Saturday, November 24, 2012

Detroit Lions 2012 season

Attempting to be objective here, the way yours truly sees it, the Lions are exactly where they should be. No, I'm not talking about the wouldas, couldas, and shouldas the Pollyannas have been feeding the Honolulu blue and silver koolaided masses for over a year.

They would have you believe that but for a penalty here, a dropped pass there, a controversial call, and a few untimely fumbles and interceptions, things might have been different. While we're at it let's throw in special teams' breakdowns, bone-headed coaching decisions, lack of quality depth at just about every position, and attitude problems.

But oh my. Everybody knew they would beat Minnesota and Tennessee, they said. The Lions lost those games. Turned out, the Lions were lucky to defeat the St. Louis Rams in their home opener. Since then, they've beaten a Philadelphia Eagles team that seems to be coming apart at the seams, an average Seattle Seahawks team, and rolled over the woeful Jax Jaguars. That's it. Other than that, they've lost them all. Yes, they've been competitive in most of those games, keeping the scores reasonably close, but instead of finding a way to win, they find a way to lose. Sound familiar?

Unlike college football with their pollsters and computers ranking everybody by every stat known to mankind and software, in the NFL, it doesn't matter. Whether a team wins by one point or 50 -- nothing counts except wins and losses. Good teams find a way to win the close contests. Not so good teams wind up losing. In the Lions' case, QB Matthew Stafford can throw for 400 passing yards, and Megatron Calvin Johnson might rack up 200 receiving yards and a few touchdown catches. Impressive stats. But you know what? Reality check. In the NFL it means absolutely nothing if the other team winds up winning the game.

Last year the Lions did fairly well through the course of the regular season, posting a 10-6 record. They had a weaker schedule, caught a few breaks, some teams probably overlooked them because they were "only the Lions" of course, and presto, they're in the playoffs. Then they were exposed as the impostors they were by the New Orleans Saints in a beatdown. Still, the desperate never-say-die Lions' faithful took that as a good sign. They finally made the playoffs, and better things will come next year. The sky's the limit, and even the Super Bowl might be possible, they ranted. They ignored the obvious.

Second, being a playoff team the year before, in the name of "parity", the NFL would toughen up the Lions' schedule a bit this year. Look at what's happened. The Lions haven't defeated a "good" team this year to date and, other than Jacksonville, were fortunate indeed to defeat a couple of "bad" ones.

So here's a little tidbit you'll never read in the Detroit area papers or see on-line from any of the Honolulu blue and silver beat writers or columnists.

While they will likely continue to try and explain away why the Lions aren't faring so well this season, they never considered another possibility.

The Lions were vastly overrated last year. Their 2011 season was an anomaly, an aberration. A UFO that turned out to be another weather balloon.

Bottom line? They weren't that good then, and now they're getting exposed again this year for STILL not being that good. It's really no big deal. Just another year in the long sorry history of the Lions. To any that may have actually thought they had a shot of going to the Super Bowl any time soon --  those guys on a certain pre-game NFL show have a way of summing it up best.


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