The first game of the 2020 Detroit Lions season is in the books. Not what Lions fans have hoped for. But it wasn’t all bad football.
Ill be the first to admit. Yesterday hurt. If you saw my Facebook Live rant yesterday, you saw some of that frustration spill over about the Detroit Lions. Today is a new day. I’ve had time to really think about the game and what happened in that football game yesterday. So here are The Good, The Bad and The Ugly points about yesterdays blown lead.
The Lions offense through 3 qtrs looked pretty strong. Even without having Kenny Golladay healthy, the offense was still very productive. Matt Stafford had a Matt Stafford game. Decent stats but just couldn’t get the Lions over the hump in the 4th. Stafford threw 1 TD and 1 INT on 24 of 42 passes for 297 yards. He could have had 2 TD’s if not for a late drop by D’Andre Swift.
Stafford found a good connection with 2nd year TE T.J. Hockenson. Connecting with him for the Lions first TD of the season, a TD that should have put us ahead for the rest of the game. Hockenson looked strong on the TD catch. Boxing out the Bear corner and just really bulling the ball away from him. While Hockenson had a great Game 1 in 2019, I expect his first game of 2020 to be repeatable and his standard game.
With Golladay on the bench someone needed to step up. Quintez Cephus did his best. There were moments where you could tell he and Stafford were not exactly in-sync. But, you can see the potential of the Rookie WR. He was able to get open often and showed he has NFL chops. Cephus ended the game with 10 targets. If Golladay is out for an extended period of time, Cephus’ role will continue to grow.
Its odd that he is in “The Good” and “The Bad”. But that’s Matthew Stafford career in a nut shell. The dude has all the arm talent in the world. But that arm talent leads to some poor decisions and Stafford trying to do too much.
Staffords Interception was an absolute killer. Yes, the ball was tipped. That’s what happens when you try to throw a ball into double coverage. The timing was just not needed. THROW THE BALL AWAY! Forcing a throw late in the 4th qtr when your team is backed up is a rookie move. Stafford is far from a rookie, he should not be making these bone-head decisions.
Another play that made me shake my head was the sack Stafford took earlier in the 4th. It may not have seemed like much at the time but that sack pushed Matt Prater to take a longer FG. Prater missed the FG and gave Chicago the ball at damn near mid-field. If Stafford is able to just throw the ball away, you give a better change at points.
There are great pregame coaches and there are great in game coaches. Then you have guys like Bill Belichick who can scheme coming in, but also change mid game if its not working. Patrica doesn’t have the in-game management skills. You can tell the guy knows football. That’s is why the Detroit Lions get the lead in so many games. After Sundays loss, the Lions have blown 10 4th Qtr leads under Patrica. To me, that shows he just can make the in game adjustments. He doesn’t understand how to put your foot on the opponents neck and just apply pressure. If this is Patrica’s last year he has no one to blame but himself.
Can I just say the entire 4th Qtr? It was UGLY! You blinked and the Detroit Lions pissed away 45 Mins of good football. Prater Missing a FG, the Defense couldn’t stop the Walled Lake Braves, Stafford launches his INT, Swift drops the game winning TD. Overall, it was the Lions being the Lions.
We don’t have time to lick our wounds. The Packers are up next week. Aaron Rodgers and Co. looked great yesterday. The Lions can not start 0-2 this year. So next week has to be a W. No excuses, no Ugly moments, no getting out-coached during the game. JUST WIN BABY!