DTF: WEEK 9

BY: DALTON

I hate to admit when I’m wrong, but I was wrong. Giving Matthew Stafford that money was the wrong move. He has yet to show me what Bob Quinn supposedly saw in him over his previous 8 years in the league. Last night, Stafford put up one of the all time stinker performances in NFL history, nay, sports history. He was 26/33, 2 tds, 0 int, 361 yrds, and a passer rating of 132.4. Please excuse me while I go puke into a bag that was already filled with my shattered hopes and/or dreams for this team. Seven incompletions folks, SEVEN. If Stafford doesn’t come out and explain himself today for those 7 incomplete passes then I would have no problem if the Lions flat out cut him today. Also, saw a stat that last night Stafford had the second highest passer rating of a visiting qb in Lambeau Field. If Stafford was “good” why didn’t he have the number one rating? Need the Stafford supporters to answer that one. They cant! In fact, he’s been trash this whole season. He’s averaging 276 passing yards at a 62% completion rate per game and has a 3.5/1 touchdown to interception ratio. Garbage can emojis for days. Also, the 6th fastest player to reach 200 career passing touchdowns. What other bums are on that list? Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady. Exactly what I thought, is that a record list or the list of starting qbs in Cleveland. Would hate to be in that company. Also, I have to add that Stafford did this against a defense that doesn’t have Aaron Rodgers. Pretty much throwing against second graders, if you ask me. So while the blindly faithful will continue to push the narrative that Stafford is, in fact, a good quarterback, I will not buy into these crackpot theories. Now, I am going to throw on my finest Hill/Stanton/Culpepper/Orlovsky/Kitna/Garcia/Harrington/Batch/Detmer/McMahon/Frerotte/Mitchell/ Krieg/Peete/Kramer/Ware/Hipple jersey and comment on the Internet about how Matthew Stafford is actually a bottom 5 qb in the NFL.

 

The Good

  • Matthew Stafford: Just read the opposite of everything written above
  • Coaching: Give credit to this coaching staff for coming out with a definitive game plan to go out and beat a Packers team without Rodgers. The Lions came out and played with poise and urgency, knowing full well that the season was on the line. The team also played a very clean game, unlike the week before and I cant help but credit Caldwell for the change in discipline.
  • Darius Slay: You just don’t pass at the guy. He probably got away with a few PIs but that’s what elite corners do, they get calls. Nice to see him finally reach the ranks of the Seattle secondary.
  • Brian Mihalik: The whole offensive line looked good in pass protection but special shout out to Mihalik who played quite well for a 3rd string LT. The coaching staff may think about giving Decker an extra week to prepare considering that Mihalik played well and that the Browns are coming to town next week.

 

The Bad

  • Opening drive defense: Yes, they blocked the field goal attempt but it seems like every teams first drive ends with some type of points. Really the only beef I had with the Lions defense on Monday night.

 

The Ugly

  • Red Zone Offense: Once again, very bad. Abdullah finally got a carry in the RZ and scored and everyone thought it was the answer. We learned within the game that it is not the answer. Honestly, I think our line just sucks at power blocking (evidence: Run Game). So when it gets down to the goal line, the Lions need to get creative. Now, I am still a fan of the qb sneak from inside the 1-yard line, but inside the 5, the Lions should spread it out. They just line up in power formations and run the ball right at the teeth of the defense, which is fine if you have that type of team, but the Lions do not. Spread out the defense and if you want to run it then fine, but just show a little more imagination with your plays instead of running inside the tackles 3 straight times for -1 yard.
  • Ameer Abdullah: Cant have fumbles.
  • Sam Martin: Had exactly ZERO punting yards on the day.

 

 

P.S. Last night just furthered my father’s theory more that refs bet on games. With the game out of hand, the refs called a PI in the end zone giving the Packers one untimed play from the 1-yard line. The Packers scored a touchdown making the combined score 47. The over/under was set at 42.5 points. It would be different if it was either a close game or it was an egregious PI but it was neither, leaving only one plausible explanation.

Down The Field: Week 8

BY: DALTON

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!

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 6.55.18 PM.png

The Good:

  • 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).

The Bad:

  • 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.

