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Are we really as bad as people think?

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On 2019-05-22 at 10:17 PM, SimbaWho said:

Few concerns for me going into the season. Oline, specifically RG. Having a bad or average RG will slow our run game down, and passing game more than adding these two TE's will help.  People are slotting both as upgrades and if the Oline isn't good, then both will likely be downgrades. I'm the type of guy though that would of looked for two new guards and moved Ragnow to C to really try and make a juggernaut of a line. 

Consistent pressure from the outside and inside. Now, I know people will point to Flowers, and Okwara and Bryant as solid's and they are, but, they aren't enough imo. Lions needed someone to start over Okwara, because, he did get 7 sacks or whatever but still overall didn't generate much pressure. He got home when the heat was on the QB but not often did he apply real pressure to the QB and make them adjust, maybe Flowers is enough, to change all that. But me personally I wanted new players on the outside, and 1 new on the inside the could generate pressure on the QB. 

Questions on the other side of Slay. Not saying Coleman can't hold it down as the number 2 guy but, idk, now I'm essentially expecting it based off the money he's been paid and how the Lions didn't address it seriously in the draft or through others in FA. 

Matthew Stafford. Idk, 2011 has been a long time now. I now ok/average when at times looking pretty good, but Lions need 2011 Stafford to come out if they wanna win the division/playoff games. 

LB, we assume Lions are better through the draft but IDK, real question mark honestly with no track record and a lot of faith/assumption. 

WR Depth, Idk whats up with Jones, hopefully he's fine and back on the team. Outside the first three on the depth chart though I think things get sketchy and the chances all three are healthy all 16 games isn't likely. 

I can’t disagree with much of what you’ve said.

They need to call plays that allow Stafford to utilize his arm, more. No point in having him if it’s going to be a dink and dunk offence. I can live with balance but balance that includes the dink, dunk passes as part of the running game.

The line! I believe in building inside, outside front to back so I agree about RG. In fairness, They’re  probably right and Im wrong but I would’ve been more comfortable seeing the line improved.

I capitulated on the Stafford pick. Everyone said when you get the chance you take a franchise QB. Well I think it’s safe to say the Lions have failed during Stafford era. It’s imperative they protect him for his last years and really give him the opportunity to win.

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I think the Lions will be quite a bit better this year. 

I was skeptical of them last year, in preseason. 

That post and others following in the thread pick out some problems that turned out to be ongoing issues. The Lions offense turned out worse than I expected, as the OL play was disappointing despite what seemed to be decent personnel, while they lost talent at receiver with Jones getting hurt and Tate getting traded. Their defense was better than expected with the emergence of Robinson, Hand's excellent performance as a rookie, and trading for Snacks Harrison. They did predictably suffer from lack of edge rushing talent once Ansah predictably got hurt again, and their depth in the secondary was exploited.

Belichick assistants famously have never met expectations as head coaches, and obviously the media has it out for Patricia, but I think he's got a better shot than the previous products of the Patriots system to be successful over the long term. Patricia spent his entire NFL coaching career with BB, working up from the lowest level as an assistant, coached both sides of the ball (OL before moving to LB), and was the Pats D-coordinator for 6 years. Most of the other ex-Patriots coaches were either coaches at multiple stops before moving to NE and/or only spent a year in charge in New England before getting hired away. Josh McDaniels is the only real comparable for Patricia -- similar ages, spent entire career working up from the bottom with Belichick -- and while he flamed out at the young age of 33 as a HC in Denver, Patricia is starting in his mid-40s and seems to be handling the situation better, aside from trading barbs with the media. And he's an incredibly intelligent guy, rocket scientist and all that. 

All that to say I have some faith that Patricia is capable of figuring out how to put a strong team together in Detroit. The first year was a bit of a mess, but in retrospect they had to clear away some players who didn't fit or who were on the decline. A year plus now into the process, the improvement in the Lions roster is striking, especially the DL/edge. 

End of 2017: Ansah, Zettel, Robinson (PFF grade in 2017: 66.4), Spence, Washington, Ledbetter

Start of 2019: Flowers (78 pressures last year, PFF grade 89.7), Robinson (PFF: 89.8), Hand (PFF: 87.4), Harrison (PFF: 91.9), Okwara (39 pressures last year), Kennard (36 pressures last year)

That's so much better. 

The front 7 in general could be very strong, depending on how Tavai does as a rookie (I guess they're expecting him to play the Hightower role as a big SLB) and if Davis finally lives up to his potential. 

