The famous words of former Arizona coach Dennis Green after his team blew a Monday night game against the Bears a few years back: “They are who we thought they were!”
Those same words apply to the 2013 Detroit Lions. There are not enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe their monumental, pathetic, disgraceful collapse the last few weeks (but I just threw out a few). Let’s review: the Lions had just won a huge road game in Chicago to go 6-3. Chicago and Green Bay were both 5-4 and more importantly, both had their starting quarterbacks injured, among other significant injuries, while the Lions were healthy.
Turn the page to December 17, and the standings are: Chicago 8-6, Green Bay 7-6-1, Detroit 7-7. Same old Lions. They are who we thought they were.
I start wondering why I keep watching this crap every year. Every year, I get my hopes up that finally, we’ll play well throughout the season, get in the playoffs, actually WIN a playoff game (which has happened ONCE in the last FIFTY FIVE years), maybe even win TWO playoff games. And every year, it’s the same crap. Terrible, pathetic play-calling (always running on 1st & 2nd down now, never blitzing, and the absurd wide nine), billions of penalties and turnovers, missed blocking assignments, huge returns given up with almost none for us (though Jeremy Ross has been good this year). Etc. Whatever. Everyone who follows this cesspool of a team already knows this, it’s the same garbage year in and year out.
So right now, I want one thing to happen. I want Martin Mayhew to make a move that I doubt any GM has ever made before. I want him to fire Jim Schwartz TODAY. I don’t think a coach has ever been fired with 2 games left and his team still in the playoff race, but now is a great time for it. This bum is highly responsible for the team’s collapse. Any coach worth a damn would have taken a 6-3 team with the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL and had them NO WORSE than 9-5 right now. Any coach who was qualified to coach at a level beyond Pop Warner wouldn’t tolerate four turnovers a game and make statements along the lines of, a high-powered offense is going to have a lot of turnovers (this clown actually said this recently). He wouldn’t put up with his defensive line jumping offsides 5 times a game. He wouldn’t put up with 10 dropped passes every game from his receivers and tight ends.
A real NFL coach instills discipline and gets his team focused for the game. Football is really about who makes fewer mistakes. There’s no LeBron James to score 60 points and there’s no Miguel Cabrera to hit walk-off home runs in the 9th. Every score in football requires at least two players. You can’t go coast to coast for a fast-break dunk and you can’t bat yourself in with a home run. Everyone has to be in sync for the team to succeed in football. And this comes from coaching.
And tonight’s game was a case in point. The Ravens played about the most boring game imaginable but they won because they didn’t commit stupid penalties and they didn’t turn the ball over. Their receivers held onto the ball when it hit them right in the hands. Also, they have a hell of a kicker. They were boring but efficient. The Lions are usually exciting but very inefficient. This did them in, and it’s time for a change. There is way too much talent for this team to be 7-7 right now and looking at missing the playoffs when the division was given to them on a platter a few weeks ago. So I will end this by “yelling” what I always yell at the games lately when they make yet another stupid turnover or penalty….