The Detroit Lions got shellacked and embarrassed again in front of a national audience.
Sunday night’s 31-17 loss to the Saints was a major step back for a team that had made some major strides in recent years.
On the opening kickoff return man Stefan Logan returned the ball past the 30-yard line but it was called back because of a hold.
On their first offensive possession I thought I was watching the “Dandy” Dan Orlovsky- led Lions.
They committed two penalties on the series, another holding call and an illegal formation, resulting in a punt.
Stupidity and bad penalties was basically the story of the night Sunday. The only thing the Lions didn’t do was run out of bounds in their own end zone.
Throughout the night the Lions were flagged 11 times for 107 yards.
“All penalties hurt us tonight,” Lions quarterback Matt Stafford told reporters after the game.
“Same old song and dance. I’m getting tired of talking about it.”
If Stafford isn’t going to talk about then somebody should.
This leads me to ask one question, where is the locker room leadership? Who calls these young players out when they do something stupid.
Do you think Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers would whip their teams into shape if they were having these kinds of problems?
I realize Stafford is young but he is the leader on the field and he needs to be the leader on the sidelines and in the locker room as well.
Dominic Raiola was doing what he could on the sideline to get his teammates in line, but he can’t do it all by himself.
Even during the pregame interview when Bob Costas was talking to Stafford and Calvin Johnson about the suspension of Ndamukong Suh, both “leaders” said they had not talked to him about it.(11:07)
I embrace the bad boy mentality, that seems to be how Detroit teams win championships, but it only works if the team is disciplined and the 2011 Detroit Lions are not that.
“We did some dumb things that really set us back. We know that,” Stafford said.
“(Penalties) come in spurts and when they come it’s at the most inopportune times. We can’t beat ourselves. That’s what we did. We were moving the ball in the second half and we kept shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Nate Burleson, Brandon Pettigrew, Stefan Logan and Titus Young were all called for embarrassing Pop Warner penalties.
Burleson’s brain farted three times when he was call for offensive pass interference.
Pettigrew, Logan and Young were all called for 15-yard penalties which all killed potential scoring drives in crunch time.
Young punched an opponent in the face while standing right in front of an official, Pettigrew bumped a ref while he was jawing with an opponent and Logan flipped the ball at an opponent while they were going back and forth. All of that could have been avoided if they had used their brains.
Largely because of penalties the Lions faced seven third and long situations and the only one that seemed to care was Lions center Dominic Raiola.
“We’re undisciplined,” Raiola told reporters after the game.
“Undisciplined. Undisciplined. We (messed) it up. No discipline. It’s very disheartening to do this (stuff) in the big games, and we’ve got to clean it up.
“We’re not going to win any games if we play like that.”
Lions coach Jim Schwartz has to do a better job of controlling his young team. The blame for Sunday night’s beat down has to fall on him.