Photo credit: Mike Morbeck
The Detroit Lions had an outstanding start against the San Diego Chargers in their regular season opener before facing a catastrophic meltdown. The Lions would start the game 21-3 before facing 30 unanswered points and losing the game 33-28. The let down was clearly an example of the team’s lack of mental toughness. While some losses can signify that a team is doomed from the start, this was not the case with the Lions. The Detroit Lions are a talented team that have plenty of weapons to succeed. This was clear in the regular season opener because when they were playing at an optimal level they were handling the Chargers. They just have to mature and learn how to win or in other words learn how to close games out. Closing games out or finishing the game is what separates the good teams from the bad teams in the National Football League. Each week there are several games that come down to the very last possession. The teams that can learn how to execute in the clutch when the pressure is on are the teams that eventually become successful in pro football. The Lions have talent, Ameer Abdullah was playing phenomenally for the Lions before they decided to go away from him in the second half. Another problem you have to have with the Lions meltdown is the fact that they were winning the football game significantly at one point, so why not rely on your run game to shorten the game a little bit when you’re ahead? Bell has been banged up recently but 13 carries between both Bell and Abdullah is ridiculously low. Good backs in the league can handle 20 carries to themselves. Why not feed one of those guys and wear down the defensive a little bit? Even if Theo Reddick had to take some carriers, that’s fine but to instead “air it out” when you’re ahead is just bad football I.Q by the Lions coaching staff. Whether it’s playing the game or coaching the game if you use bad fundamentals you are going to lose the game and that was the case for the Lion in their meltdown in San Diego. Bad fundamentals.
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