The secondary is still a concern after Slay, though Justin Coleman will help. They desperately need someone to beat out Tabor as an outside corner, maybe that can be the rookie they stole in the 5th round, Oruwariye. I don't know much about their safeties now that Quin retired.

I like the Lions offense more with the addition of Hockenson. Tight ends supposedly aren't worth a pick that high but given the way the Lions are put together, he just might. Jesse James was a nice signing too. You can see what they're trying to do -- play power football with Kerryon Johnson while keeping defense off balance with a possession passing game. Amendola will help as a possession target on 3rd downs, if he stays healthy. I've never been a big fan of Stafford, but if he can play more of a game manager role, that could work. I think the interior OL is still a question mark, and they didn't really upgrade there this year, though moving Ragnow back to C could help. Darrell Bevell is a good choice as an OC, he had a lot of success with the Seahawks taking a similar approach. 

Overall I think the Lions are probably still a year away from contending for the division. But I think they're on the right track. It wouldn't surprise me if they win 9 games this year. 

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2 hours ago, Krauser said:

I think the Lions will be quite a bit better this year. 

I was skeptical of them last year, in preseason. 

That post and others following in the thread pick out some problems that turned out to be ongoing issues. The Lions offense turned out worse than I expected, as the OL play was disappointing despite what seemed to be decent personnel, while they lost talent at receiver with Jones getting hurt and Tate getting traded. Their defense was better than expected with the emergence of Robinson, Hand's excellent performance as a rookie, and trading for Snacks Harrison. They did predictably suffer from lack of edge rushing talent once Ansah predictably got hurt again, and their depth in the secondary was exploited.

Belichick assistants famously have never met expectations as head coaches, and obviously the media has it out for Patricia, but I think he's got a better shot than the previous products of the Patriots system to be successful over the long term. Patricia spent his entire NFL coaching career with BB, working up from the lowest level as an assistant, coached both sides of the ball (OL before moving to LB), and was the Pats D-coordinator for 6 years. Most of the other ex-Patriots coaches were either coaches at multiple stops before moving to NE and/or only spent a year in charge in New England before getting hired away. Josh McDaniels is the only real comparable for Patricia -- similar ages, spent entire career working up from the bottom with Belichick -- and while he flamed out at the young age of 33 as a HC in Denver, Patricia is starting in his mid-40s and seems to be handling the situation better, aside from trading barbs with the media. And he's an incredibly intelligent guy, rocket scientist and all that. 

All that to say I have some faith that Patricia is capable of figuring out how to put a strong team together in Detroit. The first year was a bit of a mess, but in retrospect they had to clear away some players who didn't fit or who were on the decline. A year plus now into the process, the improvement in the Lions roster is striking, especially the DL/edge. 

End of 2017: Ansah, Zettel, Robinson (PFF grade in 2017: 66.4), Spence, Washington, Ledbetter

Start of 2019: Flowers (78 pressures last year, PFF grade 89.7), Robinson (PFF: 89.8), Hand (PFF: 87.4), Harrison (PFF: 91.9), Okwara (39 pressures last year), Kennard (36 pressures last year)

That's so much better. 

The front 7 in general could be very strong, depending on how Tavai does as a rookie (I guess they're expecting him to play the Hightower role as a big SLB) and if Davis finally lives up to his potential. 

The secondary is still a concern after Slay, though Justin Coleman will help. They desperately need someone to beat out Tabor as an outside corner, maybe that can be the rookie they stole in the 5th round, Oruwariye. I don't know much about their safeties now that Quin retired.

I like the Lions offense more with the addition of Hockenson. Tight ends supposedly aren't worth a pick that high but given the way the Lions are put together, he just might. Jesse James was a nice signing too. You can see what they're trying to do -- play power football with Kerryon Johnson while keeping defense off balance with a possession passing game. Amendola will help as a possession target on 3rd downs, if he stays healthy. I've never been a big fan of Stafford, but if he can play more of a game manager role, that could work. I think the interior OL is still a question mark, and they didn't really upgrade there this year, though moving Ragnow back to C could help. Darrell Bevell is a good choice as an OC, he had a lot of success with the Seahawks taking a similar approach. 

Overall I think the Lions are probably still a year away from contending for the division. But I think they're on the right track. It wouldn't surprise me if they win 9 games this year. 

I think that you make a lot of good points and that this is a very fair assessment.

