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WEEK 2 - LIONS (0-2) VS CARDINALS (2-0)

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21 minutes ago, TL-TwoWinsAway said:

I agree. The guy is responding well. Keep throwing him in there.

Starting your nfl career against Adams, Nuk and Thomas. It does not get much tougher than that. 

Edited by Lionized
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Being a Lions fan is like going on a cruel rollercoaster. We gave away the game against the Bears (who are somehow 3-0), manhandled against the Packers and stole a W against the Cards. This is probably the record that we realistically should be at anyway, only with the W's and L's reversed between the Bears and Cardinals. 

- Not sure what Patricia was seeing in practice but I don't think there is a disconnect between this defense playing like it did and Tracy Walker playing 100% of snaps. Will Harris is a depth piece with potential to be a starter but not over Walker

- Loved finally seeing us get some turnovers with 3 int's (and should have been 4). 

- The OL protection issues are a bit concerning. Stafford seemed under duress a little more often than I recall seeing in recent history. If this continues to be a trend, this is going to be a major reason for L's and probably yet another Stafford injury

- Run game: where would we be if Washington didn't release Adrian Peterson and/or he didn't choose to come to Detroit? This is concerning especially with two 2nd round RB's on the roster. 

This is a really interesting storyline that may mean absolutely nothing in the end: Kingsbury was asked about the Lions defense and essentially said he didn't see anything new or different. Patricia commented on how he had hoped that Kingsbury did not pick up on the differences. The defense kept Kyler contained and forced several takeaways. After a rough start, it does make me wonder on how things will look moving forward. Patricia has been the architect of gameplans to stop some of the more explosive offenses over the last 2+ years. It hasn't translated to winning seasons but it does give some sense of hope for this defense in the future. I want to see the defensive genius on a consistent basis and not the one or two games per season

The Saints game is going to really show where this team is at and likely sets the tone for the rest of the season. A W over the Saints with the team entering the bye at 2-2 (and arguably should have been 3-1 without a Swift drop) is going to help them bring some positive mojo into the break. That doesn't even factor in riding a 2 game winning streak against two very good teams. A close loss gives them a little something to hang onto while a blowout is going to bring us back to SOL territory yet again. 

If we can actually pull things together, we could have a few winnable games after the bye:

- Jacksonville (1-2) - W

- Atlanta (0-3) - W

- Indianapolis (2-1) - W

- Minnesota (0-3) - W 

After starting 0-2, it is not impossible to imagine a Lions team sitting at 6-2. The Jaguars have been a it of a feisty team but lacking in talent. Atlanta has been melting down and giving away W's (they're doing their best impression of the Lions). Not sure what is going on with the Vikings but if the trend continues it could be a winnable game. I don't have expectations that this is going to happen but there is a road ahead that does not look insurmountable at this point. We'll see what the next few weeks look like but a W against the Saints would be huge for this team moving forward. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Karnage84 said:

This is a really interesting storyline that may mean absolutely nothing in the end: Kingsbury was asked about the Lions defense and essentially said he didn't see anything new or different. Patricia commented on how he had hoped that Kingsbury did not pick up on the differences. The defense kept Kyler contained and forced several takeaways.

Really good point here.

Either nothing changed or Patricia did a good job of masking those changes: both can't be true. Considering Murray's struggles, it seems like Patricia might've won that round. (One win among many losses, but still a win.)

I agree about the schedule: we've got some easier games ahead. With the expanded playoffs, getting in with an 8-8 record won't be out of the question. If we can get 4 wins from the next 5 games, we're on a decent path forward.

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6 minutes ago, TL-TwoWinsAway said:

Really good point here.

Either nothing changed or Patricia did a good job of masking those changes: both can't be true. Considering Murray's struggles, it seems like Patricia might've won that round. (One win among many losses, but still a win.)

I agree about the schedule: we've got some easier games ahead. With the expanded playoffs, getting in with an 8-8 record won't be out of the question. If we can get 4 wins from the next 5 games, we're on a decent path forward.

If we do go on that path and we're sitting at 6-2 then we're looking at:

Washington - W

Carolina - W

Houston - L

Chicago - L

Green Bay - L

Tennessee - L

Tampa Bay - L

Minnesota - W

Which is a path to an 8-8 or even 9-7 season. If we're swept by Chicago and Green Bay, then we are not going to be in the playoffs. There are teams in this schedule that we should beat and there are teams that we should lose to. Crazier things have happened on both sides and we could wind up being a better team than any of us expected at 0-2. We could also call this W a blip and continue the slide to another 3 win season and a future coaching change. Next week is really going to be an indication to me on how the next several weeks could look. 

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25 minutes ago, TL-TwoWinsAway said:

Really good point here.

