D’Andre Swift has been a shining star when called upon. Hopefully, the Lions can match his potential for his sake.
The Detroit Lions are in the playoff hunt after another thrilling ‘try to give away the game’ finish against Washington when Matt Prater saved them. Not to be overlooked were the contributions of rookie runner D’Andre Swift and Matthew Stafford.
Meanwhile, the defense continued to be pathetic in the second half and fourth quarter especially. Everyone on the defense deserves to share the credit for how poorly they executed, but ultimately the biggest losers were Matt Patricia and Cory Undlin for how they called the defense.
Even with a 21 point advantage halfway through the third quarter, you don’t stop being aggressive. The fact that the Lions stopped mixing up their coverages and just went to straight zone coverage in a ‘take time off the clock’ form of prevent defense almost prevented them from winning the game.
The defense actually was a little better on Washington’s final drive when Detroit started to get aggressive again and quite frankly the penalty on Desmond Trufant was a terrible call to keep Washington’s hopes alive.
But it shouldn’t have gotten to that point. The Lions have already proven they aren’t a very good zone coverage team, part of that is because of the play of the linebackers since Jaime Collins is the only one who has any coverage skills, but they have a better chance of getting away with it when they mix their coverages and get some help from the pass-rush.
So the Lions did win by the skin of their teeth and are technically in the playoff race, but is this a playoff team? I realize that if a team finds their way into the postseason they have nothing to apologize for, but if the end game is a playoff humiliation that shows a pretender to be just that, then nothing was gained.
These Lions simply aren’t good enough defensively for the playoff grind. Yet even as the defense once again showed the whole world how easily they can give up points in bunches a new Motor City star may have been born.