Detroit Lions : Fan Questions After Week 4


Oct 5, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell yells at an official during the fourth quarter in a game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

This week’s edition of #AskASideLion was ………interesting. After “swat-gate” or “bat-gate”, whichever term you prefer, I received a large number of questions regarding the officiating or lack thereof. Yes, the refs screwed up. Yes, Caldwell should have at least showed some sort of emotion when the play happened. But believe it or not, there is nothing that can be done. An off-season rule change WILL happen as a result of the play, as it always does when pertaining to the Lions getting the short end of the stick with officiating.

The doom and gloom of the entire scenario was easy to get sucked into. The second guessers were out in full force and the people who love bashing the Lions were in their element. The game in Seattle was not all bad news, but injuries, bad calls, and lack of offense made  the game seem worse than it actually was.

Will firing Joe Lombardi get this offense back on track?Nick G.
The Lions do not have to fire Joe Lombardi in order to get the offense back on track. However, I believe he should be fired. When, as an organization, you are trying to change the culture of your organization, you don’t allow someone to continually perform so poorly.
It is clear to anyone who watches the Lions, that they are much better in the hurry-up. Stafford looks more comfortable. It throws the defense off slightly. Your receivers are able to create better separation. I could continue, but you get the idea.
Lombardi’s biggest problem is scheming. He is playing to the strength of his system rather than the strength of the players. While this can be effective, it has been anything but for the Lions.

Does Jim Caldwell make it past the bye week after the London trip?Nick L.
The Ford’s and Tom Lewand let Marty Morninweg compile a 5-27 record over two seasons. They also let Rod Marinelli gather up a 10-38 record, including the infamous 0-16 season. Why is that important? Well, for two reasons.
For one, Caldwell, in 20 regular season games with the Lions, has a record of 11-9. Coming off the heels of an 11-5 season and earning only the second post-season trip for the organization since 1999, it is hard to see the Lions part ways with Caldwell. The only way that would happen would have to be something off the field.
Like it or not, Caldwell is here for at least the rest of the season and maybe more.

Do you think if the call went against Seattle, they’d be just as mad?Bianca B.
Yes, Seattle would be mad. But their coach Pete Carroll would not only be open and poignant about the call, but would use it for the rest of the season as a rallying cry. An “Us Against the World” type of team bonding if you will.
There is no blueprint to winning. Many coaches have done it in many ways. Carroll is the ultimate cheerleader, while coaches like Belichick and Tom Landry were more like poker face field generals.
I would love to stand here and say that Caldwell handled the situation badly, but if the Lions go on a four game winning streak my comments would look a little silly. In the words of the legendary Al Davis “Just Win Baby!” All is forgiven if you win.

Why is our offense spinning its wheels? Is it O line play or do we blame Stafford? Or is it play calling. I know it can’t be blamed all on one aspect, but which is the primary culprit?Nick D.
The primary culprit is both offensive line play and play calling, with a dash of Matthew Stafford in there.
When Stafford isn’t running for his life, he hasn’t been very accurate. Could it be that his injuries are impeding his throws? Absolutely. But he doesn’t benefit from bad/predictable play calling. He also doesn’t benefit from a zone blocking scheme that his line either doesn’t understand or are not physically capable of doing.
The Lions stocked their line with power/man blocking offensive lineman while running a primarily zone blocking system. In the hurry-up offense, Matthew Stafford is much more effective, and it gives his lineman the benefit of the doubt.
I have said it once, and I will say it again, but this unit misses Dominick Raiola more than anyone had previously thought. So, in a nutshell, I would say that design/play-calling is the biggest downfall of the offense at this time. They have dynamic play makers, yet seem to be neglecting them.

Did the defense play above itself against the Seahawks, or is the Lions defense really that good?Jeff A.
This is a great question. The Lions defense looked awful against San Diego. Many, including myself, gave them somewhat of a pass due to the overwhelming heat on that particular day. Against Minnesota and Denver I saw flashes of the greatness that the defense could bring, but I also saw some glaring weaknesses. The weaknesses appeared to be with the secondary and linebackers and were primarily coverage issues.
However, against Seattle, they looked awesome. The Seahawks only scored one touchdown, in large part due to Russell Wilson making some Madden style spin moves to shed would be tacklers before finding an open receiver. They sacked Russell Wilson six times and forced at total of three fumbles (one of those coming on special teams).
The defense as a whole gave up 13 points on the road to the defending NFC Champions in a hostile environment. You really can’t ask much more of your defense. The injury to Tyrunn Walker will hurt in the long run. Hopefully DeAndre Levy returns soon. Add him to the mix and this defense becomes top 5. This week’s game against a high powered Arizona offense will give the best implication of where this defense is as a unit.

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Next: Detroit Lions Stock Report Week 4

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