The Electric Commentary

Monday, September 12, 2005

Oh Crip! He's a Crapple!

Yes, we're screwed. Donald is a fine #2 receiver, but everyone else is untested, and Turd is Turd.

(By the way, what was Robert Ferguson doing getting cramped up? I know he blocks on running plays and runs special teams, but what the hell? I understand Grady Jackson cramping up, and Ahman Green has his whole sweating problem, but when your job is running quickly repeatedly, how do you let your conditioning go like that. And while we're picking on Turd, what's with the alligator arms on Brett's interception? He wasn't even going to get hit.)

But focusing on a few individual plays and saying "what if this and what if that," while fun, isn't terribly productive. The bottom line this week was that a lack of discipline put the team in difficult situations time after time. Penalties have an enormous impact on a game. If you're consistently in 3rd and 8+ you're just not going to have much success. And penalties, especially offensive penalties, are so very preventable.

Almost every "hands to the face" call on the DBs was bullshit though, and Jeff Triplette is by far the league's worst official (Watch for him. That guy loves the limelight, and he loves to bail teams out. I've never been able to pick out a team that he prefers (although I have a friend that swears he has it out for the Lions), the guy loves to wipe out big plays. I don't think that "Trip" had much of an impact on this game, as the Packers were terrible all by their lonesomes, I just thought that I would mention it for future reference.

And while Javon did push off a bit on the infamous play, all Packer fans know that if that was really offensive pass interference, that Michael Irvin would have retired from the NFL with no catches and the Aikman Cowboys wouldn't have won any Superbowls, not that I'm still bitter about that.

Believe it or not, a few positive things did come out of this game. Seriously. Don't completely panic yet. (Note: I still think they'll finish around 6-10.)

1. First of all, holding Kevin Jones to 87 yards on 25 carries is impressive, and should make Lions fans everywhere nervous. That guy is really good, and I was impressed with our linebacker pursuit, especially Nick Barnett.

2. 3 Detroit points are the result of a bullshit fumble call. You remember. The one that slipped out of Favre's hand? It was going forward, and clearly an incomplete pass. I know this to be true and can prove it beyond any doubt. When you bring the ball backwards and lose it, it turns and flops about all randomly, however, when Favre "dropped" that ball, I noticed two things about it:

A. It traveled forward (a dead giveaway in a situation where no defensive contact was made with Favre. There is only one way that a ball can move forward in this situation, and it requires the QBs arm to be moving forward). But more importantly,

B. It was a frickin' SPIRAL. You've all probably played a game of football at some point. Maybe in high school, maybe just in pickup or intramural. Has anyone ever fumbles a spiral before? Without being touched by a defender?

I didn't think so.

Why no challenge? I don't know. What I do know is that the refs let that play be a fumble because they knew that they had replay there to catch their mistake, and no ref wants to be accused of the quick whistle. So they let the play go on and the Lions received an ill-gotten 3 points.

3. The Lions are tough to run on. Green didn't have a great game, largely due to the fact that the Pack was playing catchup all afternoon, but he had an excellent yards per carry, which bodes well for the future. Najeh, however, dropped a deuce all over the hamper that is Ford Field.

4. While B.J. Sander can't hold very well, he did punt well, averaging 41.3 yards with a long of 49. Not great, but not too shabby. (By the way, I know the punter has nothing better to do all day than learn to hold, which is why they do it, but it's really stupid not to have the backup QB hold. If disaster strikes at least there is some chance that he can make something out of it. What's a punter going to do (by the way, what the punter should do, if he has time, is attempt to drop kick a field goal. But no one will ever do this.) Even better than the backup QB would be a backup RB or WR, who might be able to score on a run. This eliminates the "ineligible man downfield" problem.)

5. Except for the penalties the pass defense was very good. When Marcus Pollard and Kevin Johnson are the other teams leading receivers, you've done a fine job.

There were tons of bad things, but I'm sure that you've all already gone over them in your heads. I know I have. There is one more positive that I'll leave you with.

6. Next week the Packers play Cleveland. In a week where doormats Miami and SF both scored huge victories, the Brownies lived up to their expectations. Dilfer had 2 picks, they fumbled a bunch, and they couldn't do much defensively. (I'm a bit worried about Reuben Droughns though.) It should be a good week to get healthy. And since the Bears play the Lions next week and I think the Bears will win, we can get right back into first (and that's just sad. Go NFC North!)

And, as I've mentioned before, Jake Plummer sucks.


  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:45 AM  

  • I was surprised Ahman Green didn't get more touches. It seemed like the Packers felt that they had to pass because they were behind, even though for most of the game they were only down by one score.

    I'm with you completely on holders. Teams have the attitude that because the punter and the long snapper and the kicker all sit around together at practice anyway, the punter has to be the holder. Here's a novel idea for every NFL team: actually make your best holder your holder. You know, some day at practice fire a bunch of low snaps at a bunch of different players and give the holder's job to whoever does the best of fielding them.

    The weird thing about Triplette is that there's no consistency at all to his calls. (And it's not just him; it seems like the NFL puts the worst back judge, side judge, etc. all on the same crew.) As you correctly noted, the Lions' receivers were the beneficiary of some bullshit illegal contact calls. But there was also a play where Roy Williams got absolutely mugged and they didn't call it. If the officials would at least be consistent in their bad calls, the receivers and DBs could get into a groove as the game went on, but Triplette's crew can't even manage that.

    By Blogger MDS, at 12:55 PM  

  • It's so hard to watch a game with Triplette. Instead of being excited about big plays I just get worried. And your're right, the Packers benefitted from quite a few non-calls, which just makes them even sadder.

    It seemed like there was a lot of contact in the secondary that wasn't called and a few ticky-tacky things that were. There was one "hands to the face" call (I think on Carrol) where I'm not even 100% sure that he touched the receiver, and if he did, it was a brushing. And it was on thrid down in or near the red zone.

    But like I said, it wouldn't have mattered much.

    And definitely not enough running for Ahman. That's what you get with a bad coach.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 1:11 PM  

  • I agree, Sherman should have run more. We were even penalized far less on running plays. He even tried passing when the game was close and both Ferg & Walker were out. Word is Sherman didn't think he could run on the Lions, then didn't adjust when it became apparent we could. Better coaching and the Packers would probably have won.

    I thought this ref crew was very picky. At least one of Carroll's holding calls was utterly preposterous. Another, it appears he got a hands to the face call on a running play where neither he nor the WR even seemed to be trying. Also at least 1 clipping call was plain stupid as the player tried to cut back & fell and the penalized player simply tried not to run him over.

    As for the punter, I also prefer a QB/RB/WR. Unfortunately, GB didn't know who their #2 QB was going to be all preseason and they needed to develop someone. I read that Longwell thought Rogers was the best holder initially though.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 1:13 PM  

  • Oh, and I forgot, they didn't try to challenge the fumble because Favre didn't come over and say he thought it was a pass, which he usually does.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 1:16 PM  

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