Lions: No Answer to Saints' Run Game


The Lions were a lock today. I knew it, other media members knew it, and we convinced you of it to.

  • Drew Brees was washed up
  • Brees was missing his best WR, Michael Thomas
  • Lattimore and Jenkins were missing from the secondary
  • Desmond Trufant was back in the lineup

It was the perfect welcome home party for the Lions' offense returning from Arizona with a win. You probably woke up and sipped your hot coffee with careful optimism of a Saints beatdown in Detroit.

And then...you got it!

A quick fire to D'Andre Swift in the endzone for his redemptive touchdown after the letdown against Chicago made it 7-0. Then, Brees made quick work of his first opportunity, throwing it away to Darryl Roberts. Stafford capitalized on Brees' mistake by connecting with Kenny Golladay to make it 14-0.

It was all according to plan.

Until Sean Payton adapted and decided to run it down Detroit's throats en route to an assuring 35-29 road win.

Pound The Rock

Wild Card Round - Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints

Wild Card Round - Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints

The Saints did one thing really well: run the football. They didn't just piece together a couple of good runs though, they dominated the line of scrimmage. It's one thing if star running-back, Alvin Kamara, broke a couple loose for some touchdowns, it;s another when three different guys all rushed for an average of over 4 yds/carry. This does two things:

  1. Sets up an easier passing game for Drew Brees
  2. Suffocates the defense and the game clock

The time of possession for the Saints ultimately was the dagger in this game. They were able to piece together 5 drives that ran over 5 minutes off the clock, while Detroit's longest drive was 4 and a half minutes. Detroit finally started to come back, only to have burned all their time-outs in the prior Saints possession, and Brees was able to kneel down in victory formation.

The Bright Side of Life *whistle*

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers

Ok, a couple of things to tough on so you don't get too depressed:

  1. D'Andre Swift looked better
  2. T.J. Hockenson is going to be a monster

With as much flack as Bob Quinn-rightfully-receives, it looks like two of his more recent draft picks are going to pan out.

After dropping the game-winning touchdown a couple weeks ago against the Bears, D'Andre Swift improved today, averaging 5.5 yds/carry and caught all 4 passes thrown his way with a touchdown.

Hockenson also looked dominant at times today. This guy was drafted for his 6,5 250lb frame, and we finally saw him body smaller skill players and ripped a ball or two out of the opposition's hands. He's going to be a star for someone someday. I just don't know if that'll be in Detroit.

Defense?

Detroit Lions Introduce Matt Patricia

Detroit Lions Introduce Matt Patricia

Alright, let's get to the fun part. Let's talk about coaching.

Time and time again, we've seen this group surrender big leads. We've seen questionable play calling in crucial moments. We saw all day, a defensive unit that was unable to stop anybody on the ground!

Where are the run stoppers? Where are the half time adjustments? Where is the defensive genius?????

Detroit hired the guy that wore the Roger Goodell clown shirt on a travel day with the champion Patriots. The guy that's been on the sidelines in Detroit for the past three years has been devoid of any guts or glory; only arrogance.

Time will tell if the Detroit Lions will decide to change their identity to anything other than a disappointment. For Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia, is their time is running out.

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