Things were supposed to have changed this year for the Detroit Lions, but the team I saw yesterday looked an awful lot like the same old Lions.
They have weapons on offense, but don’t seem to know how to use them. Their quarterback play hovers mostly between barely adequate and atrocious. Their running game doesn’t exist. Their defense isn’t bad up front, but their linebackers and secondary lack discipline and don’t tackle all that well. Their coach doesn’t always seem to know what he’s doing (evidence: wasting time at the end of the second quarter instead of using a time out and giving the offense at least one shot at the endzone before settling for the 3 points).
And they’re still not lucky. Jason Hanson misses a relatively easy field goal? When does that ever happen? Jahvid Best finally gives them hope of a potent offense, then goes and gets hurt? It’s enough to make you think the almighty just plain doesn’t like them.
Actually, the Lions were lucky yesterday in one respect: they didn’t have to go up against last year’s Vikings passing game. If the Vikes were clicking now like in 2009, that would’ve been a 30-point blow-out. As it was, the Vikes had to settle for a huge day from Adrian Peterson and another not-entirely-encouraging performance from the passing game…and a mere two touchdown win.
And so, after two games that supposedly proved the Lions were headed in the right direction, they find themselves at 0-3 and headed right back to the bottom of the pack where they always wind up. I honestly don’t know what Jim Schwartz can do to turn this thing around. Hope Jahvid Best and Matt Stafford get healthy? Pray the defensive line becomes dominating enough to make up for a truly awful secondary? Ask his team to make sure that, when they do get some breaks, they remember to take advantage of them?
I have a feeling it won’t be Schwartz’s problem after this season. And the Lions will once again be back to square one.