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John_Brian_K

Pregame: Lions -v- Falcons Sunday 1:00pm on Fox

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I am just assuming this is a loss for the Lions because I can only be so optimistic.  We won the first 2 where I thought we had a better than average shot of losing and this one I am thinking is the best team of all 3 so far.

Predicting the NFL this early is always a COMPLETE crap shoot IMO.  The off season rankings etc mean ZERO IMO really.  The Giants could go on to be 10-6 and in that case we beat a good team...or they could be 7-9 and we beat a bad team...same with the Cardinals.  The Cards IMO are more likely to win 6-7 games than 9-10 so we are at least better than bad, but that Giants team so far in our schedule was the wild card.  They always seem to hover around 9 wins....we could go on to beat the Falcons this week and they could also go on to win 11 games or something...then looking back it is awesome, but not so awesome if they end up losing 11.

Usually around week 6 you have a pretty good gauge on the teams as opposed to this early, but even then it is VERY hard to figure out who is going to make it and who is not.

And even if the Lions start 6-10 or something 2 seasons immediately pop in my head.....the 4-0 preseason and 0-16 regular season team and the team that started 6-1 or something close and ended up losing all the rest of the games....that was a close guess...it was 2007 when we were 6-2 and won ONE game the rest of the way...pealing off 6 losses in a row after Kitna went yelling in the locker room about all the negative media because of the 3-13 record the year before.

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I don't want to say that we won the first two games on smoke and mirrors, but there is at least a little feeling of that in both wins.

We got +3 on turn overs against the Cards and escaped a lousy first half to put up a very good second half.

Against the Giants we only got 119 yards in passing, which seems very low and a punt return for a TD is what really put the game away.

I guess I just didn't feel like either game was a great clean game by the team.  I don't want to make it seem like I'm not giving the other teams credit, but I think a really good opponent either week would have gotten a win against the Lions.

Atlanta is a really good team, and I expect them to win.  That's not to say that I don't think the Lions could win... and it wouldn't be a huge upset/fluke/miracle if they did get the win, but I just don't expect it to happen.

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5 minutes ago, RedRamage said:

I don't want to say that we won the first two games on smoke and mirrors, but there is at least a little feeling of that in both wins.

We got +3 on turn overs against the Cards and escaped a lousy first half to put up a very good second half.

Against the Giants we only got 119 yards in passing, which seems very low and a punt return for a TD is what really put the game away.

I guess I just didn't feel like either game was a great clean game by the team.  I don't want to make it seem like I'm not giving the other teams credit, but I think a really good opponent either week would have gotten a win against the Lions.

Atlanta is a really good team, and I expect them to win.  That's not to say that I don't think the Lions could win... and it wouldn't be a huge upset/fluke/miracle if they did get the win, but I just don't expect it to happen.

I can see this game going either way.  I am just expecting a loss.  It is what I am programmed to expect.

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39 minutes ago, RedRamage said:

I don't want to say that we won the first two games on smoke and mirrors, but there is at least a little feeling of that in both wins.

We got +3 on turn overs against the Cards and escaped a lousy first half to put up a very good second half.

Against the Giants we only got 119 yards in passing, which seems very low and a punt return for a TD is what really put the game away.

I guess I just didn't feel like either game was a great clean game by the team.  I don't want to make it seem like I'm not giving the other teams credit, but I think a really good opponent either week would have gotten a win against the Lions.

Atlanta is a really good team, and I expect them to win.  That's not to say that I don't think the Lions could win... and it wouldn't be a huge upset/fluke/miracle if they did get the win, but I just don't expect it to happen.

I believe clean games are relatively rare and I think fans as a group have an unrealistic expectation of how frequently good teams have them as well as reading too much into them when they happen.

Teams that minimize their mistakes and capitalize on the other teams mistakes tend to be the successful teams.

Valenti touched on this some on Tuesday. Paraphrasing, he essentially claimed the Giants played like we normally associate with the Lions and the Lions played like the Giants of the past 10 years.  Just took the lead, gradually built on it, let the D take over and ground it out, never really allowing the game to really be in doubt (as is possible inside an NFL game).  The Giants, OTOH, couldn't get anything going, made unforced errors, couldn't protect their QB.

It is an effective formula and most winning teams employ it.  The only team winning sexy routinely is the Patriots, and the Lions aren't them.  Alternately, the Lions don't have enough talent to win convincingly if the other team isn't making mistakes.  They can only win convincingly if the other team has some fundamental struggles a fan could point to. 

