They are only two games into a new season but already many Detroit Lions fans are saying the season is over.
The Lions have struggled out of the gates with back-to-back disappointing road defeats. In those games, the Lions beat themselves and now are in a hole that many don’t expect them to crawl out of.
But there are a lot of things that can happen to a football team that is worse than losing their first two games, especially with those games being road games.
What the Lions can’t do is allow their slow start to get out of hand and become a 0-4 first quarter of the season. That would be disastrous, as it would force the team to play near perfect football over the next three quarters of the season in order to qualify for the postseason again.
The Lions are still in position to rebound, starting Sunday night when they host their home opener on Sunday Night Football against the Denver Broncos.
It won’t be easy, but it is a winnable game. And while it is too early to call it a must win, it is pretty close. With that in mind let’s take a look at some areas the Lions need to improve quickly.
The Detroit Lions offensive line is inexperienced but still must find a way to play better. The Lions have failed to protect quarterback Matthew Stafford, who took a beating against the Minnesota Vikings.
The newly rebuilt line also hasn’t opened up running lanes for the running backs and all together the Lions offense has stalled. This group won’t be perfect, especially with so much inexperience, but the Lions must find a way to scheme toward their strengths.
If the offensive line can quickly come together, the Lions could take a big step in the right direction.
Last season the Lions had one of the best defensive lines in the NFL led by Ndamukong Suh. With Suh now in Miami, Detroit is going to have to find production from other places. The Lions showed they could still be sound against the run in the preseason but also must find a way to get more pressure on the quarterback.
The Lions were able to pull out several close games last year with good coaching, but this year the team has been out-coached during the first two games. The Lions must make quick adjustments or second year coach Jim Caldwell will find out just how fast fans can turn on him.
That begins with the Lions finding a way to ride their best players to a couple of wins and also establish a comfort zone with their young players. What the coaches do from this point on could very well decide the fate of the season.
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.