Tom Greene | November 25th, 2019
Ever had a moment in your life where you’re so embarrassed to where you’re red in the face? Well, that’s the inspiration for this week’s title. Losing 19-16 to a one-win Washington Redskin team can make any team feel red in the face, and Lions fans have sadly seen this time and time again. Nastia Liukin posted the perfect mood in which Lions fans should be feeling, too.
This loss brings the team to 3-7-1, and almost certain playoff elimination before taking the field on Thanksgiving. A far distant cry from the 2-0-1 they once were. Let’s look at the three things to take from this game before we have our annual Turkey Feast.
1. Scarbrough is Proving Himself
In last week’s recap, I made a point on how Bo Scarbrough could be a possible runner for this team in the future. He further proved his point on Sunday. With 98 yards on the ground, he was the first running back to lead the Lions in yards rushing since Matthew Stafford got hurt and Jeff Driskel took over. Yes, Driskel was among the leading rushers the last two weeks. F’n. Driskel. Let’s now put that into context.
The Lions do not have an offense designed for a running quarterback, like Lamar Jackson or Colin Kaepernick (before we get too far, NO, Detroit should NOT sign him!), so seeing your man under center having among the most yards rushing is concerning. Especially when you’re losing. To give Darrell Bevell credit, Russell Wilson was a proven runner in Seattle and could make plays when necessary. Driskel has good legs, but he’s no Wilson nor is Stafford. Having a runner that can get tough yards like Scarbrough will prove to matter big time in the future. But for now, as the losing continues, it seems all for naught.
2. The Defense Looked Better
A 19-16 loss is still a 19-16 loss, but for a defense that’s given up almost 29 points a game since week six, seeing a score under 20 on the board seems refreshing. Only allowing 156 yards in the air for Dwayne Haskins is positive as well. The defense recovered a fumble, which had not seen a turnover in over a few weeks. What’s positive is always nice.
But, the end result for this team is the same. A loss to a one-win team. “Any Given Sunday” is a real thing, and we’ve seen this happen to other teams this season. The Cowboys lost to the Jets. The Jets lost to the Dolphins. In no way, shape, or form, however, does it feel good, however. It feels embarrassing (to which Adam Gase doesn’t feel that way). Which leads us into our third point.
3. But, the Proof is in the Pudding
Yes, another old-time phrase you’ve probably heard your mom or dad say numerous times. “The proof is in the pudding!”, and here the Lions sit at 3-7-1. For multiple weeks, I’ve questioned Paul Pasqualoni. Now the question is, is it time to question Matt Patricia?
As for now, I will remain noncommittal on that question until after the season is done. Unless you’re Marty Mornhinweg, I still don’t necessarily feel a coach should be fired after two seasons. But, “The proof is in the pudding!”. This team has only won nine games in Patricia’s tenure. The Lions fired Jim Caldwell, who won nine games in his final season in Detroit. I will also include Patricia’s press conference from Sunday’s loss to Washington. Once again, I’ll remain noncommittal for now. But, I’ll let the reader answer for themself whether or not we should question Patricia.
Now, it’s the Lions turn to go on the national stage. Mitchell Trubisky, Allen Robinson, and the Chicago Bears await us. In mathematical terms, the Lions are eliminated from playoff contention with a loss on Thanksgiving. Chicago can afford to lose one more game and still be in the race. A game that most of the nation thought would have great playoff implications has turned into an elimination game between teams most likely not getting in anyway.
If Detroit wants to have a good taste in their mouth as the season starts to wind down, a victory in front of a national audience would certainly help. If Chicago wants to get back to .500 and have a realistic shot at the playoffs, a victory in front of a national audience would certainly help.
For both teams, it’s all in front of them. The question is, who’s willing to help salvage their season? We’ll find out the answer starting at 12:30 est Thursday.
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