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Lions Congregation: Post Playoffs


Thanks to Joshua over at DetFan1979’s Roar of the Lions, SideLion Report is part of what is called the Lions Congregation.

This week’s edition features three questions. The same question(s) go out to a panel of Lions bloggers to get a variety of answers and opinions.

Here are my answers to this week’s questions:

1. While many have questioned various aspects of coaching in the game, how about Jim Schwartz and his non-challenges? Specifically, the egregious spot on 3rd and 11, as well as whether Brees was stopped by forward progress since he pulled the ball back on his own – and fumbled it while doing so to boot. Should he have challenged either or both of these?
Since each team get’s two maybe it would have been worth challenging either of those plays but I think they would have been low percentage challenges. Certain things have a tendency to be overblown in the wake of a loss and I think that is the case here. With the recent challenge history in mind (Green Bay), I can see why Schwartz would want to hold on to the red flag rather than taking a low percentage flier on a play in the middle of the field.

2. How much of an impact do you feel the “inadvertent whistle” negating a fumble return TD was both on the tone and final outcome of the game?
The fan in me hated seeing that opportunity lost as a result of an inadvertent whistle but I don’t believe a fumble return for a touchdown would have changed the outcome of the game. There are just too many things the Lions did poorly that they did have control over to lay much blame on the officials; namely, the defense’s inability to force a punt. The possibility that it would have changed the tone of the game only holds water if one believes the defense could have gotten a few stops and the Lions could have run the ball effectively. There was no evidence in that game to suggest that either would have happened.

3. From J Berger: Who is your 2011 Lions MVP – Stafford, Johnson or Tulloch?
It’s easily Matthew Stafford. Of the three I immediately boil it down to a choice between Stafford and Johnson and decided based on the “V” in MVP. While Megatron was certainly valuable in terms of the success of the offense, it was Stafford who had the noticeable statistical disparity between wins and losses. To me, the definition of “valuable” ultimately comes down to wins and losses and there was no Lion whose performance determined wins and losses more than Matthew Stafford. Considering the Lions won more than they lost, Stafford gets the nod as team MVP.

You can read answers from each panel member on Friday at Roar of the Lions.

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