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1 minute ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I believe clean games are relatively rare and I think fans as a group have an unrealistic expectation of how frequently good teams have them as well as reading too much into them when they happen.

Teams that minimize their mistakes and capitalize on the other teams mistakes tend to be the successful teams.

Yeah, you're probably right.  But we're all jaded Lions fans here... we're all sorta conditioned to be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

A win is a win, and a win on the road as well... I should just take it and be glad for it, but I can't help looking up at the sky waiting to see that shoe come falling...

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9 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I believe clean games are relatively rare and I think fans as a group have an unrealistic expectation of how frequently good teams have them as well as reading too much into them when they happen.

Teams that minimize their mistakes and capitalize on the other teams mistakes tend to be the successful teams.

Valenti touched on this some on Tuesday. Paraphrasing, he essentially claimed the Giants played like we normally associate with the Lions and the Lions played like the Giants of the past 10 years.  Just took the lead, gradually built on it, let the D take over and ground it out, never really allowing the game to really be in doubt (as is possible inside an NFL game).  The Giants, OTOH, couldn't get anything going, made unforced errors, couldn't protect their QB.

It is an effective formula and most winning teams employ it.  The only team winning sexy routinely is the Patriots, and the Lions aren't them.  Alternately, the Lions don't have enough talent to win convincingly if the other team isn't making mistakes.  They can only win convincingly if the other team has some fundamental struggles a fan could point to. 

I agree with just about everything, except the Lions do have a lot more talent than they are given credit for.

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19 hours ago, RedRamage said:

Yeah, you're probably right.  But we're all jaded Lions fans here... we're all sorta conditioned to be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

A win is a win, and a win on the road as well... I should just take it and be glad for it, but I can't help looking up at the sky waiting to see that shoe come falling...

Not exaggerating an inch, my whole life (I am 44) I have heard Lion fans complain about being disorganized in general and taking stupid penalties and ***giving*** games away.

By and large, I think those were very fair criticisms / an accurate assessment.

Now the Lions go out and let the other team beat themselves for 2 games and fans as a group are grousing about there not being enough style points associated with the wins.

Honestly, I feel like asking where does the nerve even come from for a fan to ask for that (a general fan, not you specifically).  The Lions aren't that kind of good / aren't at that level now.  They need even more talent to do that.  Hopefully they build to it over the next few years but they objectively are not there now.

In summary, I think they need to continue to focus on minimizing their mistakes and controlling games where possible (i.e. capitalizing on the other guy's mistakes) before worrying about putting a bow on top, so to say. 

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14 minutes ago, RedRamage said:

Yeah, you're probably right.  But we're all jaded Lions fans here... we're all sorta conditioned to be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

A win is a win, and a win on the road as well... I should just take it and be glad for it, but I can't help looking up at the sky waiting to see that shoe come falling...

First of all, I get it. 

But why self-identify as a jaded lions fan, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Just don’t do it. 

Everyone understands their history. To me, it gets tiring to hear/read things like “the lions may have won a couple but the lions always end up failing.”

Again, I understand the emotion. It makes plenty of sense.  But you acknowledge that it is irrational. No one is forcing you to  type out the irrational position. So to respond to someone that critiqued the irrational post with a defense that you are a just a jaded lions fan seems kind of like a cop out. 

I don’t know. Mostly, I just dislike carrying all this baggage from things that happened years ago and using it as a shield to be pessimistic. There are plenty of actual reasons to be pessimistic. The fact that team is called the lions and wears blue and silver isn’t one of them. 

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1 minute ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I feel differently.

Not exaggerating an inch, my whole life (I am 44) I have heard Lion fans complain about being disorganized in general and taking stupid penalties and give games away.

Now the Lions go out and let the other team beat themselves for 2 games and fans as a group are grousing about there not being enough style points associated with the wins.

Point of order: I'm not grousing that there weren't enough style points in the wins, but rather grousing that the lack of style points makes me cautious about future predictions.

That may seem like a fine line, but it's a valid one in my humble opinion.  I'll never apologize for an ugly win... a win is a win is a win.  At the end of the day how you win doesn't matter in the NFL... just that you win.  I'll take a 11-5 year filled with ugly wins before an 8-8 year with pretty wins.

But when I'm looking at future games and using past games to predict, that's when I look at "style points."

A 21-20 win at home against a "lesser" team that we only won because they muffed the snap on what should have been a chip shot field goal does not inspire me to think the team is good and will be able to beat other good team.