Either nothing changed or Patricia did a good job of masking those changes: both can't be true. Considering Murray's struggles, it seems like Patricia might've won that round. (One win among many losses, but still a win.)

I agree about the schedule: we've got some easier games ahead. With the expanded playoffs, getting in with an 8-8 record won't be out of the question. If we can get 4 wins from the next 5 games, we're on a decent path forward.

That's the thing, this is stuff that Patricia has done in the past which tells you that with all of his faults he does have a good defensive mind. I don't think Matt Patricia the Defensive Coordinator is a bad coach. I think that Matt Patricia the HC struggles at times and that spills over into the defense and everything becomes a mess on that side of the ball. 

I'm not ready to jump back on the 'MP - defensive genius' bandwagon (if it ever existed) just yet. Two of these games where the defensive gameplan worked as scripted were against teams that Patricia has familiarity with: New England in 2018 (after having just left the team only a few months before) and against Arizona this week (after having an extensive gameplan against them last year for week 1). There would have been a lot of time invested into the gameplan last year and then a ton of film study after melting down and getting that tie. Was this week just a mirage and are we going to see him get exposed again against Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara? 

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55 minutes ago, TL-TwoWinsAway said:

Really good point here.

Either nothing changed or Patricia did a good job of masking those changes: both can't be true. Considering Murray's struggles, it seems like Patricia might've won that round. (One win among many losses, but still a win.)

I agree about the schedule: we've got some easier games ahead. With the expanded playoffs, getting in with an 8-8 record won't be out of the question. If we can get 4 wins from the next 5 games, we're on a decent path forward.

I’ve watched most of the games college/NFL that Murray has played. The defensive game plan was excellent. 29 yards rushing and three interceptions is an excellent job of limiting him.

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11 hours ago, diehardlionfan said:

I’ve watched most of the games college/NFL that Murray has played. The defensive game plan was excellent. 29 yards rushing and three interceptions is an excellent job of limiting him.

Ah, Harmon almost had the fourth one too! The secondary did a good job reading Murray's eyes and getting the jump. Maybe Murray thought his arm strength was enough to sling it in there.

12 hours ago, Karnage84 said:

- The OL protection issues are a bit concerning. Stafford seemed under duress a little more often than I recall seeing in recent history. If this continues to be a trend, this is going to be a major reason for L's and probably yet another Stafford injury

 

 

They did not seem to do a good job protecting against the blitz but my memory might be hazy (thanks a lot, alcohol!). And there were a couple plays were miscommunication along the line where a defender made it through unblocked for the most part.

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7 hours ago, Typical_Lions said:

They did not seem to do a good job protecting against the blitz but my memory might be hazy (thanks a lot, alcohol!). And there were a couple plays were miscommunication along the line where a defender made it through unblocked for the most part.

Don't forget the holding by Vatai that negated the 53 yard pass to Hall which would have been a TD most likely.  

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6 minutes ago, Sllim Pickens said:

Don't forget the holding by Vatai that negated the 53 yard pass to Hall which would have been a TD most likely.  

Was it a legit hold? Some seemed to think it was a bad call.

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8 hours ago, Typical_Lions said:

Ah, Harmon almost had the fourth one too! The secondary did a good job reading Murray's eyes and getting the jump. Maybe Murray thought his arm strength was enough to sling it in there.

They did not seem to do a good job protecting against the blitz but my memory might be hazy (thanks a lot, alcohol!). And there were a couple plays were miscommunication along the line where a defender made it through unblocked for the most part.

From what I've heard from some analysis is that the containment kept him in the pocket and his height led to him having difficulty seeing over some of the OL and it led to some bad reads leading to INT's. This is another one of those games where Patricia has laid out the groundwork for other teams to figure out how to stop one of these explosive offenses. 

Yeah, there was a couple plays where a defender just walked right in untouched and left Stafford scrambling or sacked. I haven't watched any of the highlights and was looking after my son at the same time so I couldn't focus a lot on who was playing on the OL and in which spots. It's not really a good omen that Crosby was playing RT while Vaitai was playing RG despite being paid to replace Wagner at RT. I can appreciate versatility and playing in a pinch but that does not leave me optimistic for things moving forward. 

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9 minutes ago, Karnage84 said:

It's not really a good omen that Crosby was playing RT while Vaitai was playing RG despite being paid to replace Wagner at RT. I can appreciate versatility and playing in a pinch but that does not leave me optimistic for things moving forward. 

Couldn't it have more to do with Dahl's injury and Crosby's decent play so far?

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Just now, TL-TwoWinsAway said:

Couldn't it have more to do with Dahl's injury and Crosby's decent play so far?

Why did you have to bring reason and rational thinking into this, TL?

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