Well into a 6th game.
A mysterious knee ailment that’s shrunk Calvin Johnson into a pass interference creator, instead of his usual All Universe receiver self.
Pizza that ran Nate Burleson into a median causing his arm to be superglued shut.
The unofficial retirement of Tony Scheffler.
The relegation of Mikel Leshoure.
Ryan Broyles might as well be appearing in the opponent’s jersey Stafford’s looks his way so infrequently.
Brandon Pettigrew making catches(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), but only trudging along for single digit gains.
Having had TWO full weeks to design offense and prepare to play with a hobbled Johnson, or without him.
A half of complete offensive ineptitude, in Cleveland, capped by a litany of drops on precise passes by Matthew Stafford…
Finally, at long last, like uncovering a winning lottery ticket in the cushions of your couch, the Lions have their eyes opened.
Reggie Bush would not contract a life threatening or crippling illness by lining up outside of the backfield, as a receiver.
Bush’s has had some drops (2 last week, 1 vs. the Browns), but even before Burleson went down, it was obvious – to me anyway, though not to the Lions – Bush was the Lion’s second best receiving threat. I suppose the Lions finally decided to read my tweets lamenting ignorance of further weaponizing Bush.
When the Lions got the ball back for the first time in the second half adjustments had been implemented. It helped that the offensive line created holes for Bush we hadn’t seen since the Chicago victory, I literally swooned over the play that turned into an 18 yard score by Bush. Calvin started to Stafford’s right in the shotgun, then he went in motion, leaving an empty backfield. ‘Uhhhhhh ohhhhh, if Calvin’s there, where’s Reggie!?’
Bush was in the slot to the left of Stafford. 18 yards later Bush in the end zone, and I’d received an email notifying me that I’d gotten a new follower @Scottie_313OC.
But the Lions offense finally began to hammer away at a sturdy Browns defense as Bush was often deployed as a receiver in the second half. Twenty four points ensued, as the Browns had to spend precious pre-snap time figuring out where Bush was, and he was going to be defended, and then where the hell was Calvin. I’m utterly shocked it took 5 1/2 games for the Lions to discover this should’ve been the strategy all along.
Hashing out the tweets…
– Joseph Fauria supposedly hasn’t been running precise enough routes, nor is he a very good blocker at this point. Fine, in the red zone, like Dad used to say on Foster Street, ‘run ten yards straight ahead and I’ll hit you.’ In this the ‘hit you’ part is in Fauria’s hands near rim level in the end zone.
– Fauria has more TDs catches than receptions. Don’t worry throwing any kind of advanced calculus in my face. Just trust me.
– Last week I sought more from Stafford. This week I got it. I counted one really WTF throw that was late in the second half. I don’t even know if I can what was going on in the first half drops, because with Broyles, Edwards and Durham as the receiving personnel, we can debate whether any of them even has 3rd receiver abilities. Instead of drops, maybe we can define them as ‘pristine throws by Stafford that better receivers would’ve caught.’
– I don’t know if he got blocked, misread the play or what, but damn did Deandre Levy had a motor on his ass to chase down Travis Benjamin on the misdirection play. And his athletic, leaping interception (another one!) had me wondering how the Lions brought Brian Urlacher back from 2007.
– Brandon Pettigrew. Thank you. I’ll take it.
– Chris Houston, if you expect safety help, act like they’re going to yank the chair out from underneath you.
– Notice Reggie Bush slid feet first on a late run to keep the clock ticking? Exceptional.
– Lions can’t convert a 3rd and 4, but David Akers bangs through a 51 yarder like it was an extra point to salvage some points.
– We’ll wait for the Pro Football Focus ratings, but I’d be surprised if Fairley and Suh didn’t rate extremely well, because it was August Willie Young on Sunday.
– Quietly, the Lions have cleaned up a lot of their focus, concentration and discipline issues. With 8 penalties it wasn’t clean, but none that make you slam your forehead into anything.
– 7 catches and 126 yards. The Browns were going to deal Josh Gordon. Right, not unless you, or whoever, was handing out a first round pick.
– It’s open season every week on Darius Slay (his passer rating allowed has to be sky high), but why even activate Rashean Mathis, if he every week he can’t finish a game?
– It could’ve been PI on Calvin too, but I don’t thin Stafford was roughed. It LOOKED like he was, and when it comes to QBs if it looks like a duck…
– Calvin gets a hockey assist for Fauria’s first TD. The PI on him two plays earlier got them to the 1.