This weekend illustrated how important it is to have home field advantage in the playoffs with 3 of the 4 games won by the home team. The exception was the Green Bay Packers. Maybe Aaron Rodgers taking 2 weeks off wasn’t such a great idea? As the Lions know all too well, it sure is a short ride when you lose in your first game of the playoffs.
Looking at the 4 teams left in the playoffs, 3 of them are known primarily for their defense. Maybe that slogan of “Defense wins championships” isn’t so antiquated, as this writer foolishly stated just last week. We all know that the offense of the Detroit Lions is feared league-wide but it will take more from the defense before the team is ready to make a big playoff run.
The offense is the calling card of the Leo’s now, but it didn’t do them much good in this seasons last two weeks, when they couldn’t keep up with the pinball numbers the Packers and Saints were running up on them. The defensive backs were pretending to be like toll booth operators. The Lions tacklers acted like the running backs were covered in baby oil and the D-line couldn’t get close enough to the quarterbacks to tell if they needed to shower or not.
Mr. Mayhew has some retooling to do on the defense this off season. Other than maybe a low pick on a running back or lineman, the Lions should concentrate this year’s draft on that defense. I know Mayhew has stated that the Lions will take the best player available but it should be that the Lions will take the best player available that can tackle somebody.
To me, Louis Delmas is the only player that is guaranteed a spot next year in the defensive backfield. Chris Houston deserves another chance, but I wouldn’t mind if the rest were replaced by different players. The Lions are not going to let Cliff Avril get away but my question is, what to do with Kyle Vanden Bosch? He stands to make 7.7 million next year. Is is time for Mr. Red Eyes to move on? With the new salary that Avril is sure to command, and the money that Suh and Fairley get, is that front four too costly considering the so-so results we got from them in the latter part of the year? Can the Lions draft a lineman in the first two rounds and move Avril to the money position, the right end?
I think the biggest void on this team is that sexy, hard hitting, neanderthal of a linebacker in the mold of my favorite Lions player, Chris Spielman. I like Stephan Tulloch in the middle and hope they re-sign him but I am hoping that with their first pick in the draft, the Lions find an outside linebacker that makes the other team worry. Justin Durant was fine but I’m getting a sour taste in my mouth with DeAndre Levy.
That’s right folks, I said the magic word: “Draft”. Yesterday was the deadline that college players can declare themselves eligible for the draft and the Lions are done playing so it is officially draft season. It’s going to be different this year. The players the Lions draft MIGHT actually be playing in the Super Bowl as rookies.