Coming into this NFL season , it was thought that there was room for hope and improvement as far as the Detroit Lions goes. And in the NFC North where the Lions reside , they’re at present 0-2 in a season still young in its infancy. Nevermind the fact that this team will have to contend with the likes of the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers within the division this season.
What has further exacerbated the Lions’ plight is that with the two losses suffered this season. The team has now lost eighteen straight regular season games , taking into account last season. And there we all know what transpired as to their travails. They had the pleasure of posting the first winless season since the NFL went to a 16 game regular season schedule. The players and the Lions’ fans in particular of had to face the ignominy of the franchise going down in NFL history – having the dubious distinction of attainig that milestone. Now with these two losses at the start of the 2009-10 season. One can only ask this of the franchise … are things liable to get a whole lot worse before they get better ? I for one don’t think that this would be something that the Lions’ fans and the fans of the NFL in general would be contemplating this early in the season.
Statistically for the Lions their season has become one of impending woes in every facet of their game. And if they’re at all to fare well , then there will have to be drastic improvements made on all fronts . The franchise took a great deal of pride in the fact that they drafted quarteraback, Matthew Stafford as the number one overall pick in the NFL draft. And it was thought that he would solidify the team’s offense with his play. And with veteran quarterback , Daunte Culpepper on the team’s roster. There too , it was felt that the elder statesman could provide his experience and leadership qualities in making Stafford’s introduction into the NFL an easy transition. So far thing haven’t seemed to have worked out as planned. Stafford’s baptism of fire has been a telling one to say the very least. He’ll no doubt learn from his mistakes but at what cost to his team and his very own psyche ?
Week one , saw the Detroit Lions capitulate to the New Orleans Saints in losing 45-27 . And in that particular game we saw Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees eviscerate the Lions, throwing for 6 touchdowns in leading his team to victory. In week two , we saw the Brett Favre led Minnesota Vikings inflict more of the same in defeating the Detroit Lions 27-13. The Lions were lethargic and ineffective on both sides of the ball. And it’s hard to see what the team’s coach , Jim Schwartz can now do from here. Inasmuch , as we know that Schwartz is passionate about the game and his team. It can’t have escaped him that history now seems to be repeating itself. And for Lions’ fans having to resort back to wearing paper bags over their heads to hide their shame and disgust ,can’t be someting that they’d envisage having to do once again this season.
Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and AP :
By Larry Lage , AP Sports Writer
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP)—The Detroit Lions were down in their opener at New Orleans and refused to be out.
In their next game, the Lions stuffed Adrian Peterson more times than not and had some success running the ball against Minnesota’s vaunted defense.
Rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford(notes) has connected with standout receiver Calvin Johnson(notes) on breathtaking plays and fellow rookie, Louis Delmas(notes), looked like a battering ram in a violent collisions with Peterson that jarred loose the running back’s helmet.
Detroit is off to an 0-2 start, extending its losing streak to 19 games, and yet coach Jim Schwartz is seeing signs of life.
“There’s tangible proof of what we can do—of what we’re going to be,” Schwartz said Wednesday.
The first-year coach and his players say a lack of consistency has kept them winless.
“We’ve put up two good quarters in both games,” linebacker Julian Peterson(notes) said. “Now, we’ve got to put it together for four quarters to win.”
Peterson insisted if Detroit can string together four quarters of sound football to win some games, earning a spot in the playoffs is possible.
To read this AP article in its entirety just click on the text link provided.
The strange thing is , on this Lions’ team there’s a nucleus of young players who can play the game. The problem however, may well lie in the fact that they’ve yet to acclimatize themselves to the schemes being taught to them by the coaching staff. It’s not that there isn’t effective communication going on between Schwartz’s staff and his players. It’s just the mere fact that they’ve been all to slow on its intake. And nowhere is this more evident than in the play itself of Matthew Stafford. His play at best, can be described as being tentative. And when you have offensive weapons such as Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith . You had better be sure that you’re not under utilizing them from the outset.
The steps that are being taken are indeed baby steps and purposefully so at this juncture. Afterall , this franchise has had to live with the Matt Millen years. And those we know bordered on being manical in its very execution. Suffice to say, that with Millen’s departure from the franchise , sanity it was felt, was brought back to the inner sanctum of the franchise. Ownership, in the form of the Ford family, has been positive with the hiring of Jim Schwartz. And it is to the coach whom they now look to lead the team to success. And if success should found this season by way of an improvement upon last year. Then it can be thought of a resounding success by the organization.
If not then then they’ll just have to batten down the hatches and just get the job done in the best way possible.
I for one would like to think that this franchise after what it has had to endure . It can improve in such a way the fans and indeed the entire city of Detroit can feel a sense of pride in the organization. It’d indeed go a long way in suggesting that the bad times are now behind them. Rather than them having to endure unwanted notoriety and mockery from others. The history and legacy behind the franchise suggests that it’s capable of being and remaining a success in the true sense of the word. What one has to still ask at this juncture is, are the fans willing to wait for it all to materialize ?
As a fan of the NFL do you ultimately feel that the Detroit Lions can turn things around ? If so , how do you see them achieving this ? Will it take a year or longer ? And will the present coach be the one to guide this team back to respectability ?
I’d welcome your thoughts and comments on this matter and I’ll look forward to discussing them with you in great detail. As always, thanks for the incredible support shown. It’s gratefully appreciated !