Yes. This is more like it. I’m finally getting a sense of what it’s like to be a fan of the Lions after sitting up to listen to last night’s pre-season mashup with the Cleveland Browns.
It couldn’t have been a worse start for an 0-16 outfit either. Their opening kickoff was returned 96 yards for a touchdown by Joshua Cribbs, but thankfully it was called back for holding.
Then the Lions showed they’ve not lost their ‘3rd and long‘ phobia: surrendering 74 yards in a 7 play drive that ended with a 4 yard touchdown run off left tackle for Jamal Lewis.
Did I say it couldn’t be a worse start? I lied. The hoped-for QB saviour, Matt Stafford, took possession on his own 9 following the restart and promply fired an interception to Wright which was returned to the 5.
Although the Lions D rallied to hold the Browns to a field goal the worst start ever was still unfolding before by eyes (well ears actually).
In fact the Lions were at it even before the start: Tight end hopeful, Carson Butler, and defensive end Dewayne White went at each other hell for leather In the pregame warm-ups; a proper fight. Knowing the Lions, neither player won.
Back at the ranch the Lions kick return team excelled themselves at watching the touchback, handing the offence the ball on the their own twenty yard line. Two four yard Kevin Smith drives were quickly nullified by Stafford’s incomplete pass. Punter Harris booted it a decent 56 yards only to turn spectator as Cribbs (now rested from his thwarted kick-off return) to show he can do the same trick on punt-returns to; sprinting it 84-yards for another Brown’s touchdown.
Sheesh! The Lions have only been playing six-something mnutes and already trail by 17. A second Cleveland field goal saw them 20-points in the hole at the end of the opening quarter.
By then I’d dozed off. And as if by magic, when I awoke it was all over, even the post-game show.
Apparently the Lions outscored the Browns over the remaining three quarters. Yet they still ended on the wrong end of a 27-10 loss, despite Stanton’s 20-yard TD toss to Butler in the 3rd quarter.
For the record the passing stats make sombre reading:
- D.Stanton 5/12 66 yds 1TD 0INT 0 87.5%
- D.Culpepper 10/16 86 yds 76.6%
- M.Stafford 5/13 34 yds 1int 14.6%
Of course this is preseason and losses don’t matter … but performances do and this one sounds a right shocker.
What did coach Jim Schwarz think? Well I don’t know yet ‘cos like I said I dozed off listening to the radio, In my defence it was after 1AM here and I was backing up after a 230AM night watching the Yankees shell Boston.
According to the detroitlions.com’s, Chrissie Wywrot, Schwartz saw a lot to improve upon after Detroit’s preseason loss to Cleveland on Saturday, saying:
“One point that I just made to the players in the locker room is, as a player, your performance in a preseason game goes on your resume or your tombstone. We’re going to look very, very hard at this tape. I mean, we always do, but we’re going to look very hard at this tape from this standpoint: when you’re in position, did you make the play?”
“Players need to take accountability for fumbles, for dropped passes, for missed tackles, for assignment errors. Those are things we are not going to accept as a coaching staff or an organization”.
Fine words. Words the players need to pickup and run with.