Sep 21, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) center Dominic Raiola (51) and guard Rob Sims (67) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
The Offensive Line
I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but the offensive line had yet another rough game. The offensive line failed to open up any holes for the run game, and when they did, Bush and Bell didn’t seem to burst through them.
In terms of protecting Stafford, the offensive line seemed to have mental lapses at the worst possible moments which led to a couple of sacks. The worst came from a four-man rush by the Saints, where their defensive tackle ran right by Warford who completely missed his assignment and left Stafford out to dry on a third down.
Matthew Stafford has often been off target, but if you can get both hands on the ball, then you HAVE to make that catch. Today’s game was especially bad in terms of drops, and there were a few that were crucial today. Two came in the same drive where Joique Bell and Reggie Bush dropped back to back passes which led to a Sam Martin punt.
With the First Pick
The most important drop was courtesy of Jordan Thompson that nearly put the game out of reach.
The Lions were threatening in the Saints’ red zone and Stafford put a pass right in Thompson’s hands who let the ball slip right into the defender’s lap for an easy interception.
Now I know it’s pretty lame to put blame on the offensive play calling especially after a win, but I was pretty annoyed with how the Lions managed the end of the game. While down by 13 points, the Lions threw the ball every down on their drive ending with Tate’s touchdown reception, and everything was fine.
But when the Lions continued to run the ball down by six points I was pretty confused. Yes, they started with a little over three minutes and you want to score and give the Saints as little time remaining as possible. But you have to make scoring a touchdown the number one priority.
The Lions couldn’t get their rushing attack going all game long, and you’re essentially giving your offense just two plays to score if you’re running the ball on first and second down late in the game.
Drew Brees still had a little under two minutes to put his team in field goal range, which is plenty of time for any NFL QB to get the job done. Luckily, the defense came up huge and didn’t give them that opportunity.
I don’t normally like to slam an officiating crew, but other than the late fourth quarter comeback, this game was brutal to watch. There were 21 total penalties called today, and many were blatantly awful calls on both sides. Most notably, Tahir Whitehead was basically given a personal foul for trying standing up with a Saints player standing over him.
Jason Jones, anyone playing nickelback or Nickelback, Jordan Thompson, Reggie Bush