The only point of contention has to do with Stafford. While he has been the cause of some of his own issues, the team has consistently failed him. He has had to carry the organization on his shoulders the majority of his career. We've always struggled to have a combination of offensive line, receiving weapons and a consistent rushing attack. He has been getting killed behind poor offensive line play and the Lions have not been able to find a running back to take pressure off of him. When the offense has been humming it has principally been off of Stafford's arm. Even when the offense seems to have the right pieces in place, the defense has had the stopping power of a spaghetti strainer.

I do think that Patricia and Quinn are moving the team in the right direction. With the division and our schedule, it wouldn't shock me to see the team go 6-10. I also wouldn't be shocked to see them take the next step and be 8-8 or 9-7. This is one of the better divisions in the entire league and any one of the four teams can win it IMO.

 

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12 minutes ago, Karnage84 said:

The only point of contention has to do with Stafford. While he has been the cause of some of his own issues, the team has consistently failed him.

Fair enough. 

I think the Lions are doing the right thing in building a scheme that asks less of Stafford. 

I think he’s tended to struggle as a game manager in terms of consistent accuracy and avoiding mistakes, even aside from the limitations of his situation or supporting cast. He can be clutch, which is great (wish we had more of that in Cousins) but I think he needs to get better at keeping the offense on schedule. Better play from the OL, a power run game and a dominant TE could go a long way. 

23 minutes ago, Karnage84 said:

This is one of the better divisions in the entire league and any one of the four teams can win it IMO.

I’ll be surprised if it isn’t the Bears or the Vikings this year, but the Lions could be in the mix at the end. 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Krauser said:

Fair enough. 

I think the Lions are doing the right thing in building a scheme that asks less of Stafford. 

I think he’s tended to struggle as a game manager in terms of consistent accuracy and avoiding mistakes, even aside from the limitations of his situation or supporting cast. He can be clutch, which is great (wish we had more of that in Cousins) but I think he needs to get better at keeping the offense on schedule. Better play from the OL, a power run game and a dominant TE could go a long way. 

I’ll be surprised if it isn’t the Bears or the Vikings this year, but the Lions could be in the mix at the end. 

When has Stafford been clutch in your opinion? What game did you see him just dominate and say yeah, that's what we need in Cousins. Especially this season. 

Curious because outside of whoopin on stinkers I can't think of one time when Stafford was "clutch" and his play resulted in a huge much needed win. Infact I think every time we need wins we've lost and he's been a bit of the reason why(not making plays.

The 4th quarter come backs after being down double digits and teams playing prevent don't really count. It's why he's called Statthew Padford around here. 

*Now I'm not calling him the worst QB, but clutch?  Clutch? I think he's an above average QB that needs protection to make plays, but I don't think he's a clutch player that makes things happen out of thin air and makes lesser players better/raise their game. 

Edited by SimbaWho

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3 hours ago, SimbaWho said:

When has Stafford been clutch in your opinion? What game did you see him just dominate and say yeah, that's what we need in Cousins. Especially this season. 

Curious because outside of whoopin on stinkers I can't think of one time when Stafford was "clutch" and his play resulted in a huge much needed win. Infact I think every time we need wins we've lost and he's been a bit of the reason why(not making plays.

The 4th quarter come backs after being down double digits and teams playing prevent don't really count. It's why he's called Statthew Padford around here. 

*Now I'm not calling him the worst QB, but clutch?  Clutch? I think he's an above average QB that needs protection to make plays, but I don't think he's a clutch player that makes things happen out of thin air and makes lesser players better/raise their game. 

You mean, we have a poor team around the guy and yet he found ways to rally back and win games and that isn't "clutch"?

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, SimbaWho said:

When has Stafford been clutch in your opinion?

He led the league in 4Q comebacks / game winning drives a couple of times. He’s won a few against the Vikings in the last couple minutes, including both games in 2016 — the year he dragged a mediocre Lions team to the playoffs with a series of late, close wins. 

He’s also been pretty effective on 3rd downs. Lions are 10th in the league since 2014 in converting 3rd downs on pass plays, despite having the 6th longest average distance to gain on those plays. 

I think Stafford should get most of the credit for the Lions (limited) success. They’ve only had a good defense once, in 2014. Their OL has never been a top unit. They’ve never had an effective run game. He’s had some good receivers but he’s also made them look good IMO — Tate and Jones had their best moments with him, and I don’t think Golladay was expected to do as well as he’s done. 

Your standard for clutch isn’t realistic — “makes things happen out of thin air”. There are maybe 5 QBs in the league who are that good. Even Rodgers hasn’t been able to win without help from his supporting cast over the last few years.

