Friday, November 26, 2010

Lions Frustrations Boil Over

Anyone hoping for some past Thanksgiving magic the Detroit Lions provided were greatly disappointed once again. The Lions dropped their seventh Thanksgiving game in a row, 45-24 to the New England Patriots. I hate to sound like a cliche' but the game was closer than the score indicated. That was until Tom Brady carved the Lions up with precision in the fourth quarter. Later on their frustration came out on the field and the locker room.

As it always seems the Lions can go toe to toe with some of the NFL's better teams. I happen to think their problem is more mental than it is physical. They've shown that they game after game. It always comes down to some critical errors, namely penalties, that derail them on a crucial third down. Offensively and defensively, there have been more dead ball penalties than I've ever seen from a Lions team, even in the past they weren't this bad before the snap. False starts, encroachment, offsides. You name it they've done it. After that, it seems like they just wait for the walls to cave in on them, and that's exactly what happens. It looks like they have no confidence in themselves when things start to go wrong. Here are a few quotes from yesterday's game.

Corey Williams: "Man, there's a bunch of guys that need to be called out," said Williams, a Lions defensive tackle. "A bunch of guys need to look in the mirror, realize that there's more to it than just playing in the NFL. There's more to it than getting paid. You got guys, everybody out here got their career on the line, you know what I mean? You can easily take your last snap at any moment, so I think guys need to take it more serious. I don't think guys take it serious enough."

I believe Williams means well and maybe a few guys do need to call themselves out. But he has to do the same because I've seen him guilty of more encroachment or offsides penalties than anyone on the defensive line.

Here's more from Chris Houston: "Yeah, lack of heart," Houston said. "When adversity hits, everybody can't hold their head down. Leaders got to step up and lead. When adversity hits on the team, you kind of see it in some guys' body language, here we go again. You can just tell. So we just got to have heart and know that when adversity hits we got to keep on fighting."

Whatever Houston. It's not like you've been a major playmaker since you've stepped into the league.

It just seem like this team right now looks like it's been Lionized. I've been saying this for years, it's like a bad horror movie. Once you go there you become one of them. No matter how much current Lions claim they're not part of the past or they're not the same old Lions, they keep proving themselves wrong. It's hard to change the culture of losing when the players haven't gotten rid of the bad habits that contribute to it. They are indeed a frustrated team and it shows. Players and coaches. Jim Schwartz benched cornerback Alphonso Smith for the lack of tackling and being beat on some big plays. To Smith's credit he did man up and said that if he were the coach he would've pulled him too. He didn't blame anyone but himself because he knew he had a clunker of a game. He admitted he gave the Patriots the game.

Later that frustration spilled out onto the field after the Patriots last score and extra point. There were some squabbles on the field because the Lions were being trucked once again and they were frustrated. They knew they were right there with of one the NFL's best teams and let the game get away. Its been built up throughout this year. The Chicago game, the Eagles game, the Giants game, Green Bay, and it goes on and on. They were right there in a lot of their games and couldn't finish, couldn't make a crucial stop, get a first down, or just let things get away from them. This game was a culmination of everything that has gone wrong this year. It seems like the Jets choked whatever life this team had left. In my opinion, they haven't gotten over that loss. They need to overcome some things to try to salvage something positive out of this year. Or else it will be the same old Lions.

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