Who are the Detroit Lions? - Page 2
The Lions played their worst game of the year and it showed as the Niners knocked them from the ranks of the unbeaten. San Francisco deserves credit, they won. This loss is a shot of reality for the Lions and their fans. That shot carries good news and bad news. The Lions are not a bad team, but they have do have some foundational problems.
The Lions need to change the way they play offense. I am not a big fan of Scott Linehan’s play calling. He becomes too predictable and conservative during close games. His play calling takes Megatron out of more games than opposing defenses do. They need to use more, and get away from this spread offense.
The Lions can’t run the ball consistently. During the game, Darryl Jonston talked about how difficult running the ball from the shotgun is. This impacts their vision and they can’t see the play developing as well. The Lions run at least 70% of their plays from this formation. With Jahvid Best and the drafting of Mikel LeShoure I think the Lions showed they want to get to a more balanced offense, but I don’t think they feel they can right now. The offensive line is just not very good. They do not generate much push in the running game. But how good is your running game going to be when 75% of your run plays are delay draws? Come on, I know they need more talent on the offensive line, but the coaches need to put the players in a position to succeed.
The good news is that the Lions have not played one complete game yet, and are still 5-1. Even when they destroyed an injured riddled Chiefs Team, they left a lot of points on the field. The Lions have the potential to blow out the other teams, but have not seized it yet. When the finally do, watch out.
The Lions will recover from this loss and they will continue to have an excellent season. They will reach the playoffs for the first time in over a decade, but they still have cracks in the foundation. It may take another solid off season by Martin Mayhew and Schwartz to fix those cracks, but at least they have a foundation worth fixing.