Ryan had all day back there – like 5 seconds – zero pressure. And then we missed tackles and there was absolutely nobody in the middle to make the play. The Falcons clearly did their homework – knowing that we simply can’t defend the middle with our shoddy LB play.
Nicely called and executed drive. Lacy is a beast – he was a smart draft pick by TT. Very good player. That said, I do worry at times about the load he carries (both literally and figuratively). I want Starks to get more action in part because I he offers up a different style that is just another thing for defenses to account for – but also to spell Lacy.
What gives? Where were these passes in previous games? Somehow he can do it when wind chill is -7 – yet can’t do it in ideal conditions at Detroit.
Great way to throw the Falcons off. Not sure why we didn’t do this the last few weeks.
Are you kidding me? What a terrible decision to throw deep there and then NOT go for it on 4th down. That is why coaches lose. I get frustrated watching coaches make decisions like that.
Packers defense looks awful. You’d think that the whole defense (including coaching staff) has been put on such kind of notice, yet we’ve come out flat and the Falcons are just slicing us up.
About a decade ago, you might remember when the Detroit Lions went through one of the worst periods with regard to drafting players, in sports history. In the 2003 draft, with the #2 overall pick, they selected WR Charles Rogers from Michigan State. While I have to admit, the guy was one of college football’s all-time great WRs (he had the records/accolades to justify going early in the draft), as we know now, the decision to take Rogers ended up being a bad one…for a number of reasons. Chief among them were injury issues (2 broken clavicles in his first 2 years – he had a slight build so injury concerns should have been there), attitude and of course eventually, his off-field issues.
But the reason I call this to your attention now is that I just came across a fascinating fact. Do you know who was drafted at #3 in the 2003 draft? Andre Johnson. So, although things might have gone differently with Andre in there (perhaps more positively affecting the team’s fortunes), imagine if the self-sabotaging Lions had remained bad until 2007 – and then still drafted drafted Calvin Johnson. This is a long-winded way of getting around to the idea that Detroit could have had both Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson. Imagine that. While they would have still needed a QB to get them the ball, the fact is, Randy Wright could have come out of retirement to throw the ball to those two. They would be such an undefendable duo that that scenario could have altered recent NFL history…again even with a mediocre QB and even if we are talking about the Lions here.
Read here – safety Jerron McMillan cut today. I can’t defend his play this year because he has not been good. He probably did need to be cut or benched at least. But the timing of this is interesting. As I just told a friend, I feel a bit trapped between feeling like “yes, this team needs to start taking concrete actions to turn this around – enough talk”. And this would qualify certainly as a concrete action. At the same time though, Jerron McMillan is definitely not the biggest problem with this horrible defense. The scheme/strategy/in-game defensive playcalling is far more responsible for the embarrassing defensive performances in recent weeks. And I happen to think the atrocious linebacker play is a major reason we can’t stop anyone. Yet we have no idea what Capers/MM/TT are doing scheme-wise/strategy-wise to adjust. They’ve clearly done nothing of substance since the Bears game.
The whole situation is a mess and I continue to really struggle with the fact that the Bears have managed to win at least 2 of 5 games with a backup (and without their best defensive player in Briggs). The Packers meanwhile, are just 0-4-1. Backup QB Josh McCown is actually outplaying Jay Cutler by a huge margin and Cutler hadn’t had a bad season before his injury. (McCown’s QB rating is 103.) Sure part of all of this is unlucky for the Packers, but clearly Marc Trestman and his staff worked extensively with McCown to bring him up to speed and make sure he was game ready. McCown/Trestman have handled that situation a million times better than how McCarthy and his brood of underperformers have. (And importantly, offense hasn’t been the reason the Bears have lost 3 of 5.)
But I have actually had concerns about TT’s handling of the backup QB position for years now. Yes, I too started to believe that we were OK when we all thought there was some magic in McCarthy’s QB school. But I think there are a lot of us who are realizing that just wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. Who have we produced as a backup that has gone on to do legit things in the NFL? Nobody. I remember back when Brian Brohm was anointed the backup QB. That guy was so terrible it was simply shocking he was even in the NFL (much less that he was drafted in the second round). He was the slowest QB I’ve ever seen…including Dan Marino and Lynn Dickey (at least they could throw). I remember at that time advocating for Duante Culpepper as backup – against every fiber of my being – only because I knew if Rodgers went down we’d have zero chance with Brohm. While I can admit Culpepper may not have been a great answer, Brohm certainly went on to prove he had no game…getting cut by the Packers and then fizzling out quickly in Buffalo. Bottom line is that this whole situation reminds me of a company that has no contingency plan/no disaster plan – and perhaps most concerning, a very limited ability to make adjustments to right the ship. It’s just not good business.
Ugh. According to ESPN here, he is getting the first team reps this week with Rodgers not expected to play (though apparently that hasn’t been determined conclusively just yet). While I can freely admit McCarthy doesn’t have a pleasant decision about which guy to start – because TT has left him with 2 weak options at QB, I am not sure how McCarthy can justify going with Flynn after Flynn’s performance last week. That was one of the worst games by an NFL QB in years! I realize he gave us a spark and helped us tie the Vikings – after Tolzien wasn’t doing anything – but man he was so bad last week in a hugely important game that I actually wondered if he’d be cut!
