It was a not good football weekend for me as both of my teams lost. WMU dropped a home MAC game to Akron (ouch) and the Lions got blown out in New Orleans. In my TL;DR opinion: both teams made mistakes throughout that caused them to lose. Let’s look at what happened in both cases.
WMU and Akron were supposed to play Saturday at 3:30 p.m., only to be postponed by flood causing torrential rain. Not the best case scenario for a Homecoming game. Rescheduling the game til Sunday at 1 p.m. made for a game played in front of absolutely no one, which didn’t help WMU at all.
On the first drive of the game, WMU passed once (for a first down) and then ran the ball 10 STRAIGHT PLAYS, marching down to the Akron 10 yard line. The next play was a pass, which Jon Wassink basically handed to the Akron defender after staring down his receiver. The pick was returned 70 yards and Akron scored two plays later.
The next consequential play was a missed 25 yard field goal by Josh Grant. You can’t miss that, no matter what (he made a 49 yarder later in the game). Grant, a freshman, finished 2-4 on the day and is now 9-14 on the year.
In the third quarter, WMU faced a fourth and three from the Akron 11. Picking up a fourth and one earlier in the drive, WMU chose to go for it and ran Jamauri Bogan. Failing to get the first down ended a 14 play, six minute drive without points.
In the end, WMU controlled the game and just didn’t score. It’s not what you want or need and really just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
There was no way WMU should have lost that game. You just can’t lose home conference games to lesser teams.
Next for the Broncos is a matchup with Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti. According to ESPN, WMU has a 60 percent chance of winning and is favored by 3. It should be a close, high scoring matchup.
The Lions were 4.5 point underdogs heading into the Superdome, a notoriously tough play to play. I wasn’t feeling too good about the Lions’ chances, and with TJ Lang out it looked like the Lions might have a tough day.
It certainly didn’t take long for that to be made clear, with Stafford getting sacked and the Saints recovering the fumble for a touchdown on the first drive of the game. I’ll always be hesitant to blame Matt, just because, but that one was on him for holding on to the ball too long. That’s been something fans have said the last couple of weeks, and it looks like it is indeed a trend.
Pretty much, it was just a terrible game by the Lions. It’s not even worth breaking down, really. It reminded me of the Arizona game a couple years ago. Speaking of that: Caldwell should have sat Stafford once he went down with a hit to the ribs. We already knew he was banged up coming into the game, there should’ve been no reason for him to stay in the game. (I mean Greg Robinson even got benched and Rick Wagner left the game for a bit.)
Why would you subject the highest paid player in the NFL to that type of punishment, down 35 points? As a staunch defender of Coach Caldwell, he deserves a lot of criticism for that decision.
Back to how bad of a game this was: I wanted it to be over in the third quarter so I could get on the road back home from Kalamazoo. Stafford got sacked like 10 times. He turned the ball over like 5 times. Every other pass got tipped. Prater missed a field goal. Even when Darius Slay picked off Drew Brees in Saints’ territory, the Lions couldn’t do anything with it.
The bye week is a huge blessing. The Lions should get a little healthier (Kenny Golladay, TJ), Teryl Austin can hunker down in Allen Park and figure out some way to get a pass rush (Ziggy, where you at man?!), and Jim Bob Cooter can possibly figure out how to get the offense going. A HUGE Sunday Night Football game against the Steelers looms and I hope the Lions get it together. With Rodgers going down, this HAS to be the year the Lions get it done.