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Lions vs Panthers - Post Game Observations

Just Want A Title

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There wasn't a lot to like about this game.  The offense didn't do much after the first drive until garbage time.  The defense, especially against the run, was atrocious.  The tackling on defense was equally atrocious.  Personally, I think the seeds for this loss were planted after the game against the Jets.  They were over-confident, didn't take the Jets seriously but managed to get the 'W".  That seemed to carry-over to this game and the Panthers handed the Lions the lop-sided loss they earned.  A lot of the questions that were quelled by the 6-1 streak showed back up today.  The Lions were a 7-7 team coming into the game and played to their record.  That said:


- For the second week in a row, the Ben Johnson seemed flumoxed for most of the game.  Granted, Carolina has some pretty solid players on defense but we had no answers for most of the game.  Our running game didn't do much at all.  

- I am not sure what happened on defense.  Their is no excuse for giving up over 300 yards rushing when their running game is the primary component of their offense.  A lot of the issues seemed to be execution-related though.  Give the Panthers credit-they attacked our weakness in the slot and with our LBs.  The Lions had no answer.  Personally, a shift to from a 4-2-5 to a more conventional 4-3 should be considered in the off-season

- Dan Campbell seems to be letting this team backslide with respect to disciplined play on the field.  If he doesn't get things back under control this team could turn into the "same old Lions" more quickly than he thinks


- Jared Goff played a solid game.  He handled pressure pretty well and held onto the ball when he was hit.  His limitations with the deep ball showed up again today.  I think teams are keying into Jared Goff's deep ball issues and taking away some of the shorter routes that are more in his comfort zone.  

- The running game has disappeared.  Jamal Williams ran hard and gained yardage in a couple of key situations but wasn't really a factor. 

- D'Andre Swift didn't do too much either.  He was running some decent routes late in the game but wasn't really a factor.  Again

- Shane Zylstra had a pretty good game.  The Lions need more contributions from the TE position in the Red Zone and got it today.  

- There were a lot of problems on the left side of the O-Line today.  Some if it seemed to be communications issues.  Other times, Brian Burns was Kryptonite for Taylor Decker

- DJ Chark had some big plays but disappeared for a good stretch of the game.  DJ Chark is looking more like a #2WR than a #1WR at this point.  

- I know the Lions have long-term plans for Jameson Williams but he needs more meaningful playing time.  Take the training wheels off and let him run.

- Justin Jackson didn't do much in the running game but had a really good KO return late.  It was good to see but the Lions needed that spark much earlier in the game


- The D-Line got gashed in the running game.  They didn't do a good job of setting the edge and got caught over-pursuing repeatedly 

- The LBs were equally bad against the run.  They got sucked into traffic ran themselves out of position leaving huge running lanes

- Romeo Okwara may be a dangerous pass-rusher but he seemed pretty bad against the run today

- Alex Anzalone from last year showed up today.  He missed a lot of tackles and seemed over-matched for most of the day

- Derrick Barnes missed some tackles but showed some progress in pass coverage today.  He allowed a completion but was in good position and didn't give up much YAC

- Kerby Joseph has had a good rookie season but his so-so tackling skills have been exposed the last two weeks.  He needs to make a better effort to wrap up ball carriers

- Ifeatu Melifonwu wasn't perfect but was decent today.  He stopped some long runs from turning into TDs.  He wasn't as effective later in the game but some of his issues might have been caused by other players not playing well or being out of position.  His main job was to prevent long TDs and he mostly accomplished that today

- Jeff Okudah, who is normally a pretty sure tackler, had some pretty bad missed tackles today.  He didn't have very good coverage on DJ Moore in the slot when he gave up a TD either.  We might have seen the best version of Jeff Okudah early in the year.  Teams aren't afraid to challenge him and are having success 

- Jerry Jacobs is a good #2CB but asking him to be CB#1 too much to expect.  He had some good plays today but the long pass he gave up without even turning his head shows he isn't always great at flipping his hips shows his might best suited to guarding WR#2 against most teams

- Even Sam Darnold burned the Lions in the slot.  That has been a problem for most of the season.  I don't think Aaron Glenn is the problem with this.  We just don't have enough talent in the secondary.  I suspect the DB room will get a lot of attention in the off-season

- The illegal contact penalty by Chris Board was horrible.  He was brought here for his coverage skills and he hasn't shown much in that area this year.  He might play a lot on special teams and make a lot of tackles on special teams but he has to be better in coverage


This was a really poor game by the Lions.  This game shows why folks were questioning the play of Jared Goff, Taylor Decker, our DTs, all of our LBs and Jeff Okudah earlier in the season.  All of those weaknesses were exposed and exploited today.  As Bill Parcells once said "you are what your record says you are".  Getting to 7-8 with the potential for 1-2 more wins is a big step for the Lions.  A game like this shows that we still need to improve our roster and our execution to be a serious playoff contender.



Edited by Just Want A Title
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On 12/24/2022 at 10:03 PM, HashtagFTW said:

I think the pro bowl results uninspired the team. 

If their perceived Pro Bowl snubs "uninspired" them then they are the same old lions.  They controlled their own destiny on making the playoffs.  They knew they more or less had to win-out.  They completely s#$5 the bed.  Players on winning teams get more Pro Bowl selection.  That is just how it works.  If they care more about making the Pro Bowls than they do about making the playoffs at this point we have a serious locker room problem. 

Edited by Just Want A Title
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I was worried about this game after two emotional wins in a row. I was worried what would happen when all eyes were on them and it was no longer Detroit against the world. They handle the underdog role well, but what are they when people have expectations for the lions to win? This team is still a work in progress.

im expecting a win against Chicago and another worrisome game in lambeau. I think Green Bay will be a loss. I still will consider this season a win for 2022.

Edited by LionArkie
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The narrative is all about how the field was concrete-like and nobody on the Lions wanted to tackle. It sure looked like it. So much for biting kneecaps.

That's a big problem with preaching an identity... You have to uphold and maintain it or other people will steal your identity against you.

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11 hours ago, nagahide13 said:

The narrative is all about how the field was concrete-like and nobody on the Lions wanted to tackle. It sure looked like it. So much for biting kneecaps.

That's a big problem with preaching an identity... You have to uphold and maintain it or other people will steal your identity against you.

I am not buying that "narrative" at all. They took bad angles, arm-tackled and slid off tackles repeatedly.  They just played poorly.  Interestingly enough, the Panthers seemed to have no problems tackling.

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20 minutes ago, SteelKing728 said:

Now you need Minnesota to beat Green Bay, right?

Not really. The best route to the playoffs is winning out, which includes playing Green Bay to end the season. All GB losing to Minnesota would do would eliminate GB one week earlier.

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