Monday, November 22, 2004

How to self-destruct

I went back and looked at the Lions-Vikings game again (I'm a sucker for self torture), and more than any other game, the Lions tortured themselves in this one. Here is a drive-by-drive synopsis of the stupid torture the Leo's did to themselves...

Possession 1 - TD on kickoff return. Nice opening by ED. 7-0 Lions

Minny's first - what the heck was Bryant doing on that bomb? It looked like Campbell was standing around waiting for the pass, so why couldn't Bryant KNOCK IT DOWN??? Too easy... 7-7

P2 - First O possession - TD. Nice drive. Overthrow to Alexander looked like Joey was going to throw it away due to blitz from Henderson and then spotted Alexander a little too late. Still scored 2 plays later. 14-7

Possession 3 - Bad screen to KJ loses 8 yards. It looked like Minny knew it was coming. I don't fault a 8 yard pass on 3rd and 16 as you have to hope someone makes a play.

Minny P4 - Drive, go for it on 4th and 1, don't convert. Bad mistake by Minny. Should be 14-10

P4 - Roy's PI, dropped TD pass, then Joey gets sacked before we take the FG (Backus gets beat). Roy would love to forget that series. Lions should have 4 more points for 21-10 lead.

P5 - Trying to run out the clock, Loverne false start turns 3rd and 3 into 3rd and 8. End of drive, Minny gets ball back. Thankfully they go 3 and out.

P6 - Kneel to end half. Score should be 21-10.

P7 - 5 plays, drive ends on sack - again Backus gets beat.

Minny P8 - Redding Safety after punt to 1 inch line. Beautiful D there... Score should be 23-10

P8 - quick 21 yarder, then 8 yard play on 3rd and 11. Frustrating to only throw 8 yard pass, but again, you have to hope SOMEONE will make a play to get 3 YAC. Kircus STUPID penalty on the punt allows Minny to get out to the 22 instead of the 7.

Minny P9 - LONG Drive my Minny for TD. Converted 5 3rd downs on drive. Where did our D go? Score should be 23-18

P9 - KJ gets Unnecessary Roughness, turning 3rd and 2 into 3rd and 17. Everyone know you don't retaliate. Dumb...

Minny P10 - Another LONG drive, this ons gets stopped for 4th and 2 at the 5, but we take the penalty, and they promptly score a TD. WHY??? Score should be 23-21, Lions.

P10 - Pritchett Unnecessary Roughness moves starting field position from 39 to the 24. Roy gets false start to the 19. We lose 20 yards field position, and haven't run a play. Joey gets sacked on 3rd and 8 as Backus gets beat AGAIN to kill another drive.

P11 - After D actually holds Minny to 3 and out, Joey gets picked on an out route to end the game. We're out of TO's due to bad communication between Joey and Raiola (who's at fault? who knows...) and Mooch calling another TO., so game over. Score SHOULD be 23-21, Lions. Instead it's 22-19, Minny.

That my friends, is how you take a game that we SHOULD have won, and lose it. Even giving Minny credit for their own stupid mistake of going for it in the first half, we STILL should have won. We completed the trifecta - bad coaching decisions, stupid penalties, and bad play. More than the Vikings beating us, we beat ourselves. Sorry, but even GOOD offenses don't convert 3rd and 10's more than one out of 5 times (unless they're playing us, then it's 4 out of 5).

The blame for this loss goes to the coaching staff and the players who screwed up the worst, most notably Backus. Giving up 3 sacks to Lance Johnstone, all on 3rd down? Sheesh. Also in my doghouse are Roy, for the penalties and dropped TD, KJ, Kircus and Pritchett for the stupid 15 yarders, and Bryant for that long completion. And of course Mooch - what were you thinking? That was BAD game management.

Here's to praying that we don't screw up so bad on Thanksgiving...

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