The Ugly:

  • 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:

Friday Football Preview 10/27

Michigan State @ Northwestern, 3:30 pm, ESPN: MSU sits atop the Big Ten East and look to stay there this week. Sparty is finding ways to win football games with young players and I think most people will say the start to this year has been a surprise. This week they should win over the Wildcats, but don’t expect a blowout. NW seems to play with some pride at home. Sparty has better talent and better coached but playing on the road is always tougher than playing at home (duh). Only way MSU loses this one is if they shoot themselves in the foot with multiple turn overs. PREDICTION: MSU 24- NW 10

 

Rutgers @ Michigan, 12 noon, BTN: Well, here we are folks, the battle for 4th place in the Big Ten East. Jesus christ, just win this game Michigan. For my and my father’s health. Michigan should come out and play with a little bit of pride after being spanked last week against Penn State. If you’re a gambler, take Rutgers +24. I think Michigan wins, but they certainly won’t put up 24 points. PREDICTION: UM 17- Rutgers 7

 

Pittsburgh @ Detroit, 8:30 pm, NBC: Caldwell is 15-8 for the rest of the season after bye weeks. The Lions are getting healthy, but without Decker, that offensive line remains suspect. The Steelers are soft against the run and #1 against the pass. The Lions could get something going on the ground and Im going to go ahead and say that Abdullah hits the 100 yard mark this week. I have a sneaky feeling that the Lions are going to sell out on the run defensively so a lot of pressure will be put on the secondary, specifically Slay. If the Lions defense can force 1 turnover and not be on the field for more than 30 minutes, the Lions win this game. I don’t think they can do that though and they are running into a hot Steelers team. PREDICTION: Pittsburgh 24- Detroit 17

Down The Field: Week 6

BY: DALTON

It was a rollercoaster game this week, folks. What is it called? Stafford’s Law? Anything that can go wrong but will lead to an interesting 4th quarter will go wrong? It’s something like that. I’m not sure; I’ve been out of school for a little bit. On a somewhat similar note, if you know someone hiring, I need a job. Back to football. I hated this game. I hated it with every fiber of my being. The Lions came out and played maybe the worst 3 quarters of football I’ve ever seen from them. They were down 35 points towards the end of the 3rd. It was painful. Anyone who watched the entire game up to that point is an idiot, myself included. If you have a resemblance of a life, you should have turned the game off at half time and did something nice. Go play golf or see a movie or fold some clothes, just go do something else. I was watching because I am a self-hating loser and wanted to see how bad it was going to get. Oh boy, was in for a treat. Somewhere between being laughed at by millions of viewers and me tweeting about how we should pull the starters, the vacuum fired up. Its been stored away in some deep dark closet since last year and Satan himself fired it back up and had me sucked in for a second or two. And folks, what a sucking it was (sex joke). With 5 minutes and 99 yards to get a score to tie, I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what type of magic Stafford had in his beaten and bruised body. Second play of that drive a pass was deflected at the line, for the 12th time that day, and caught in the end zone for another defensive score. What little hope I had, was dashed less than 1 minute into the potential tying drive.

 

Games like this are why I hate the Detroit Lions. Play like absolute garbage for most of the game and then turn it on for a furious 10 minutes. If you hooked me up to a heart rate monitor it would look like that of Orenthal James’ during that crazy little case in the 90s. Its Sunday, the Lord’s day, and I’m breaking a sweat just sitting on the couch and stuffing my face with a Hawaiian BBQ Chicken pizza from Dominos. Let me tell you one-thing folks, that’s one damn good pizza too. Everything from the crust to the sauce to the toppings, just a fabulous pizza through and through. And, did you know that Dominos has great everyday offers such as $5.99 each for two or more items on the menu? How about the Piece of the Pie ™ rewards program where every purchase you make puts you one step closer to earning free pizza? Dominos send me free stuff.

 

THE GOOD:

  • Stick-to-it-iveness: That’s about all that was good that came out of this game. The Lions never gave up and that says a lot about the character of this team. I’m not sure it says much about their talent, but, oh boy, they have character in spades

 

THE BAD:

  • Defense: Was the defense in this game good? No, that’s why they are in the bad section. Was the defense in this game ugly? No, that’s why they are in the bad section. In fact, they may be closer to the good section than the bad section. The offense gave up 21 points. That’s right, the Saints scored 21 points via their defense. So take 21 off the board and the fact that the offense was so shitty it gave the Saints a short field a lot of the time. The defense also forced 3 turnovers. Hell, I may just talk myself into moving the defense into the good section. But, they never got pressure when they needed too and in the first half the Saints’ run game could not be stopped. Ted Ginn torched our secondary, in 2017. Just too many bad things happened in this game to see any positives. Shout out to A’Shawn Robinson though, I thought he played really well filling in for Ngata.
  • Special Teams: Agnew had the punt return touchdown that was absolutely electric, but he also muffed the ball that put the Lions’ on the 1-yard line, which led to a tipped ball pick-6. Prater missed a 56-yard field goal. Jeff Locke didn’t punt great either.

 

THE UGLY:

  • Matthew Stafford: First awful game of the new Stafford contract. He couldn’t gain any rhythm, wasn’t making the throws that he usually/needs to makes, and had 12 balls tipped down at the line. How is it possible to get 12 balls knocked down? I’ve never seen anything like it. He threw too many interceptions and had horrible ball security. Matthew needs to have better pocket presence when his offensive line is that bad. I’m not sure how much of it is play calling or if he is hurt, but until someone says something, the blame goes on the QB.
  • Jim Caldwell: Just an absolute joke of a game plan. He was thoroughly out-coached by Sean Payton in the first half. The offense, in close games, is a joke. I know JBC is in charge but Caldwell needs to get on his ass. I respect Caldwell’s calm demeanor but the Lions can’t keep coming out flat like they have been. Come game time, he has to light a fire under their asses.
  • Injuries: Injury Report- Everyone. Bye week couldn’t have came at a better time
  • Me: I’m 23 years old, live in a basement, sleep on an air mattress, use a shampoo made for horses, unemployed, and root for shitty offenses in football. If you have Dalton stock (NYSE: DTN) then I would sell. Its low and it may be a while before it comes back up.

 

 

P.S.- With Halloween around the corner, let me establish that Easter is the KING of candy holidays. I’m not talking about pure mass of candy, that is obviously Halloween, but the specialty candy that comes out is much better at Easter. There are Peeps (a lot of people hate them but I love them), jelly beans (Starburst brand are the best and I wont hear otherwise, and the King of Kings, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg. If you disagree, @ me and I will drag you on twitter. Loser.

DTF: Week 4/Dean Blandino has Egg on His Face

BY:DALTON

What a boring game. It was legit 3 hours of me sitting on the couch, alone, scrolling on twitter while occasionally watching the game. No excitement, ever. This is not the Lions team I have grew on the past season and 3 games. Where was the 4th quarter come back? The late game heroics? Matt Stafford needs to understand that people are there to be entertained! Have you no shame Matthew?

But, in all seriousness folks, this was a good team win for the Lions. They went on the road, against a team that many pundits agreed was playoff bound and got the win. Did Dalvin Cook get hurt midway through the game? Yes, but even before he went out of the game, the defense was looking much better than last week. They somehow keep forcing turnovers and when you pair that with Stafford and the offense not turning the ball over, the Lions will win some football games.

This was probably the least engaged I was in a game for a number of reasons. 1. Wasn’t an exciting game 2.Was battling some mean indigestion from wings and pizza 3.Twitter was randomly popping off on non-NFL stuff and it was just too good to ignore.

 

The Good:

  • Anthony Zettel- The pride of West Branch, Mi. is making a huge impact on the defensive line when they have needed it most. He added 2 sacks to his name on Sunday and the biggest sack of the season on 3rd and Goal from the 3-yard line. For my money, he is the Lions most improved player this season based on production and necessity.
  • Defense- Just causing turnovers and getting stops like it was their job. Banged up on defense, with the injuries to Da…………STOP THE PRESSES

STOP THE DAMN PRESSES

Look at this shit that enemy of the blog Dean Blandino put out:

 

I got to him. He’s so fucking shook its unreal. He says he likes “Vernons” ginger ale. Get the fuck outta here you bum. If you are going to try to extend an olive branch you should at least try to get your names right. We Lions fans are a proud people. Detroit is a blue-collar city that represents the entire state. I don’t have to explain that to Lions fans but I do have to explain it to you. You’re the opposite of blue-collar, but you’re not white-collar. You, you are special Dean. You piss off people of all working back grounds. No one likes you except Jerry Jones and his boy.

I am so far in your damn head. Could you imagine Goodell making an apology video to the Pats? You’ve fucked over the Lions so hard then when the heat comes on, you want to get out of the kitchen. Now, you want to break bread with us. As if the horrible officiating never happened. Why didn’t you make an apology to the entire league? Oh, because you only seem to screw over the Lions.

Good readers of the blog, this not only a win for me, it’s a win for us. In all serious, I feel like I have a legitimate part in this apology. By the way Dean, fuck you’re apology. We say no more. Detroit vs Everybody

 

UPDATE:

Weekend Football Preview

BY: DALTON

Michigan- Bye week

 

Iowa @ Michigan State, 4 pm, FOX: Woof, not a great showing for the boys in green last week. Also, not a great week for the Hawkeyes either. But, it was a tale of two different stories. Michigan State flat out laid an egg on their home field vs ND. The Spartans couldn’t do anything right. Iowa, on the other hand, had a chance at knocking off Big Ten favorite Penn State and did what Iowa football does best, disappoint. Both teams coming off disappointing losses, so it comes down to coaching. Ferentz vs Dantonio, just what everyone wants. Given that State is at home and has the better coach, I’m going to have to give the edge to State. But, I’m picking Iowa because college football is weird and doesn’t make sense. PREDICTION: Iowa 21- MSU 17

 

Lions @ Vikings, 1 pm, FOX: After last weeks tough loss to Atlanta, Detroit is looking to bounce back as they go on the road to take on the Vikings in their first divisional game of the year. I know I keep saying this, but how the Lions play this week will be very telling. The Lions can come out and play with a chip on their shoulder from last week or they can come out and still be lamenting over the loss. Great teams play with a chip on their shoulder. Minnesota is a good team this year. Solid defense and some real weapons at the skills positions. Not going to be an easy test for Detroit. Good news? Case Keenum is due to regress to being Case Keenum after having a stellar week last week against the Bucs. If the defense can force 2 turnovers, the Lions win this game.                      PREDICTION: Lions 27- Vikings 14

Mail Bag 9/28

BY: DALTON

Thank you for all the questions! Lets get into it:

 

Morris from Southfield, Mi: “Do you think the Lion’s secondary has recovered from the trauma of the last time they faced the mighty Case Keenum?”

For all those who don’t remember, Keenum was the QB for the Rams last year and had maybe the best game of that season against the Lions. He threw for 321 yards on 27 for 32 passing attempts and 3 touchdowns. HOF worthy performance. Now to the question, I think the Lions’ secondary was transformed by that performance. Initially they were traumatized: not sleeping, screaming helplessly, etc. But they must have seen a sports therapist over the summer because this unit has been causing turnovers at a high rate (7 on the season) and I expect them to do the same this time around against Keenum and Co.

 

Jake from Grand Rapids, Mi: “Will the Lions be able to stop Dalvin Cook any more than the pitiful run D we had against Atlanta. Jerrod Davis going to be back, hopefully???”

First off, great use of the triple question mark. No injury this year has been more deserving of the triple qm. I did not expect Davis being absent to be so apparent. It seemed like the Falcons’ backfield could get 15 yards whenever they wanted. That being said, I don’t think that Minnesota will have as potent as a running attack because Cook isn’t as fast as Freeman or Coleman and with Davis out the defense looked slow, so a more powerful back plays better into an injured Lions defense. As for Davis, he returned to practice on Wednesday. He is still listed as questionable but I would say he is a little more than 50% chance likely to play.

 

Andrew from Grand Rapids, Mi: “ What do you think the team should do with Ebron? He doesn’t seem to be improving at catching passes when it matters. Cut? Trade? Bench?”

            To correct you Andrew, Ebron hasn’t improved on catching passes at all, whether they matter or not. I am officially done with Ebron. Now is cutting him a good idea? Not really because a team with its window currently open shouldn’t have any dead cap space. Trade? Who wants him? A trade would be ideal, even if it were for a used washing machine ala Ed Monix style. Bench? Benching him isn’t the best option because it takes away a perceived offensive weapon. Even if we fans know he isn’t any good, don’t tell other teams. The best option is probably to just reduce his role. Don’t even give Stafford the option of throwing to him in crunch time. So, a semi-benching.

 

Christian/Mike from around the United States: It was something along the lines of why do the Lions always get screwed?           

Mike proposed that it was due to the spite from some sort of pigskin deity. Christian chalks it up to some poorly thought out rules. I say it’s a combination of both. Not only does it take some very poorly made rules (thanks Dean) but it takes some sort of divine intervention for the Lions to always expose those rules. This is where Caldwell and Martha Firestone-Ford need to speak up. They need to express their frustration with the NFL because until they do, the NFL won’t do anything to address these dumb ass rules.

 

Tom from Deer Run Retirement Facility:” Which Lion do you identify the most with? My thought would be the 2nd tight end or a fullback?”

            If I had to choose one Lion, it would obviously be Greg Robinson. Not really wanted by anyone, consistently performing below expectations that are already low, and only used because the better option physically couldn’t do their job. Thanks for reading Tom!

 

Tim from Prescott, Mi: “What happened to the blog called Double coverage you wrote last year? Did you and the co-author have a falling out?”

            To be blunt, we did. And oh boy, it was messy. Lawyers, court, crying, saying things I wish I could take back. I cant really go into much more with out consulting my legal team. Just want to let the readers out there know that, despite what happened, Tim will always have a position here at joshbobdotcom.com and in my heart.

 

Eli from Cleveland, Oh: “What are the 5 best Pitino fired-related tweets/comments you’ve seen?”

Great question Eli! Really anything that has to with him ejaculating prematurely. There have been a lot of good ones.

DTF: Week 3 Recap

BY: DALTON

I want to say Same Old Lions so, so bad. It was a game the Lions should have won, but fate got in the way. I don’t want say fate though, fate has an implication that something positive will happen. What is the term for “negative” fate? Inevitability? It was inevitable that when the play went into review that not only was the Golden Tate touchdown, with 8 seconds left, getting called back, but some other divine happening was going keep the Lions from winning the game. Divine intervention happened once again. Its name? Dean Blandino. For the new readers, one of my life goals is to be banned by Dean Blandino on twitter. I think he is the most crooked, sly, lie-to-your-face, awful-at-his-job man alive. Back to football, a 10-second run-off was issued because the clock was under 2 minutes and the Lions did not have a time out left. Game over. Go home Detroit fans, thanks for the money! **somewhere in an undisclosed Texas location, Dean Blandino and Rodger Goodell are yucking it up just thinking about how they screwed the Lions again**

 

Before I get into the good, bad, and ugly of the game, let me say this about the 10-second run-off rule. It was applied correctly in this situation, but it is a god-awful rule. It essentially said, the refs messed up the call on the field, the refs corrected the call on the field, and you get screwed. IN WHAT WORLD DOES THAT RULE MAKE SENSE?!?! Once again, this rule will be revised in the offseason because the Lions were the beta test team for the NFL rules committee.

 

THE GOOD

  • Darius Slay and Glover Quinn: They seemed to be the only people on the defense who wanted to make plays. Slay had two interceptions and Quinn had a huge interception return for a touchdown right before halftime. I’m glad to see Big Play Slay shut down Julio Jones, who had 7 receptions for 91 yards, but it was a quiet 91 yards.
  • The Crowd: It sounded l-o-u-d in Ford Field. The crowd did their job and forced multiple offside penalties. Ford Field has a sneaky home field advantage.
  • Matt “DA GAWD” Prater: $$ **ka-ching noise** $$$ **cash register noise** $$$

 

THE BAD

  • Matthew Stafford: He didn’t play horrible, but when Slay intercepted his second pass of the day, he absolutely needed to capitalize and get some type of score. Even if they muster up a field goal on that drive, they win. He played well and showed nice touch on the ball all game, something that he didn’t have earlier in his career.
  • The Defense: Did they only force one punt all day? Yea, but they forced three turnovers and had a score when the Lions needed it most. Couldn’t stop the run and it seemed like Atlanta could get 8-12 yards whenever they needed it. I didn’t think missing Jarrad Davis would have that big of an impact, but apparently it did. The Lions need him to get healthy, quick, if they want to hang around as a contender in the NFC

 

THE UGLY

  • Eric Ebron: I am ready to jump off the Ebron train. I was down to give him every opportunity to succeed. But, what I saw on Sunday afternoon was inexcusable. Multiple drive killing drops in a game that could have boosted organizational confidence to an all-time high. His contract is up this year and I really hope that Bob Quinn just lets him walk because he is officially, a bust.
  • Ziggy Ansah: “Dude, Wheres My Pass Rush?” A Ziggy produced film playing in Detroit every other Sunday.
  • Dean Blandino: I hate you so much.

 

 

This game was a tough one to gauge. The Lions played like absolute trash, yet made enough plays to have a chance in the final seconds. I’m not sure what this says about the Lions team, who have beat the winless Giants and the one win Cardinals. Are they good? Yea. Are they competitive? No doubt. Are they ready to contend in the NFC? Not sure, how they respond to this loss will be very telling of how focused Caldwell has this team.

 

P.S.- So I was helping my dad sell antiques at a swap meet, basically a garage sale, and some dude would not buy a CB antenna for a $1. Literally picked it up, looked at it for like 5 minutes, then asked me if it worked. DUDE, it’s A SINGLE DOLLAR. If you need a CB antenna, take a chance on the $1 gamble. If I needed something that regularly costs $25 and I have a chance to get one that is a 50/50 shot at working for $1, I’m doing that deal every day of the week and twice on Sundays. What an idiot.

Weekend Football Preview

BY: DALTON

Michigan @ Purdue. 4 pm. FOX: First true road game of the year and Michigan will not be going in on a high note. After offensively struggling against both Air Force and Cincinnati, Wilton Speight and company need to get on the right track. I, a self proclaimed Maize & Blue fan, am quite worried about the state of the offense. I’m not sure what the problem is. Well, its two things, the quarterback and the play calling. At first, I thought it was only Wilton. Then, somewhere around halftime of the Air Force game I noticed that Michigan’s plays just kinda suck. Not much creativity or deceptiveness. Purdue on the other hand has become one of the Nation’s favorite “dark horse” teams. They score points, a lot of points. But, luckily for Michigan their defense has the potential to be a top 5 unit in the country. Michigan wins contingent on two things; Ty Isaac is healthy and the defense plays at 75% of what it has this year. PREDICTION: Michigan 21- Purdue 14

Notre Dame @ Michigan State. 8 pm. FOX: I’m not sure if State fans consider this a rivalry game, but this matchup has produced some pretty entertaining football games and I expect this one to follow in suit. As of now, the advantage goes to Michigan State. No one is really sure where these teams fit into the national picture. ND has beat two nobodies but lost at hoe to a mediocre Georgia team. MSU has played one tune-up game then a feisty Western Michigan team and have looked better than expected in both. All signs are pointing to a MSU Victory. Off a bye week, at night, at home, and against a ? ND team. PREDICTION: MSU 28- ND 24

Atlanta @ Detroit. 1 pm. FOX: Huge game for the Lions this week. This will be the toughest game to date and possibly the toughest game of the season. Falcons are coming in after dominating the NFC North foe Packers. A lot variables to watch during this contest. As of 10 am on Friday, Jarrad Davis was still in concussion protocol, but Ameer Abdullah should be healthy. Luckily for the Lions, some of the Falcons defensive line is already ruled out. The Falcons offense is the class of the NFC and Julio Jones will give the Lions’ secondary headaches all day. I’m 0-2 in these predictions so far (thought Lions would be 0-2) and I certainly hope I go 0-3. PREDICTION: Atlanta 31- Detroit 24

 

DTF: Week 2

BY: DALTON

Going to put my hand up on this one, folks. I thought that the Giants would be a much better team than that. I thought with the return of OBJ that their offense would start clicking again. What I didn’t think, was that the Giants offensive line was actually as bad as what people said it was. I just assumed it was some Giants fans bitching about their team and over exaggerating their problems like every other fan base in sports. I also bought into their defense. While the Giants did a nice job getting pressure on Stafford, he did a great job side stepping that pressure and extending plays in a Big Ben-esque manner.

Now that I’ve torn down the Giants and myself lets talk about the Lions. This is a Lions article right? The team looked great, plain and simple. They dominated all phases of the game. After seeing the Giants for two weeks, they are a team that the Lions should beat every time. But, I wont take away credit from a road win, in prime time, against a conference opponent that was desperate.

It has been a weird start to the season, to state things bluntly. The Lions had the awful 1st quarter to start the year, then, for the next 7 quarters they have absolutely dominated their opponent. Even if the Cards and G-Men turn out to be bad teams, good teams dominate bad teams. I know that it is weird to say, but the Lions might actually be good this year. Next week against Atlanta will tell a lot (thankfully its home). But, we will worry about next week, next week. Lets just bathe in a bathtub filled with Honolulu Blue Kool-Aid for the time being.

 

THE GOOD:

  • The Defense- For the second week in a row, I have had to put the entire defense in the Good section. Kept the Giants in check the entire game. The line kept up pressure and the secondary kept OBJ in check. I don’t care if OBJ was coming off of an injury, if they allowed him on the field then the Giants training staff felt he was good enough to make a difference and the Lions completely negated that difference (4 rec, 36 yrds). Have to give special shout-outs to Ziggy Ansah (3 sacks) and Quandre Diggs (huge 4th down stop that practically iced the game).
  • Matt Stafford- Eat your heart out, haters. Ho-Hum, Stafford just went out there and earned that money again. But Dalton, he only had 122 yards of passing. He only threw the ball 6 times in the second half. SIX! He was in control of the offense for the entire game. Didn’t throw any interceptions and kept multiple plays alive with his feet. How is it possible, that in his 9th season in the League he is getting better at scrambling? It doesn’t make sense. 2 games into being the highest paid player in the league and he’s earning every penny of that deal.
  • Special Teams- Prater = Gawd. Jamal Agnew with a dagger 88-yard punt return for a touchdown. Good kick and punt coverage the entire night. An absolutely terrific performance turned in by the Lions’ Special Teams.
  • Run Game- Abdullah rushed for 86 yards on 17 carries and broke off a couple 20+ yarders. The line did a nice job run blocking, particularly Lang and Wagner, and they did a nice job at the end of the game allowing the Lions to just run the clock out.

THE BAD:

  • Jeff Locke- The only down side of the Lions’ Special Teams. I thought he had quite a few opportunities to pin them deep but he was only able to get them between the 15 and 20-yard line. This is really a stretch for bad, but I needed something.

 

THE UGLY:

  • Injuries- As of 5 pm on Tuesday, Caldwell would not let us know if Jarrad Davis is in concussion protocol or not. Losing him would be a huge blow to the linebackers. Not sure what the injury on Abdullah was but hopefully he only tweaked something and they took him out because the game had already been decided. Definitely something to look at through out the week.
  • Greg Robinson- The replacement for Decker is playing like a replacement. I feel for him though. He doesn’t want to do shitty and the Lions were handcuffed on where to get a replacement left tackle. Multiple penalties and getting beat consistently. Luckily for Robinson, Stafford was a wizard with his feet.

 

 

P.S. So, apparently I’m allergic to shellfish now. Was eating with a friend and had some shrimp with my dinner. Didn’t feel anything but noticed I had an allergic reaction on my leg. Thought it might have been a chemical reaction to a Canadian Loonie that was in my pocket. Whole body broke out in hives and I decided to do a little research. Turns out, adults can just randomly develop food allergies. This fucking sucks, I really enjoyed shrimp too.

DTF: WEEK 1

BY: DALTON

Its back folks! Down the Field has returned with a vengeance. What a week one opener, huh? It looked like we were in store for a classic Lions game. They started with an interception on Palmer. “Ok, here we go! Lions look a little different than they did in preseason”. Then on Matt Stafford’s first pass into his new contract, he delivers a strike right to Justin Bethel (Cardinals Cornerback) for a touchdown. “Fuck”. Then the Washington kick return to the 7-yard line. “Oh, come ON! Seriously?” Then our punter did this sill thing where he didn’t punt it and instead of taking the safety and letting our defense try to get the ball back, he decided to take it out the end zone and promptly get injured. “Same Ol’ Lions. Its gonna be a long season!”

Then, I’m not sure what, something happened. The Lions started to make their own luck. The defensive line started to get pressure and forced another interception Stafford marched them down to the 6-yard line , scrambled around, and delivered a strike to Marvin Jones. But, of course, Prater and company botch the extra point. “Ya know, given how the games going, I’ll take 10-6” Defense gets back out there and forces a 3-and-out with 4 minutes to go in the half. Stafford stalls out. They exchange punts and the Lions get the ball back one more time before the half ends. It just so happened though that the Lions have a kicker with a cannon for a leg. Prater good from 58 and the Lions go into the break down only one point. “Hey, they’ve been in that position before. Cardinals are starting to look like the SOL by letting us hang around”

The Cardinals second drive of the second half results in a touchdown, 17-9. “It’s ok, we’ve been here before” Lions get the ball back and punt. “Fuck, again” All of a sudden, A’Shawn Robinson (second year in NFL) forces a fumble and its recovered by Jarrad Davis (rookie). “Bob Quinn guys are starting to make plays!” Stafford hits Theo for a short gain inside the 10-yard line but Theo does Theo things and makes everyone miss as he scampers into the end zone. Lions go for two but don’t get it, 17-15. 4th quarter comes and everyone is thinking the same thing, “Matt Stafford can start to earn his money in week one with another come from behind win”.

Lions get the ball back in the 4th with 14:16 to go and down two. Stafford gets the offense going with the no-huddle and delivers a jump ball to Kenny Golladay for a go-ahead score. “AINT NO HYPE TRAIN LIKE THE GOLLADAY HYPE TRAIN BECAUSE A GOLLADAY HYPE TRAIN DONT STOP!” 21-17. Lions defense gets a 3-and-out and then Stafford delivers maybe the best ball of the day. A 45-yard touchdown strike to a diving Golladay. “Mini-Tron!!!!!!” 28-17. With 4:13 to go in the game and the Lions up 2 scores, it was certainly over. Ford Field was rocking, the beer was flowing like the tributaries of the Mississippi, and dreams of Super Bowl runs were dancing like sugar plums in peoples heads. Then, another dose of pure ecstasy, Miles Killebrew returns an interception 35-yards for a score that pushes the over (48.5) and now theres a little extra money in everyones pocket. The Cardinals get a garbage time score and that was all she wrote. Lions stand strong and get a huge win at home against an Arizona team that many analysts were high on. ON TO THE CRITICISMS!

 

THE GOOD:

  • The Defense- They were dominant in every sense of the word. They forced 4 turnovers and only allowed 45 net rushing yards. They are the main reason that Detroit won the game. If it weren’t for the defense, the game could have snowballed out of reach by the 2nd quarter. The pass rush looked exceptional despite only getting one sack. They were pressuring Palmer all day and force a lot of bad throws which resulted into turn overs. The defensive backfield, including the linebackers, looked good too. I didn’t see or hear Slay’s name much which is the best way to measure a cornerbacks day. If they can play like that on a consistent basis, playoffs shouldn’t be a surprise, they should be expected.
  • Matt Stafford- GTFO for all those people shitting on him after that pick-6. Tate was basically tackled on the play which is why there was no receiver there. Ya know, lets just say that it was Stafford’s fault. Is 29/41 for 292 and 4 touchdowns not good enough for the haters? But, Dalton, he only pads his stats when games are out of reach! Stafford moved the ball consistently all day and dismantled a Cardinals team that was in the NFC Championship game only two years ago. He was dropping dimes all over the field and even his misses weren’t that bad. Pro Football Focus said if you take away drops and other things out a QBs control, Stafford threw for an 89.5% completion rate. Are you still gonna sit there and tell me he wasn’t worth the money? Idiots.
  • Halftime Adjustments- I’m not sure how it happened, but I think that Caldwell out coached Bruce Arians. The 1st quarter was awful, more on that later, but they got into halftime and the Lions absolutely dominated the second half. Give credit to this coaching staff for keeping everyone level headed after a rocky start.
  • Red Zone Efficiency- 3/3. Thats pretty damn good.

THE BAD:

  • The Run Game- Not a great showing for our supposedly “revamped” run game. Only totaling 82 net yards. One thing I noticed though, it seemed like the offense refused to run it over the right side. You would think with upgrading that side of the line, coupled with the speed of Abdullah, they would try the right side a little more. Instead, they kept going between the tackles and on the left side. Not sure if that was a result of game planning or what but keep on eye on where the ball gets ran next week at the Giants.
  • Field Goal Unit- I know Prater boomed in a 58-yarder but you can’t mess-up extra points. Luckily, it didn’t hurt us this game but it definitely could play as a huge factor down the road. I love Prater, but missing PATs will land your unit in the bad section every week.

THE UGLY:

  • 1st Quarter Everything- Maybe one of the worst opening quarters to a season that the Lions have ever had. Pick 6, bad return, botched punt, no offensive movement. For as much credit I gave the coaching staff for their halftime adjustments, I can’t look past how poorly prepared the Lions were to start that game against what appeared to be an inferior team.
  • Punting- Back-up punter tore his ACL and we had Prater punting for us. Not good. Hopefully they sign a solid backup till Martin returns and we don’t have a situation like after Hanson left as our place kicker.
  • 2-Point Conversions- 0/2 on plays from the 2-yard line is not a good stat to have on the record. How do you not have a handful of plays that can get you the 2-points at a 95% success rate?

 

Outside of the 1st quarter it is really hard to get on this team. They played dang near perfect football for 3 quarters and were lucky that the 1st quarter didn’t put them in too big of a hole. While the Giants didnt look good on SNF, playing in New York on a Monday night won’t be easy. Enjoy this high for as long as you can, because it may not make it till Tuesday.

P.S. So after the game, me and my buddy Crespi went to Greektown Casino and was part of the most electric Black Jack table you’ve ever seen. We started calling this one older guy “Coach” and he just loved it. To make a long story short, Coach won about $10,000 that night and I can’t help but feel me and Crespi helped some how. So this blog is dedicated to you Coach.

Weekend Football Preview

BY: DALTON

Cincinnati @ # 8 Michigan, 12 pm EST, ABC:  There isn’t a whole lot to say about the game. This should be a cupcake contest for the Wolverines. After a big win against Florida, they can rest easy for the next few weeks. Expect the play calling to be conservative for a couple of reasons. The biggest reason would be to put more confidence into Speight and to not tip their cap to future opponents. Expect a lot of carries from Higdon and Isaac while Evans protects himself from potential injury. The most important thing for Michigan here is to get out of here healthy. Prediction: UM 35-7

Western Michigan @ Michigan State, 3:30 pm EST, BTN: The Spartans can’t share the same luxury as their rivals in Ann Arbor. Western comes in after a nice 3 1/2 quarters against USC in Pasadena. While State struggled at times vs Bowling Green their defense played very well in the second half and Lewerke seems to have a nice early season report with his receivers. To be clear, MSU is the superior team in this matchup. Western is still solid behind Bellamy and Bogan but they certainly aren’t the NYE Bowl Game team that they were last year. State wins this game by two scores unless they continue their turn the ball over. If they do, it could be a long game, week, season for the Sparty faithful. Prediction: MSU 27-17

Arizona @ Detroit: 1 pm EST, FOX: I dont want to make a mountain out of a mole hill for a week one game but if the Lions have a good showing, win or lose, it will be a fun season to watch at the very least. The Cardinals offense is based solely off of David Johnson, as it should be. He’s a beast, AN ANIMAL, and will be tough for the Lions to contain. Especially considering they don’t really have any linebackers. If the Lions can keep Johnson around 100 yards and 1 td, they can win this game. Palmer isn’t the same QB he was 2 years ago and can’t fling it around the yard like Paul Crewe in prison. The Lions offense is good enough to score on the Cardinals’ defense because of weapons like Tate, Jones, and a healthy Abdullah. This will be a battle won in the trenches and I feel who ever can get the most production on the ground will win. Also, I don’t have it in my heart to pick against the Lions in the home opener. Prediction: Lions 28-24