, we didn’t really have a snowball’s chance at winning in OT. That being said, the NFL’s OT rules are absolutely and completely fall down stupid. If you’re a a team that plays a shootout style game verses and get in the trenches and never let them in the end zone style game, then the OT rules put you at a great disadvantage.

    Finally – I can’t help but question Stafford’s future somewhat after this game. Every time he goes down I have to hold my breath and hope he gets up without holding a shoulder. He’s played less than 3 full games now and we’re 8 games into the season. There’s no doubt that the Lions are at their best when he’s in, but he’s in his second season and already looks ridiculously fragile.

    • http://sidelionreport.com/ Zac Snyder

      1. Suh is really their backup kicker. I doubt he ever kicked in a game situation in college but I do not know for sure, perhaps in high school. It may seem odd on the surface but he does have a soccer background.

      2. Agree, I gave the Lions about a zero percent chance to win once the game hit overtime.

      3/Finally. If Stafford finishes that game we’re talking about a Lions win and that he outplayed Sanchez. You can still say he played better than Sanchez but that becomes superfluous if Matt can’t stay on the field.

  • Mike

    He is a legit kicker. In training camp he kicked a 30 yarder to end practice and make the offense run sprints.

    and also this is a quote from schwartz

    “Ndamukong is our backup field goal kicker; he’s done it in practice. You guys have been to practice before and seen him do it. We have a lot of confidence that he could kick it. It put him in a difficult situation because he went out without any warm-ups.

    “I probably should have called a timeout and given him time to get ready.”

    He is a very capable kicker and was the kicker on his high school team.