I really thought my Lions were ready to take that next step. Today they made it clear that they are not. It starts at the top and Jim Schwartz has got to get to the place that he realizes he is not a player out there, he cannot allow himself to get so emotionally wrapped up in the minutae that he doesn't see the bigger picture and keep his guys focused on the goal - winning football games. he spent WAY too much time beotchin' at the refs. Yes, the zebras screwed them bigtime in the first half with that BS Roughing the Passer call on Vanden Bosch and the phantom PI in the endzone and basically gifting GB the halftime lead. But they were only down 7 points and all they have to do is come out and play football in the second half and they can win the game. Instead the defense gets all wrapped up in the individual battles, start acting like children and Suh pulls that childish little tantrum that is going to cost him and his team games. Meanwhile the offense never adjusts to the plainly visible fact that GB is sitting on the underneath routes while the backside seams are wide open or a simply pump fake-and-go and Woodson's jock is in the dirt and Pettigrew, Young or Scheffler are making the catch 15-20 yds up the field with room to run. The Packers defense could not stop the Lions offense on the ground or in the air - the Lions did that all on their own with stupid penalties. It was clear that the NFL wants its udefeated "dynasty" team with its "Mom and apple pie" persona as those same holding and hands to the face calls were not being made on the other side of the ball - notwithstanding, it is the coaches job to get that under control and they did not.
Detroit is at a crossroads now and they had best be very careful how they respond or this season filled with so much promise and hope will all get flushed down the toilet in the next 2-3 games. Unlike the NBA who glorifies thugs and gangsta's, the NFL will not tolerate the "Bad Boys" image and if they do not change it quickly they will consistently find themselves subjected to a double standard by the referees. The NFL is very protective of its image and will always give its heroes and "good guys" the benefit of the doubt on the calls (ala Brady, Peyton Manning, Rodgers, Brees). You start playing with too much of a chip on your shoulder and you can be assured of that extra scrutiny especially in the big national stage games. Just ask the Raiders or more recently, the Eagles.
It is time for Stafford to stand up and be the leader the Lions expect him to be along with some of the other veterans on that team who "get it" - Vanden Bosch, Tulloch, Calvin Johnson - they cannot allow Suh to become the face of the team - not until he grows up and realizes this is a man's game that requires just as much effort, talent and control between the ears as it does below the neck. As a lifelong Lion fan I was more disgusted with that effort out there today than anything I saw in the 0-16 season - that team had no talent and no leadership, this one does!
The Lions have 10 days to get it together or they will be back in a tailspin and trying to pick up the pieces again and left with the same mantra they have had for over a decade "next year".
Leading the league in Points For AND Points Against!