On the flip side, a 21-20 loss on the road against a "better" team where we almost pulled off the upset does inspire me to think better of the team moving forward.

For the standings: Give me the ugly win every day.  For my feelings about the skill/talent of the team in predicting future games: The pretty loss makes me feel better about the team.

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4 minutes ago, Shelton said:

Again, I understand the emotion. It makes plenty of sense.  But you acknowledge that it is irrational. No one is forcing you to  type out the irrational position. So to respond to someone that critiqued the irrational post with a defense that you are a just a jaded lions fan seems kind of like a cop out.  

There's truth there... I guess I wasn't so much trying to justify my irrationality as much as saying: "Yeah, you're right, I'm being irrational but it's hard to not feel that way."

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When it comes to the NFL and the Lions, I really only care about the record/standings. 2-0, **** yeah! There's enough parity that you sneak home-field at the right time and **** can happen.

Falcons last year weren't the best team in the NFC, snuck into the 2 seed when the Seahawks and Packers ****** up, got 2 home match-ups in the playoffs, and shoulda won the super bowl.

Crazy **** can happen, but you gotta win.

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15 minutes ago, RedRamage said:

Point of order: I'm not grousing that there weren't enough style points in the wins, but rather grousing that the lack of style points makes me cautious about future predictions.

That may seem like a fine line, but it's a valid one in my humble opinion.  I'll never apologize for an ugly win... a win is a win is a win.  At the end of the day how you win doesn't matter in the NFL... just that you win.  I'll take a 11-5 year filled with ugly wins before an 8-8 year with pretty wins.

But when I'm looking at future games and using past games to predict, that's when I look at "style points."

A 21-20 win at home against a "lesser" team that we only won because they muffed the snap on what should have been a chip shot field goal does not inspire me to think the team is good and will be able to beat other good team.

On the flip side, a 21-20 loss on the road against a "better" team where we almost pulled off the upset does inspire me to think better of the team moving forward.

For the standings: Give me the ugly win every day.  For my feelings about the skill/talent of the team in predicting future games: The pretty loss makes me feel better about the team.

But that is just it.  They didn't barely win.  They won comfortably in both games.

They didn't play teams people thought were bad leading into the game.  Most thought they would lose both games, in fact.

But because they won, and on some level we don't think they are that good, the focus became discrediting the wins and why it won't continue.  Maybe it won't maybe it will.  But I think this is an excerise much more closely tied with waiting for the other shoe to drop than some actual merit based prognosticating.  Take the time to look at the other teams in the league.  Who is winning so convincingly?  A couple of teams?

I think they will win 9 or 10 games.  They don't have the talent yet to dominate in the way fans seem to want.  That is fine.  They need to continue to build.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Not exaggerating an inch, my whole life (I am 44) I have heard Lion fans complain about being disorganized in general and taking stupid penalties and ***giving*** games away.

Now the Lions go out and let the other team beat themselves for 2 games and fans as a group are grousing about there not being enough style points associated with the wins.

Honestly, I feel like asking where does the nerve even come from for a fan to ask for that (general fan, not you specifically).  The Lions aren't that good and aren't at that level now.  Hopefully they build to it over the next few years but they objectively are not there now.

In summary, I think they need to continue to focus on minimizing their mistakes and controlling games where possible before worrying about putting a bow on top, so to say. 

Who is talking about "style points"? 

People were concerned that they started the first quarter of the season against Arizona looking not just slow but inept. They settled down, and the defense proved it was much stouter than anybody expected, and the offense proved it could protect Stafford and create a few holes in the running game. These traits carried over into the second game, which was against a pre-season favorite but is turning out to be a regular season train wreck. Now they have two double-digit wins, over teams that before the season were considered playoff contenders. I don't see anybody complaining.

There is that broader issue of whether Coach Caldwell will be back next year. Some of us think that Quinn is waiting to see whether Caldwell can oversee an offense that can execute well enough early in games so as not to require Stafford to make fourth quarter comebacks as a precondition of winning. Some of us agree that it seems puzzling and frustrating that the offense has so consistently started slowly, and attribute this to coaching and preparation. Some of us saw evidence of this failure to execute early in the Arizona game, in which the first pass was intercepted and returned for a TD, and the team spotted Arizona 10 (could have been 14) points.

Perhaps others of us think that every season and every game is sui generis, where the performance of the team (coaches and players) has no connection or continuity from one game to another. And so every comment or criticism of the team's performance over time is seen as unfounded or irrelevant, or is misplaced as a simplistic criticism along the lines that going down 0-10 was somehow part of the coaches' game plan.