I will say this, if Flynn gets the start, McCarthy better be giving Tolzien plenty of first team reps this week too so that he can be well-prepared to come in if Flynn is a disaster once again.
- Terrible coaching, terrible offense, terrible defense, terrible special teams, terrible everything. Wow.
- The difference in offensive output, a glaring disparity I noted earlier in the game, ended up being so lopsided it was the 2nd biggest difference in NFL history – Detroit had 435 yards more than the Packers (561 yards to 126). Just inexcusable.
- While the Lions do have a relatively potent offense that can cause problems for lots of decent defenses – this defensive performance (4 turnovers and TD notwithstanding), was shockingly bad. The Packers need to fire Dom Capers…and do it now. Give Darren Perry a shot – can’t hurt.
- I continue to be concerned about Mike McCarthy’s inability to make in-game adjustments. Things were obviously going TERRIBLY defensively and TERRIBLY offensively today early on yet McCarthy invoked the ghost of Detroit’s own Wayne Fonts by opting for the deer in the headlights approach (doing nothing). Just pathetic. Runs to Lacy weren’t working at all but he kept doing it. And he stuck with Flynn when it was obvious Flynn was not only not up to the task, but in the midst of one of the worst NFL QB performances I have ever seen. I’m not overstating there. But I also doubt, highly doubt he called up to Capers at all during the game to talk about making some defensive adjustments – like simply removing our linebackers or doing a bunch of all out blitzes or just putting in guys who still would have tried hard. The defense (along with everyone else) quit in the 4th quarter. There was no sense of urgency when the ship was sinking. Our season was on the line and he just stood there dumbfounded. Oh wait, he did yell at Tramon after a dumb penalty…(of all things to get worked up about!). It’s difficult to know just how much blame to throw McCarthy’s way or TT’s way or Capers’ way or the players’ way, etc, but one question I often ask is: what would Sean Payton have done? I think Payton would have found a way to get this team at least 1, probably 2 wins over the last 4 games despite the clear lack of talent on the roster.
- Lacy was bad today. Dropped several passes and while he didn’t have big holes to run through, he missed a few holes by my count. Just seemed off from the start. Begs the question: why didn’t Starks get a chance today? He brings a different style and this may surprise you, but he has averaged almost 1.7 yards more per carry this year than Lacy. Just doesn’t make any sense that he wouldn’t play. I’m not sure I saw him on the field at all today until scrub time in last 3 minutes.
- I’m hesitant to rip our O-Linemen too much because I think Flynn REALLY made them look bad by having no clue in the pocket back there (5 of those 7 sacks were on Flynn). And yes, Lacy missed a few openings. But the O-Line also was really bad. The Detroit D-Line totally outclassed our O-Line and Josh Sitton’s attempt at trash-talking backfired big-time. Dumb thing to say before a game…even if it is true.
- Jeremy Ross exacted some serious revenge today. Nice game for him.
- Reggie Bush is a scary addition to this team. I thought that signed in the offseason was HUGE for Detroit and he’s a major part of the reason Detroit is leading this division right now. He’s a great example of why free agents DO have value. You note that Ted Thompson?
- I said it a number of times throughout the game, but holy crap are our linebackers bad. I know Caper sucks, the defensive scheme sucks, the D-Line (which for some reason always gets a pass) sucks and the secondary sucks - and all those factors are significant. But I’m dead serious when I declare that our linebacking unit is the worst in the NFL. Perry and Matthews were fortunate to cause turnovers but all those guys really do is rush the passer. That MASSIVE gap for us in the second level of our defense (particularly over the middle) costs us game after game after game. If our LBs do make a tackle it is routinely 10-20 yards down the field. But most of the time they just leave huge spaces open in the middle of the field for offenses to exploit. And this has been a problem now for every year of Capers tenure, except the Super Bowl year (and for a short time when Desmond Bishop could fill that space). Think today of how many runs by Bush and Bell went right up through the middle. Heck even the molasses-like Stafford had an easy 8 yard run up through the middle. But also think about how easily slant passes to Johnson were completed over the middle…at least in part because nobody was there to clog the passing lanes/disrupt that route. I’d bet 85% of Detroit’s offensive yards today came right through the middle.
- Heads need to roll. While they never roll in the middle of the season, I think it’s time for Capers to get fired and for Darren Perry to get a chance. It would be a good trial period for a guy people believe has some real promise in this league. I also think the organization needs to take a careful look at Ted Thompson’s approach to building a team. TT and the coaches have been so totally exposed in the last month that it would be irresponsible for any kind of organization not to take a careful look at their leadership team after such a period of incompetency. The Packers got hot one year and won the Super Bowl. Yes. But outside of that run, the Packers haven’t done a thing in the playoffs during TT’s time in charge. And they were blown out in each of their last 2 playoff appearances. It’s no secret that our defenses were particularly exposed in both of those embarrassing playoff losses (yet TT did very little to address these clear deficiencies in the offseason). While we have had a few injuries over the years that have hurt the team, we’ve actually been rather fortunate in the last few years to not have major injuries to our starting QB and most of our skill players – yet we still can’t go anywhere in the playoffs. Now with Rodgers out, suddenly we’re early-season-Jacksonville-bad. There is just NO WAY any team should be fall apart like this because of one injury. As I said before, the Bears lost their starting QB and their best defensive player (together that should about equal the loss of Rodgers) for a number of weeks but they are still competing. This lack of quality depth is on TT – 100%.