Detroit Lions Stock Report: Week 2

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Stock Down: Joe Lombardi

This is one I struggled with.  On the one hand, I’m the one that coined the term “Coach LINO”, for Lombardi-In-Name-Only.  On the other hand, Joe Lombardi didn’t call a very bad game.  For the most part, the offense was moving downfield.  Stafford was throwing fairly accurate passes despite the increased pressure he faced all game.  The run game was rightly abandoned when it wasn’t working.  Most importantly, the double A gap pressure that killed the team against the Chargers.

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So why is he listed here?  One serious, horrible play call got him in consideration while a review of the game pushed it over the edge for me.  Joe Lombardi’s call to give the ball to Joique Bell on what appeared to be a shotgun counter run for a two point conversion may be the worst play call I’ve ever seen at any level of football.  Bell, by that point, had run for only 2 yards on 4 carries.  He needed two yards to get that conversion.  It removed any chance the Lions had of staging a comeback and there wasn’t any logical reason for that play to have been called.  No excuse for that play.

Outside of that, there were a number of other missteps.  While he improved from the previous week, there were a lot of head scratchers by Lombardi.  On the Matthew Stafford interception for instance, the play was clearly designed with a one read hot route in mind, if it wasn’t the primary first read from the get go, but nobody so much as chipped the defensive end on that side.  Nobody designs a play with that in mind and nobody there to open the passing lane.  Abandoning the run game sucks, and I can understand with the results why Lombardi did so, but it was HOW he did so that irks me.  Going for all the short routes?  Fine.  Failing to account for throwing lanes, dreadful. As bad as it is that Lombardi doesn’t know how to use Calvin Johnson, he has no idea what to do with an offensive line.

Next: Against the Grain