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3 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

But that is just it.  They didn't barely win.  They won comfortably in both games.

They didn't play teams people thought were bad leading into the game.  Most thought they would lose both games, in fact.

I was only trying to provide an example there of how I would react to each of my imaginary scenarios there.

And you're right most (including me) though they would be lucky to be 1-1 after the first two games and that 0-2 was a very real possibility.

I feel like we're headed off down a rabbit hole a little bit here in the debate.  To circle back, here's what I'm thinking:

STANDINGS: 2 wins: Fantastic.  I don't care how we got the wins, we're 2-0 and leading the North right now.

PREDICTING THE FUTURE: They didn't do enough in either game to make me think "Hey, the Lions are the team to beat in the NFC!" They did do enough to make me think playoffs are a reasonable goal this year where previously I figured they weren't.

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8 minutes ago, Jason_R said:

Who is talking about "style points"? 

I'm using "Style Points" to refer to how the team looked in wins.  I think that's Biggs is doing as well.  I'm saying that there wasn't enough "style points" in the two wins to convince me that the Lions are in the upper echelon of teams in the NFL.  There HAVE been enough style points to make me re-think where I expect the Lions to end up, but just not enough to give me a great feeling moving forward.

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I don’t think there are many fans who think winning a couple games against mediocre competition makes them the team to beat in the NFC. 

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You are, for
You have for one.

Do you feel most at home on a playground, making playground arguments?

I’ll just take this as an indication that you are unable to understand, let alone answer, the points I raised in my response to you.
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Yet you only referenced 'style points' and failed to address anything else I wrote.

I’ll guess that is, how did you put it, an indication that you are unable to understand, let alone answer, the points I had raised?

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Yet you only referenced 'style points' and failed to address anything else I wrote.
I’ll guess that is, how did you put it, an indication that you are unable to understand, let alone answer, the points I had raised?

Ahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

Ahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

“I know you are but what am I,” he replies. Playground argument, indeed.

Listen, if you don’t want to hear people talk about what the team does right, what the team does wrong, and how it matches up to other teams, the simple solution is for you not to read the forum, not to try to tell people what they are and aren’t allowed to say.
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2 hours ago, RedRamage said:

I don't want to say that we won the first two games on smoke and mirrors, but there is at least a little feeling of that in both wins.

We got +3 on turn overs against the Cards and escaped a lousy first half to put up a very good second half.

Against the Giants we only got 119 yards in passing, which seems very low and a punt return for a TD is what really put the game away.

I guess I just didn't feel like either game was a great clean game by the team.  I don't want to make it seem like I'm not giving the other teams credit, but I think a really good opponent either week would have gotten a win against the Lions.

Atlanta is a really good team, and I expect them to win.  That's not to say that I don't think the Lions could win... and it wouldn't be a huge upset/fluke/miracle if they did get the win, but I just don't expect it to happen.

No, last year was smoke and mirrors where they constantly fell behind and depended on Stafford to bail their *** out in the 4th.  These 2 wins weren't perfect by any means but they outplayed these teams by minimizing mistakes and capitalizing on their mistakes. I never felt that they were in danger of losing these games even when they were losing to the Cards once the Lions shook off the early cobbwebs whereas last year, I came away from those wins feeling  surprised and wondering how in the world they pulled that off.

Also, very few "clean" wins in todays' NFL where parity rules.  Outside of the Patriots who seem to cruise through every regular season, most teams have to fight tooth and nail for wins outside of the odd mismatch.

With that said, I don't know if they are "for real" or not or if they will even make the playoffs and I do think they were somewhat fortunate to run into two impotent offenses run by creaking old QBs but thus far, this looks like a more balanced team at least.

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1 hour ago, RedRamage said:

I was only trying to provide an example there of how I would react to each of my imaginary scenarios there.

And you're right most (including me) though they would be lucky to be 1-1 after the first two games and that 0-2 was a very real possibility.

I feel like we're headed off down a rabbit hole a little bit here in the debate.  To circle back, here's what I'm thinking:

STANDINGS: 2 wins: Fantastic.  I don't care how we got the wins, we're 2-0 and leading the North right now.

PREDICTING THE FUTURE: They didn't do enough in either game to make me think "Hey, the Lions are the team to beat in the NFC!" They did do enough to make me think playoffs are a reasonable goal this year where previously I figured they weren't.

I think that is a very reasonable way to look at it.

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