Tion Green’s Debut, Jim Caldwell’s Coaching History, And My Prediction Of The Remaining Schedule.
Question One: How Did Tion Green Look Running For The First Time In The NFL?
I really liked what I saw from running back Tion Green’s first time getting touches in a regular season game. I liked what I saw from Green’s college tape at Cincinnati and picked him to be the dark horse to make the Lions 53-man roster this pre-season. He showed very good vision and patience, which combined with his strength and motor made him a force to be reckoned with in the red zone.
Granted, there were some concerns about whether he could play at NFL speed and I think his game against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, he looked like he belonged on the field. While the Lions offensive line still really struggled to get push in this game Green was still rarely brought down for negative yardage, which has been an issue for Detroit on early downs this year. His vision and patience were on display in this game, setting up his blockers better than we have seen lately from the Lions running backs.
Green’s very first play was a 33-yard rush where he did just that. The initial pulling blocks were good, but Green’s patience allowed the tight end and receiver time to set up their blocks before he hit the corner. He had a similar looking play on his 6-yard touchdown. Just like in college, Green showed his ability in the redzone
Question Two: How Did Other Teams Perform With Jim Caldwell As Their Head Coach?
Jim Caldwell was the head coach of Wake Forest between 1993 and 2000. In those eight seasons, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons only managed one winning season which took place in 1999 when they went 7-5 and won the Aloha Bowl. However, in six of the remaining seven seasons the Demon Deacons failed to win more than three games. His career record at Wake Forest was 26-63.
He has had more success however in the NFL. As the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts following Tony Dungys retirement, they went 14-2 in 2009, losing to the Saints in Superbowl XLIV. The following season they went 10-6, followed by 2-14 season that forced the Colts to move on from Caldwell. The Colts were 26-22 while Caldwell was the head coach.
Similarly to Indianapolis, Caldwell started hot in Detroit, with an 11-5 team and one of the best Lions defenses in recent history in 2014. The Lions have lost both playoff games they have played under him and have had a 33-27 record in total.
Question Three: How Do You Think The Rest Of The Lions Season Will End Up?
I think it is very possible the Lions win out the rest of the way and sit at 10-6 with a potential playoff spot as the six seed in the wild card. I think the Bucs on the road and Bears at home will be the easiest of the remaining games, coming against teams that have really struggled to play four quarters of consistent football this season.
The Bengals have shown some promise this year and could be a difficult opponenet, especially facing them on the road. The Packer could also be difficult winning several games recently without Aaron Rodgers who could return week 17. It is also possible the Lions finish 2-2 and finish out the season 8-8.