Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I posted this in another thread on The Den, but I feel it deserves it's own posting in my blog. In short, I believe we're starting to see some improvement with the Offense, and we can expect to see more in the next few games.
IMHO, the problem with the Lions O is the same one a lot of us thought we may have before the season started - they're still young and don't have a ton of time playing together yet. If you step back and look at it, you see the same things we all were concerned about before the season began:
- O-Line still is figuring out how to gel and play as a unit
- Our young and new WR's are still learning the offense
- Joey's accuracy hasn't been the greatest
- The playcalling has still been fairly predictable
But there have been two things happen that we hadn't counted on:
- KJ getting off to a slow start
- The continued dropping of passes
But there are signs that indicate that it has been getting better each week. During the last two games, the O-Line has been playing better. They're still far from pro-bowl level, but they look markedly better than they did against the Bears.
The playcalling has gotten much better since the final drive against Tampa. Tollner / Mooch finally had to open it up on that drive, and it looked like it carried over against Baltimore. Granted that we didn't catch a single one of those long passes, but the fact that the Lions threw long on 6 different occasions, and actually gained yardage by drawing penalties on two of them is a drastic change from previous games.
The running game seems to look like it's starting to get on track. Again, they didn't gain a ton of yards, but KJ seemed to be hitting the holes with authority, and we finally had a few 10+ yard runs.
The wild card looks to once again be the passing game. I don't think anyone thought there was any way we'd be without our top 3 WR's by game 5.
- BMW will likely play, but he's listed on the injury report. But BMW's been playing like the rookie that he is.
- CRog was ineffective before his suspension.
- Roy has dropped a lot of passes in this young season, and now he's out for a while.
- The best receiver has been KJ2, and if you had told me that before the season started, I'd have told you this team would be in trouble.
- Pollard hasn't been the stud some of us were hoping for, but he has been a significant improvement over Alexander.
Factor all of these in, add in the defenses we have played so far, and the result should have been predictable with exactly what we have seen. Prior to the season, these 5 guys had a combined 17 starts in the Lions WCO, and it takes time to get in sync. Joey hasn't looked good, but the blame needs to be spread evenly between him, the WR's and the playcalling. And the drops should decrease as BMW's head stops swimming as much, and Roy starts concentrating.
I have been encouraged by the improvement I have seen, even if it hasn't been reflected in the game stats. As I have pointed out in a few other threads, I think Joey's play improved last game, along with the final drive against Tampa. It still wasn't stellar, but it was better. It remains to be seen if he is the long term solution, but right now I believe much of the criticism heaved on him is overdone. I believe that with the softer defenses the team will be seeing in the next two weeks, we should see improvements, provided that we don't see a backslide in O-line play and continued excessive drops.
I continue to be optimistic about the teams chances this season. Many of us warned about a slow start, and now we seemingly have forgotten our own warnings and want results now. Hopefully we'll begin seeing the results soon.