Who are the Detroit Lions?
Are they the outer edge Super Bowl contender everyone thought after last year or are they simply a perfect example of the parity that exists in the NFL today?
After Sunday’s amazingly exciting yet unfulfilling loss to the Tennessee Titans I think we know better who the 2012 Detroit Lions are.
They are a mediocre 6 to 8 win team that has a few outstanding players but too little depth and too many weaknesses to be considered anything more than fringe playoff contenders.
This is apparent in the lack of consistency in all parts of the game on Sunday. The special teams play was atrocious, the defense was hideous and the offense was passable but this was against a poor defense.
The secondary is worse than anyone thought and Louis Delmas coming back makes it better but doesn’t make it good enough. The Lions still have glaring holes at corner back and only have one good safety in Delmas as everything else they have is other teams scraps.
The Defensive line is supposed to be dominant but I just don’t see it. Ndamekong Suh isn’t making the plays he’s supposed to make, Nick Fairly is invisible and the Lions were right not signing Cliff Avril to a long term deal as he only seems to make plays in bunches then disappears.
The Linebackers are above average. That is the best compliment anyone is giving the Lions defense.
The offense is fine. But a fine offense and terrible defense do not usually make Super Bowl winners. With Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson the team should be able to move the ball and Mikael Leshoure looked good yesterday. The team was able to move the ball on the ground but I think they went too heavy on the run and put themselves in that position to NEED those late points (the special teams TDs and the fumble return for a TD didn’t help).
But Brandon Pettigrew needs to hold on to the football and someone else needs to step up and make some plays. Titus Young made a few, including catching the hail mary but no one else is enough of a threat the keep the teams from putting 8 guys on Megatron and allowing him to make plays.
Until the defense can fix things and start making tackles and until Pettigrew stops dropping the ball and another WR steps up, expect a series of mediocre games for the rest of the year.
At least Matt Millen isn’t still around.