Stafford has a big arm but he’s basically a game manager. Nothing wrong with that, as long as he can limit mistakes (which he’s struggled with) and make plays when the chips are down (which he’s done). 

Supporting casts do matter. Stafford on the Vikings would’ve easily won the division in 2015 and 17. If the Lions ever manage to assemble a top 5-10 roster around him, they’ll be able to contend. 

Edited by Krauser

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"Needs protection to make plays"....like every QB who's taken a snap in the history of the game??

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I've seen absolutely magnificent offenses look like utter trash when the oline cant protect....several times in Super Bowls alone in recent history 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/26/2019 at 1:59 PM, Krauser said:

He led the league in 4Q comebacks / game winning drives a couple of times. He’s won a few against the Vikings in the last couple minutes, including both games in 2016 — the year he dragged a mediocre Lions team to the playoffs with a series of late, close wins. 

He’s also been pretty effective on 3rd downs. Lions are 10th in the league since 2014 in converting 3rd downs on pass plays, despite having the 6th longest average distance to gain on those plays. 

I think Stafford should get most of the credit for the Lions (limited) success. They’ve only had a good defense once, in 2014. Their OL has never been a top unit. They’ve never had an effective run game. He’s had some good receivers but he’s also made them look good IMO — Tate and Jones had their best moments with him, and I don’t think Golladay was expected to do as well as he’s done. 

Your standard for clutch isn’t realistic — “makes things happen out of thin air”. There are maybe 5 QBs in the league who are that good. Even Rodgers hasn’t been able to win without help from his supporting cast over the last few years.

Stafford has a big arm but he’s basically a game manager. Nothing wrong with that, as long as he can limit mistakes (which he’s struggled with) and make plays when the chips are down (which he’s done). 

Supporting casts do matter. Stafford on the Vikings would’ve easily won the division in 2015 and 17. If the Lions ever manage to assemble a top 5-10 roster around him, they’ll be able to contend. 

The Lions lost the last three games to throw away the division and backed into the playoffs in 2016 in epic fashion getting blown out by Dallas/GB and not even scoring a TD vs the Giants. Stafford didn't will them in or anything like you're suggesting. So, yeah I'm not calling Stafford a loser or bad, but clutch... meh... He's losing quite a bit of games going into the fourth quarter vs teams Lions have no business losing to sometimes...(like the JETS this year.) I think the come backs vs the Bears/Vikings that season stick out (to you) when really Lions just beat bad teams and the bad team(S) had the lead most of the game. 

I mean I don't know he's not won anything of significance really when it matters. I'm not even sure anymore but does he have a road win now vs a team with a winning record? I guess that's what I mean about clutch and my standard is definitely only reserved for a few players in the league. A lot of these guys are good and can do things. Only, like you said, 5-10 players in the whole league (IMO) I'd consider, "clutch."

You make a valid point in that he prolly should be credited for the limited success the Lions have had during his time. His play didn't really drop till this season, when it was more expected to fall when Calvin Johnson retired. I think he should be credited for the Lions success/playoff appearances too. As a Lions fan since 1993(5yr 1st game Silver Dome) He's the best QB I've seen on the team.

Hopefully these freaking TE's work out for us man and our team does something great. I'm dying to see a playoff win.  

Edited by SimbaWho

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, detroitroar said:

I've seen absolutely magnificent offenses look like utter trash when the oline cant protect....several times in Super Bowls alone in recent history 

I agree completely.

Quote

"Needs protection to make plays"....like every QB who's taken a snap in the history of the game??

An why soooooo literal on that? Like there is a clear difference between guys that can move around the pocket and make plays running like Russell/Newton/Mahomes/Rodgers(at times), etc and guys like Rivers/Stafford/Brady/Ryan who make plays with their arms and in the pocket vs running around much at all. 

Edited by SimbaWho

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15 hours ago, SimbaWho said:

I agree completely.

An why soooooo literal on that? Like there is a clear difference between guys that can move around the pocket and make plays running like Russell/Newton/Mahomes/Rodgers(at times), etc and guys like Rivers/Stafford/Brady/Ryan who make plays with their arms and in the pocket vs running around much at all. 

Stafford can. He doesn't belong with those qbs in terms of mobility. 

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20 minutes ago, detroitroar said:

Stafford can. He doesn't belong with those qbs in terms of mobility. 

Stafford isn't a run-first or designed run type of QB but he is far more athletic than given credit for.

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