I think this was the first truly “Lions” game of the year. A game where both teams wanted to lose the game through poor play and blunders and the Lions out lost the Steelers in the end. There are a lot of moments where you can point to where the game went on the skids. The 97-yard touchdown on 3rd and 9, the inability to convert on 7 plays inside the 10-yard line, or even when Golden Tate inexplicably dropped the ball after a long reception. But, the real moment when this game was lost was in the 3rd quarter, the Lions had the ball 2nd and goal from the Half Yard line and they couldn’t punch it in. I’ve noticed this trend around the league so I must pose the question here, is the QB sneak illegal? I saw a stat today that the Lions are 4-12 on 3/4th and 1 situations. That’s absolutely sickening. So, ignore the fact that the Lions lost a yard and had an incompletion on 2nd and 3rd down. Now, with the score being 13-12 Steelers, the Lions elect to go for it on 4th down. I will acknowledge that it is tough to not go for it at that point in time but, one thing that my father emphasized while I was watching football growing up was, “Always take the points when you can get them”. When you pass on points in the NFL, you always end up chasing them in the end and that is exactly what happened to the Lions on Sunday night. Had they kicked that field goal in the 3rd quarter, they would have only needed 3 points to win the game and the Lions were in Prater territory for, what seemed like, most of the 4th quarter. Folks, I can’t be eating this poorly and have the Lions be this bad at the same time. One of those things will have to change or there may be an abrupt end to the “Down The Field” recaps. And, since I am baking a huge batch of chili while writing this article, lets hope, for both our sakes that the Lions play really picks up.
Dalton’s Joke of the Day:
How are the Lions and I alike? We both cant score in the red zone!
- Not-Red-Zone Offense: Outside of the Red Zone, the Lions moved the ball very well. I’ll talk more about the offensive woes later. That right there is an old journalist’s trick to keep people reading.
- Darius Slay: He absolutely locked up Antonio Brown for the entire game (5 rec/70 yrds). What few receptions he had, he was tackled immediately. The defense played a good game but Slay needs special recognition.
- Defense: Besides the lapse on the 97-yard touchdown, the defense played a very solid game. Yea, they caught a few lucky breaks with some drops from the Steelers WRs but
- Matt Prater: Made all his kicks and for a while he was in Rob Bironas territory for most field goals made in a game (8).
- Defensive Line: No sacks and minimal pressure on Big Ben (too lazy to look up how to spell his last name by here is my best try) Roethlisberger. Cant drop them into the ugly though because they did a good job with the run game and was part of a defense that really only gave up one big play.
- Sam Martin: Shanked a punt horrendously. That will get ya put in the “Bad”. But it was his first week back and besides that one punt, did a nice job with punting and kick off duties.
- Coaching: TAKE THE DAMN POINTS. I cannot stress how much it pisses me off when teams I root for leave points on the field. One of my biggest pet peeves in football/life. Not taking that field goal came back to haunt us in the 4th. Also, how do we not have a play to score from inside the 10-yard line?
- Red-Zone Offense: What a lead in from the last bullet point. This is some of the worst execution in the red zone I’ve ever seen and I’ve been watching Michigan football where our only red zone plays are fade routes and run over left tackle.
Silver lining, because what kind of a Lions fan would I be if I weren’t hopefully optimistic and pessimistic at the same time, the schedule gets a lot easier. I can wait to write the week 12 recap and I am 1000% back in on the Lions, only to end in heartbreak.
P.S. I decided to add in some Halloween flavor to this blog, that’s why I held it off till Tuesday. I decided to do a deep dive on Bobby “Boris” Pickett, the creator of the “Monster Mash”. While looking at his discography, this man only made Halloween themed singles. What a lucrative career! He passed away a few years ago, but he died with $1.2 million in the bank. This mans slick a millionaire off of one famous Halloween song. I guess it kind of makes sense? He kind of cornered the market on Halloween music. Everyone is out here trying to get in on the Christmas music scene, but Ole Boris is going 150 mph in his own lane. RIPIP Bobby Pickett. For your listening pleasure, here is THE Monster Mash, smash that play/replay button all day: