Lions Free Agency Day 1 Grades

BY: DALTON

What an amazing first day for the Lions in free agency! It seemed like it was one after another after another after another. Schefty and Rappaport were BIZZY with the Lions news in the early afternoon. While free agent signings don’t win games in January, it sure is a lot of fun in March. This effects their draft strategy immensely, but lets worry about that later. Lets talk about the Lions winning the first day of free agency.

Danny Amendola

Contract: 1 year/ $4.25 million base + $1.5 million in incentives

Thoughts:

This was the first deal of the day for both the Lions and the NFL. While Amendola isn’t the same player he was in New England, the Lions are still getting a solid slot receiver and veteran. Did they pay a little more than they should have for a year of 33-year old Danny Amendola? Yea, probably. But if he hits all his marks and earns that extra $1.5 million, he will be worth it. This is obviously just a stop gap solution for a looming problem, but the Lions could certainly have done worse. He will fill the Golden Tate role of being a chain-mover and Stafford’s safety blanket.

Grade: B-

Justin Coleman

Contract: 4 years/ $36 million

Thoughts:

When this move came across the twitter feed, I think I heard a collective “Huh?” from the Lions faithful. After doing a little research, like the hardcore journalist I am, this move is a strong one. I was puzzled to learn that the Lions cut Nevin Lawson. I thought he was an average corner for most of the year. But, Bob Quinn went out and got the best nickle corner on the market while also paying him like it. Coleman is the highest ever paid nickle corner, but in today’s NFL the nickle scheme is being used more and more often. To be able to have the best one is a huge plus for this defense. Did they over pay? Yes. But I feel like Detroit has to overpay for these types of things. The best part of this deal? The fact that he is only 24 years old. We will have him locked up through the prime of his career.

Grade: B+

Trey Flowers

Contract: 5 years/ $85(?) million

Thoughts:

The crown jewel of this years free agency. As I was doing my research on the Coleman deal, my phone started to get flooded with updates from twitter, group chats, and individual texts. I was pretty taken aback. I knew the Lions were in the running but last I heard was that Flowers wanted to go play down in Miami with Brian Flores. I was very surprised and very excited. While the exact numbers of the deal haven’t been announced yet, it is strongly rumored to be in the $17 million/year range. It is a hefty price, but when you consider the Lions were paying Ansah that same price last season, it isn’t that hard of a deal to stomach. My favorite part of the deal, much like the Coleman deal, is that we will have one of the best players at their position locked up through their prime. The price tag may look high, but I think Flowers will be worth every penny.

Grade: A+

Jesse James

Contract: ???/???

Thoughts:

Since we don’t know any of the contract details yet, it is kinda tough to give this deal a true grade. But, just based off player skill and need, this isn’t a home run but it is a bases-clearing triple (hell yea, cross sport reference). The Lions had a glaring deficiency at tight end last season and Jesse James was the best TE on the market this year. He can block well and is someone a defense has to pay attention to in the passing game. I’m assuming they over-payed for him because that is the way the free agency has been going thus far, hopefully they didn’t over-pay too badly for him though. This also should take Hockenson off the board for the 8th pick in the upcoming draft.

Grade: B, for now

UPDATE: Jesse James deal is being reported at 4 years/ $25 million. Above average pay for an above average player. Changing my grade to a B+.

I’m Ready for Charlie Weis

BY: DALTON

I’m sure that by now, you know that Jim Bob Cooter was not brought back as the offensive coordinator for the Lions. What a weird tenure as OC he had, right? When Lombardi was fired, JBC was a breath of fresh air. Then, he absolutely lit it up the next season. His second full season as OC was alright. In his third and most recent season, he was awful. It was certainly time for change. Obviously, injuries and scheme changes played a big factor in what/how JBC called a game, but it was clear that he cant work in the Patricia system. I know JBC is highly thought of through out the league and I can guarantee he will have another OC job by 2021.

There are a lot of names out there to fill in the Lions OC vacancy. Adam Gase is the ideal hire but I HIGHLY doubt the Lions will be able to get him. He is already getting interviews for head coaching positions and should get one considering how many positions are open. The only way I see Gase coming to Detroit is if he thinks to himself that he cant succeed at the OC. Even then its a long shot because, after the year Stafford had, there area few more enticing OC jobs available. There are a few other names in the mix, a few Rams assistants, an in-house name, and a couple retreads. All of those names are irrelevant.

The next Offensive Coordinator for the Lions is going to be Charlie Weis. It just seems too perfect with all of his connections to Patricia and Quinn. It also seems like a very Lions thing to hire a coach who hasnt coached football in 5 years and coached in the NFL in 9. Do I think Weis is the right move? Not at all. Will I be intrigued to see ol’ Chucky Dub back on the sidelines? You betcha. The man is a character in every sense of the word. From being huge to having a parrot that attacks his house guests, the man is football guy through and through. I really don’t think a Charlie Weis hire will help the Lions but considering how poorly Patricia’s first year went, I’m not sold that the Lions are set up for future success. Again, I dont want the Lions to hire Weis, I’m just ready for it.

The Lions Have Quit & So Have I

BY: DALTON

This year’s Lions team is absolutely pathetic. I have never seen such a lack of effort in a game. I don’t know if it’s just me getting older or if the Lions have finally done it, but a wave of calmness and disgust washed over me today. Now, now I can clearly see. I can see that the Lions will never win. I really shouldn’t waste my Sundays anymore watching these perennial losers. If they don’t want to play on Sunday, I shouldn’t watch. Am I saying that I’ll never watch again? Of course not, I’m hooked for life. But as for this season, I will no longer plan my Sundays around watching the Lions. If someone comes to me with plans for Sunday afternoon, I’ll take them. Literally, anything is better than watching this team right now. Stafford has played like shit this season, the playcalling has been awful, the defense can’t stop anyone, and the special teams might as well be playing no arms or legs. I feel like the end of the Jim Bob Cooter era is coming to a close. This offense stinks to high heaven. I just don’t understand how there can be such little creativity despite having playmakers littered across the offense. I would probably say that Jim Bob gets fired after this season. It’s inexcusable how bad this side of the ball has been.  I really don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said on this blog or any respectable news outlet. I’m just done. Fed up. Sick of it. Whatever phrase you can think of, apply it.

The Lions, of course, made a little push back in the second half. But, it is not going to fool me. This is a bad team that has seemingly quit on the season. I usually try to write around 500 words for a game recap but you can only write “This team fucking sucks” so many different ways/times. So, until the Lions decide they want to play for 60 minutes, I will not be writing 500 words. If you want more content from me, don’t yell at me, yell at the Lions. This is their fault.

Friday Football Preview

By: DALTON

Ohio State @ Michigan State, Noon, FOX: This is my biggest upset alert for any team ranked in the top 25. Michigan State is getting healthier and at home. Now, the Buckeyes are still going to be the favorite but this is clearly Urban’s worst team at Ohio State. They struggled with a trash Nebraska team. If Dantionio actually wants to put together an offensive game plan, then the Spartans should be in it right to the end. When an underdog hangs around in a game, they usually can find a way to pull off the upset, especially at home. OSU’s season is over at about 3:30 pm. PREDICTION: OSU 21- MSU 24

 

Michigan @ Rutgers, 3:30 PM, BTN: The fact that the line on this game is only Michigan -39 is all the motivation this years Wolverines should need. The only thinking on this game I have to do is will Rutgers have more yards than Michigan has points? PREDICTION: UM 62- RU 0

 

Lions @ Bears, 1:00 PM, FOX: With the Lions looking like absolute garbage against a good pass rush last week in Minnesota, they dont inspire much hope going into Chicago going against an even better pass rush. Now T.J. Lang is officially out so I dislike their chances of stopping Khalil Mack even more. Slay was also announced as OUT for Sunday so the defense is going to be down one of their top play makers. The good news for the Lions? The Bears offense can be stopped. The bad news? They have to stop the running game. The Lions can win this game if they can contain and force Trubisky to throw. That and a little bit of protection for Stafford should make for an interesting Sunday. But, dont get your hopes up folks. The Bears defense will be the best one the Lions face this year outside the Rams. Lions fans should just hope that Stafford makes it out of Chicago with the ability to walk. PREDICTION: DET 13- CHI 24

The Season is Over

BY: DALTON

Just 10 days after I wrote that I was going all-in with the Lions this year, they swiftly kicked me in the balls and punted away the season. I am thankful that they did it quickly instead of dragging it out until Week 15. This team, we can now comfortably say, has taken a step back this year and this means Bob Quinn has some questions to answer. You cant fire Caldwell after claiming a 9-7 wasn’t good enough and then hire your buddy from New England and look the way that the Lions have looked. Am I saying that Quinn and Patricia are on the hot seat? Certainly not. BQ still has a pretty solid draft record and this class is looking like his best yet. The Snacks trade is right up there with one of the best in recent Lions’ history. So, Quinn has bought a little bit of cushion on his seat. But, that doesn’t mean he gets a free pass for this season. Make no mistake, he hitched his GM tenure in Detroit on Matt Patricia and so far, the wagon has yet to leave the barn. Now, you could point at Philadelphia and see that Doug Peterson struggled his first year then figured it out his second year once his system was in place. Ya know what? I’ll buy that argument a little bit.  But I don’t remember the Eagles EVER looking as bad as the Lions have this season.

While Patricia has a few more years before his seat gets super hot, Jim Bob Cooter might as well be sitting on magma. What the hell is this offense right now? Unimaginative, predictable, mistake prone, and boring. The offense has scored 23 points in the last two games and only one touchdown. While the Vikings and Seahawks have formidable defenses, that is simply inexcusable. Stafford has returned to his mistake prone ways. The running game is as fickle as Michigan weather. What happened to the extended hand-offs, short passes, and quick routes? The Lions offensive line was absolute garbage on Sunday. When you give up 10 sacks, there is plenty of blame to go around. Most goes on the line, some goes on Stafford, and the rest go on Jim Bob Cooter. While they couldn’t block if their life depended on it, JBC did nothing to help them. Throw some slants or curls or screens. Do SOMETHING to get the ball out of Stafford’s hand quickly. Stafford doesn’t have time and in turn tries to do too much and in turn makes dumb mistakes. Help your team, help yourself Jim Bob.

The defense I actually didn’t think was that poor. Outside of their “once-a-game” huge run they gave up, I thought they did a nice job stopping the run. They got multiple stops in the second half that left a window open for the offense to come in and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Alas, the offense never came. Teez Tabor is, in fact, awful still. Still the 144/144 rated corner in the NFL per PFF and is also the only corner back in the league that is allowing a perfect passer rating when he is targeted. In layman’s terms, the Lions would be better off sticking me out there.

The only way I can end this article without seeming like and angst-y teen who hates his parents is this, I’m happy Michigan football is back in my life. I’m happy that I have a dominant team in my life. I might even just start blogging about them only because the Lions suck beyond belief and Michigan, especially their defense, is amazing beyond belief. So, here’s to the Lions getting a little bit better to still lose but show improvement and to Michigan kicking the ever living shit out of Ohio State.

Friday Football Preview

BY: DALTON

Michigan, BYE: Glad there is a bye to give a week cushion between coming down from MSU and getting focused for Penn State next week.

Purdue @ Michigan State, Noon, ESPN: Michigan State is hurting. Both in terms of personnel and coaching innovation. After getting dominated by Big Brother last week, this week doesn’t get any easier for Dantonio and Company. Purdue may be the hottest team in the entire B1G Ten right now. The offense is firing on every cylinder they have. BUT, they are in a prime “let down” spot. On the road, after a huge upset of Ohio State, against a beat up Spartans team, and possibly looking ahead to next week against Iowa that will have major implications in the B1G Ten West race.  Now, if the Michigan State coaching staff decides to put together an actual game plan, they stand a chance. But, from what I’ve seen this season, it looks as though they keep trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I think this game is going to be much closer than it should be, but Purdue pulls it out in the 4th quarter. PREDICTION: PUR 27- MSU 20

Seattle @ Detroit, 1 p.m., FOX: The big story into this game will be if Damon “Snacks” Harrison will be able to play for the Lions. The recently added run stopper will help bolster the 30th ranked run defense going forward. Today, Matt Patricia said they were trying to get him up to speed with the system. As of now, he will be a game time decision but I would be mildly surprised if he plays. Luckily, the Lions probably wont need him this week. The key to stopping the Seahawks is to stop Russel Wilson’s ability to scramble/improvise. The Lions defense should be able to do so if they remain disciplined up front and the defensive backfield continues to play the way they have been. There are not many offensive threats on this Seattle team outside of Wilson. As for the Lions offense, they should have no problem moving the ball if they remain as balanced as they were last week. These aren’t your Seahawks of 2011-2016. The Legion of Boom is no more and, while they rank 2nd in the NFL in total defense, the only potent offense they have played this year is the Rams. It wont be a cake walk for Stafford and the rest of the offense, but if the running game can stay on track and the offensive line continues to be a top 5 unit, there should be no real issues. PREDICTION: SEA 17- DET 28

The State of the Lions

BY:DALTON

Instead of writing a recap of the absolute beat down of the Packers last week, I decided to wait until the Lions were out of their bye to see where they stand as a team, in the division, and in the NFL. Before I start this thing of an article, let me say that this has been one of the oddest starts to an NFL season that I can remember.

LOOKING BACK:

The first five games of the season were puzzling. They were frustrating, joyous, “Hey, Patricia has this team ready”, and “Same Old Lions” all at the same time. So, we don’t know who they really are. I would say the Lions are probably most like the team that lost in Dallas. Offensively strong, still has Stafford, but the defense will have frustratingly bad lapses this season. Maybe they are good though? Outside of the Jets game, they had a chance to win in San Francisco, even after the bogus defensive holding call brought back an interception return down to the three yard line. They also were ahead late on the road in Dallas before giving up a game-winning field goal. But, this is the reasoning of a Lions fan so this team could be absolute dog shit too. Before the season, I figured the Lions would be 2-3 by the bye week but I did not think the wins would come against the Patriots and Packers.

WHERE THEY ARE NOW:

Capture

The Lions do find themselves in the cellar of the North right now, but it is still a tight race with a lot of season left to play. This team has shown they can put together dominating performances and are already through the toughest part of their schedule. I’m not saying they can make a run at their first NFC North title in 24 years, but I’m also not, not saying that. But, as a Lions fan, I know that the Packers/Vikings tie is going to somehow fuck us over at the end because that’s just what happens.

LOOKING AHEAD:

Capture2.JPG

As I mentioned earlier, the toughest stretch of the Lions schedule is behind them. Looking at this schedule, the Lions should be favored in at least six games (@Dolphins, Seahawks, Panthers, Bears, @Cardinals, @Bills). They could be favored in more or less depending on health/how the rest of the season plays out but if I knew that, I wouldnt be working a 9-5. I’d be living on a yacht somewhere off the coast of the Maldives with my gambling winnings. But, if all things stay relatively similar, the Lions should be looking at an 8-8 finish. Who knows though, maybe they get hot and win a few that they shouldn’t. It is tough to look forward because 1) Any given Sunday and 2) They are the Lions.

DOWN THE FIELD: Week 4

BY: DALTON

In case you didn’t watch, the Lions lost on a last second field goal to the Cowboys. To be completely honest with you loyal readers, this loss didn’t hurt that much. I don’t know if it is because I’ve seen that script play out before, the fact that the game against the Jets sucked all optimism out of the season, or maybe it was a combination of both. It’s taxing being a Lions fan. I could sit here and bitch about how Kerryon Johnson needs more touches, how the defense needs to improve, how we should look to get Golden Tate the ball more, or anything else on the laundry list of problems that plagues the Honolulu Blue and Silver. But, it would basically be a copy and paste of the recaps of week one and week two.

Instead, I’m going to complain about the refs. Now, I’m not saying that the refs were the reason that the Lions lost this game. No sir. The Lions lost this game because of a porous defense and too little offense early on. Let me know if you’ve heard that one before. But that officiating in Dallas was horrible. Again, let me know if you’ve heard that one before. The Lions losing, I can handle. They do it all the time. Its what ever. But, the bullshit calls or lack there of that Dallas gets every *clap* single *clap* time *clap* just pisses me off. Hey NFL, the Cowboys haven’t been good since the 90’s, why do you constantly ensure they have a leg up on the competition at home? Roger, are you scared of Jerry Jones? Its so infuriating to have 3 straight defensive penalties before the Cowboys have their first OF THE GAME. The first Cowboys penalty came in the form of a block in the back that was in the open field and blatantly changed the outcome of the play. But, I guess a penalty happening in plain sight isn’t enough to warrant a flag because there was an obvious hold on the Cowboys’ left tackle on a third and long that was converted into a first and goal. The Boys scored two plays later. You cant sit here and tell me that the Cowboys are an unbelievably disciplined team to where they only commit two penalties the entire game. Its just not possible. Then there was the B.S. unnecessary roughness penalty on the play where Dak slipped and fell. If Dak Prescott continued to play after he slipped and threw a touchdown, there is not a doubt in my mind that they would have counted it. There was no whistle to signal that Prescott was down. There was no clear evidence that he was touched down. It is simply a call that only the Cowboys would get because, heaven forbid, the darlings of the NFL start the season 1-3. But, who gives a fuck if the Lions start 1-3? They’re Detroit, no one gives a shit about them. Whats another season of losing? Well, folks, the NFL is getting tougher and tougher to watch each week. And its not because of politics or talent or the length of a game. It is because the referees are simply lost out there. They have no idea what they are doing and there is no direction in the league office as to how to fix it.

I’m tired of the league playing favorites. So tired that I may be letting Dean Blandino off the hook and turning my attention on to who ever else is in charge. Its just frustrating to know that the Lions already have a tough enough time winning games on their own, let alone against the officials. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, no other fan base knows what Lions fans go through. The Browns are close, but they’ve been a better franchise in the Super Bowl era than the Lions. I hate this team.

DOWN THE FIELD: Week Three

BY: DALTON

What happened on Sunday night in Detroit, can only be described as an anomaly. I’m not sure I’ve ever enjoyed 60 minutes of football quite like I did when watching that game. Was I ever nervous? Oh, absolutely. Who wasn’t nervous after the Stafford interception/Tom Brady touchdown pass? But, for the first time in recent memory, the Lions answered the score. Not just a field goal, either. An actual, real-life touchdown. It was a night where Lions fans walked the thin borderline of exuberance and impending doom. I can’t explain what happened or why it happened, but I do know is that I could have turned the game off at halftime and I wouldn’t have missed much. In a good way. I went to sleep aggressively happy that night. Had the most delightful of dreams, of which I can only really credit the Detroit Lions.

I used to do the good, the bad, and the ugly for these segments but I’m going to try something different. Now introducing the MVP segment:

M: Most. Most rushing yards for a Lions running back since Thanksgiving Day in 2013. Kerryon Johnson has ended the 70 game nightmare of the Lions not having a 100-yard rusher. He finished the game with 101 yards. When he broke the century mark in the fourth quarter, I started screaming for the Lions to just pull him from the game. I was willing to jeopardize the game if it meant the Lions could snap the streak. But seriously, Johnson looks like he has all the tools to be a 1200-yard rusher.

V: Validated. Not only was this win the first win as a head coach for Matt Patricia, it validates that he belongs as one of the select 32 to head a professional football team. The game plan was flawless and a team that looked to be on skids looked as if they were playing against a college team. All this against former mentor Bill Belichick.

P: Promise. What we saw on television was a flare of hope. Hope that this team could be something special…one day. What Lions team are we going to get next week? Who knows. It could be the one we saw week one against the Jets or it could be the dominators of week three. I hope its the latter. Who is this team? Its probably somewhere in the middle, honestly. I know thats not a hot take, but I think its the truth. But dont get it twisted, what this team showed on Sunday night was a higher level of play that they could have under Caldwell.

Friday Football Preview

BY:DALTON

Michigan State Bye: Usually I hate when a bye week comes early in a teams season. But, after a Utah State scare during week one and an upset loss in the late desert to Arizona State, this bye couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for the Spartans. As a Michigan fan, it kills me to say this, but I still think MSU has a good team this year. I can’t explain the slow start this year, but Lewerke is a good quarterback and Dantonio is a good coach so this ship isn’t sunk. They have a lot of figuring out to do on the defensive side of the ball and I expect them to get it done before their tilt against Indiana.

 

SMU Mustangs @ Michigan Wolverines: This is a pretty straightforward preview. As long as the Wolverines don’t choke on their own spit, they should easily role the ‘Stangs. In every facet of the game, Michigan is considered better. Now, an upset is always possible so please don’t screenshot this article and paste it all over social media. PREDICTION: UM 42- SMU 7

 

Detroit Lions @ San Francisco 49ers: The Lions STINK out loud. The defense is porous and the offense is non-existent, not a great combo. The 49ers are a solid squad despite a loss to the Vikings last week. Garrapolo didn’t have a great performance against Minnesota but the defense he plays this week will be a lot easier to toss against so the Jimmy G hype train will get right back on track. Lions can win this game is if they somehow hold San Francisco to 21 points or less. Sadly, that won’t happen. Despite me being in attendance, Lions still lose. PREDICTION: SF 28- DET 17

DOWN THE FIELD: Week One

BY: DALTON

What a roller coaster of a game. By roller coaster, I mean:

Holy fuck what an awful game. Absolutely disgusting, embarrassing, and downright unacceptable. I was willing to give this team a chance after their shit preseason. Hoping, wishing, praying that it was just guys getting reps in different positions. Alas, it was not the case. After a rookie mistake by Sam Darnold, the Lions looked under coached, underprepared, uninspired, and every other word that describes our team as being absolute trash. I hope all the players and coaches remember that on the opening night, at home, in primetime, that by the middle of the fourth quarter the only sounds echoing through the tomb known as Ford Field were” J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets”. It’s the most embarrassing day to be a Lions fan since they lost to the Packers in week 17 of 2008 when they completed the 0-16 season. I cant put into words how disgusted and shocked I am in this game. But, why should I be shocked? Have the Lions ever been anything but a steaming pile of a team that gets horrible QBs paid (Matt Flynn) and the punchline of any NFL joke not involving the Browns? And maybe that’s the worst part. The Lions are a significantly worse franchise than Cleveland and we never get any of the credit. What’s funny? After the opening drive of the second half, it was tied 17-17. I want to say the wheels fell off, but that would imply we had wheels. Or a car. Or a chance.

Let’s start with the offense, I guess. It was absolutely atrocious.  This was the worst Matt Stafford has looked in his entire career. I’m usually a hardcore Stafford defender but there is no excusing that shit show. Four interceptions and I’m not even going to look up the yards or attempts/completions. Not worth my time because Stafford made that game look like it wasn’t worth his. I was hoping that this offense was going to be different than the one last year, and I guess I was right. It was much worse. The offensive line that we bolstered up the past couple of years couldn’t open any holes up and allowed constant pressure. The two new running backs we got this offseason combined for a total of 39 yards. Why the hell would we draft Kerryon Johnson if he doesn’t get any reps until the second quarter? Let me remind everyone that the offense had negative two yards in the first quarter. Jim Bob Cooter took this offense two steps backward. The receivers, outside of Golladay, couldn’t catch a single thing. Multiple opportunities for touchdowns or at least drive-extending catches and the Lions just decided they would be better off to let the ball hit the turf. NEWS FLASH, we aren’t better off not catching balls.

Now for the defense. Have you no pride? Besides getting ran over to the tune of 169 yards, you let a rookie quarterback complete 75% of passes. You guys weren’t even close to stopping them on third down. No pass rush, no run stop, bad tackling, and awful coverage will result in a blow out loss to a team that finished with five wins in the last two seasons. They couldn’t even force Darnold into third and long situations. Matt Patricia is supposed to be a defensive guy and the defense looked worse than the offense, in my opinion. At least the offense showed a little something (Golladay, two-minute drill, first drive of the second half). The defense had absolutely nothing outside of the worst thrown ball in history by Darnold. Ziggy is hurt again and I’m ready to let him walk. A hell of a talent when healthy but I’d rather take a mediocre guy for 16 games than an elite talent for three. Jared Davis looks slower than frozen molasses and he still doesn’t understand that when you shoot the hole and see the ball carrier in the backfield, you have to tackle him. Maybe next year he will get it.

Special teams even sucked eggs. Gave up multiple long punt returns, including a 78-yard touchdown, and missed a couple of field goals. Thing is? I’m not even that mad. These were kind of like “of course they would miss those/give up that return”. Not mad, just disappointed.

After tonight, looking at their schedule through poop-colored glasses, they have a legit chance to start off the season 0-12. But, we’ve been there before. I guess if you have to look for a silver lining, its probably that the Lions have shattered all of our hopes and dreams in the first week so that way the emotional stress of when we lose by 30 points at home in December, it isn’t as bad. I am ashamed of the product that was on the field on national television. It would be awesome if there was a single player or unit or coach that we could blame, but there isn’t. It was everyone involved. I’ll even take some of the blame for believing that this team could be something different. If there is any life lesson that I can learn from the Lions, its that I should never believe in anything and always set the bar so low that if I ever succeed, no one will ever care because they know embarrassing failure is just around the corner. Fuck this team.

P.S. Just learned via Dave Birkett that the loss tonight was the second worse loss for a Lions coach in their first game. SECOND LMAO!!!!!

9/9 MAILBAG​!!!!!!!!

BY: DALTON

Darin, Mt. Pleasant, Mi: “Are you discouraged by a less-than-awesome preseason?”

Well, it certainly was “less-than-awesome”. With a new head coach, it is tough to pass judgment about what we’ve seen in the preseason. You just don’t know if the team doesn’t look great because they are bad or are they just working in players into situations that are uncomfortable to them because of new schemes. This first game against the Jets will be a sign to if it will be a long season or not. If they come out prepared and ready, then this preseason was just a fluke. If not, I don’t want to talk about it.

Zack, Mt. Pleasant, Mi: “Thoughts on the Zettel release?”

It came as a shock to many of the Detroit Lions faithful. My best guess is that he just simply wasn’t a scheme fit. After a great start to the 2017 campaign, he trailed off only having half of a sack for the last seven games of the seasons. I certainly wish him the best of luck with Cleveland.

Dave, Standish, Mi: “Thoughts on the defensive line and a lack of a pass rush”

What a perfect question to follow the Zettel one. Last season the pass rush, or lack thereof, was the biggest issue on the defense. Getting Ziggy Ansah back is going to help a lot and hopefully, the acquisition of Romeo Okawa and Eli Harold will help. To say I’m skeptical would be an optimistic viewpoint to say the least. The Lions will have to get to the quarterback without linebacker help if they want to contain teams to some decent scoring averages.

Will, Oakland, Ca: “Will Kerryon Johnson be a top 10 running back this year? If not how good will he be?”

If Kerryon Johnson is a top ten running back this season, then the Lions rushing attack will make Emmit Smith look like a lost child just wandering lost without a care in the world. In other words, no. Not this season, anyway. How good can he be? I have absolutely no idea. We didn’t get to see much of him in the preseason so his role is still in question for this season but going forward, there is no reason to not think he will be the lead back. I would stay away from him for fantasy purposes.

Blake, Standish, Mi: “Do you see the Lions making the playoffs? If so will they make it over the hump and get their first playoff win since 91?”

Yes, because I’m an optimist. No, because they’re the Lions.

Eli, Baltimore, Md: “What’s the optimal way to watch non-national Lions games from outside of their normal coverage area? Preferably Legal”

Sunday Ticket, and if you don’t want to pay for it, there’s always “totally legal” Reddit streams.

Trent, Auburn Hills, Mi: “How many different pencils will coach put in his ear?”

If we are talking about the game on Monday night, I’ll set the over/under at 1.5 and hammer the under. For the whole season? I’d say a California Redwood’s worth.

Andrew, Grand Rapids, Mi: “As of now what position do you think the Lions need to address in the first round next year? What free agents currently do you think could make an instant impact on our team, if any?”

Going with my gut, I would have to say the Lions will need to address the pass rush via the draft. Obviously, who they draft all depends on who’s available when they draft because the Lions are still a far way away from being able to afford a draft reach. As for free agents, I have faith enough in Bob Quinn that if there was a free agent that could make an instant impact that they would be signed. So, essentially, there isn’t a free agent that would make an instant impact.

Ashton, Fort Myers Beach, Fl: “Do you see the Lions winning more games than the Wolverines?”

Out of all the questions people submitted, this one was probably my favorite. I obviously love both the Wolverines and the Lions. It’s like asking me to pick which child I think will be more successful in life. I simply can’t do it. But, for the sake of the article, I’ll say the Wolverines finish with more wins. Michigan will finish with 10 wins, including a bowl win. The Lions will finish with 9 wins.

Austin, Ann Arbor, Mi: “What is the optimal length of Matt Patricia’s for the Lions to be successful?”

I’m going to assume that the word “beard” is supposed to be in there. If that is the question, it will have to be between Lumberjack and Tom Hanks from Castaway length.

Evan, Ann Arbor, Mi: “Is Matt Stafford a top 31 quarterback in the NFL?”

Not even close. Give me Tebow or give me death.

Danny, Parts Unknown, USA: “Is Ameer Abdullah on the roster by the end of the season? Does Golden Tate resign? Best place to buy jeans?”

Abdullah will be on the roster by the end of the year. It is tough to trade players for equal return in the NFL and given how early in the season the trade deadline is, I would assume the Lions will just keep Ameer on the roster for the sake of special teams/insurance policy. As for Tate, I actually think the Lions get a deal done with him. Not sure why but I think both sides understand the strengths and weaknesses of each. Best place for jeans is either Kohls (when you have a 30% off) or any type of discount retailer. They’re just jeans. No need to get fancy.

Matt, Austin, Tx: “Are we eternally cursed? If not, what would break the curse?”

So, for spring break my senior year we went to New Orleans. On one of the first days we were there, we went into a magic shop. Me, quite inebriated, asked what the only ways to prevent black magic were. Black magic is one of the things I fear most in life. The lovely shop keep gave me the worst possible answer, “You can’t really fend off black magic”. At that point in time, I knew I had to piss really bad and that the Lions will never win a Super Bowl.

 

Ok, I’m a Little Worried

BY: DALTON

After watching the Detroit Lions on Friday night, I’m officially changing my status to “slightly worried”. Going it, I was just chalking up the lackluster second preseason game to being exactly that, the second preseason game. But, after seeing the first half of the Lions vs Bucs, I’m starting to doubt the defense of this team.

While the defense finally got their first sack of the preseason, the pressure was never there consistently or when they needed it. Jarrad Davis missed plenty of tackles in the backfield and the rest of the linebackers had a tough time covering tight ends like they did the year before.

The offense did alright. Alright. They seemed to march down the field alright but stalled out in the red zone a couple of times. Ill attribute that to the offense not wanting to show too much on tape, but there is still cause for concern. The offensive line looked solid and the running game looked like it could be decent to good this year. Which, us Lions fans know, would be an absolutely massive upgrade.

I know its not many words, but there isnt a whole lot to say at this point until the regular season. Also, JAKE RUDOCK!!!!!

DTF: Preseason Week One

BY:DALTON

Its time for the Detroit Lions to start playing football again. With it being that time of the year again, SideLion Report decided to bring in the hired gun. That’s right, a no-name blogger who applied at the link down below. Cant figure out who it is? Its ME! Welp, if I had to guess you’re not here to read about me, so here are three things I’m looking for in the Lions first preseason game against the Oakland (1960-1982, 1995-2019) Raiders:

 

  • Back-Up Quarterback Battle: It will be interesting to see who gets more snaps with the second team in the game. Second year quarterback Jake Rudock or journeyman back-up Matt Cassel. A lot of reports from camp thus far says its been a 50/50 race. I would expect to see Rudock to start out with the second team, because hes the incumbent, but if Cassel out performs him in the glorified scrimmage dont be surprised to see a non-Stafford Matt to lead the second team in the second preseason game.
  • Second Corner Position: All-Pro corner Darius Slay is set as the main corner for the Lions, but his partner is still up in the air. As of now, it seems to be between former Seahawk DeShawn Shead and second year cornerback Nevin Lawson. Shead, a former member of the Legion of Boom, would be my pick for the position that mirrors Slay because of his experience and championship pedigree. Lawson wont go down without a fight though. After a strong second half to the 2017-2018 season, he can solidify his spot as the second corner with an impressive preseason, which starts tomorrow.
  • Kerryon Johnson: The rookie running back is the most anticipated player since the last time the Lions drafted a running back. We all know the woes of the Lions in the run game and it seems that the Lions’ front office also know. Trading up to draft Johnson proves their commitment to give Stafford a little bit of help on the offensive end. Obviously Johnson will get a lot of run during the regular season, so this isnt so much about a running back “battle” as much as it is to see how good/bad the rookie will be.

Lions Training Camp: What to Watch For

BY: DALTON

Lions training camp is this Friday (thank god football is back) and here are 5 things the I am really looking forward to:

  1. Running Back Battles: As of now, I fully expect LeGarrette Blount to be getting most of the first-team reps on day one. The role of Theo Riddick is pretty well cemented as the 3rd down back but that leaves a big question mark for the newest Lion RB, Kerryon Johnson. Will he be used in certain sets? Which sets? Are we not going to see much of Johnson because of Blount/Riddick? Then, in all of this RB mess, there is still Ameer Abdullah. It will be interesting to see these internal battles play out because, I think its safe to say, this is the first time in a while the Lions have had a logjam at running back.
  2. Cornerbacks: We all know Big Play is one of the top corners in the NFL, but who is going to play opposite of him? Will it be, free agent addition, DeShawn Shead or, the second-year player, Teez Tabor? If I had to put some money on it, I would say Shead is going to start out as the starter along with Slay. Tabor showed some promise at the end of last season but Shead is a professional who was an important member in the Legion of Boom out in Seattle.
  3. Kerry Hyder: The defensive line was one of the personnel groups on the Lions last season, but they also didn’t have Hyder the entire season. He suffered a torn Achilles a couple seasons ago and its one of the toughest injuries to come back from because it limits your explosiveness. We see it all the time in the NBA, a sport where explosiveness is considerably more important. If Hyder can return to 80% of what he was in the 2016-2016 campaign, then it is a major upgrade for the defensive front.
  4. How Players React to Patricia: This one is pretty straightforward. A new coaching staff means a new way of practice. You don’t have to be a genius either to recognize that Matt Patricia and Jim Caldwell MIGHT have some different coaching styles. How the players react to a more fiery coach will determine how the season starts and which players (special teams) will earn spots at the bottom of the roster.
  5. Offensive Line: I’m not worried about this group at all, in fact, the only positions I am more confident about are quarterbacks and wide receivers. If this group can just stay healthy through camp and develop a little bit of chemistry then they will be a lot of fun to watch.