Detroit Costs Themselves The Game, Fall to 1-1.
Coming off a wild week one win over the Colts, Detroit welcomed the 0-1 Tennessee Titans to Ford Field. DeAndre Levy would miss this game due to a quad injury, and Detroit got more banged up as the game went on, losing Eziekiel Ansah, Ameer Abdullah, Antwione Williams, and Kyle Van Noy. There were many other factors in today’s game, so let’s break it down!
Matt Stafford didn’t have a big day like last week against the Colts, but it wasn’t his fault. Stafford ended up going 22 of 40 for 260 yards and a touchdown,but threw an interception on the final drive- costing Detroit a chance at a comeback. Stafford threw two touchdowns, one to Eric Ebron and one to Anquan Boldin that would get called back due to penalties. Stafford got hit late on a play and looked like he injured his knee or ankle and hobbled off the field. Luckily it wasn’t anything serious as he continued to play with no limp.
The running game took a step back this week, Theo Riddick lead the team in carries and yards with 11 for 37 yards, Ameer Abdullah had six for 38 and Dwayne Washington saw more action with four carries for 31 yards. The offensive line struggled to expose any weakness on the Titans defensive line. Detroit was forced to pass the ball more with the penalties driving them backwards again and again and again.
Receiving had a horrible day. There were seven drops as Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Theo Riddick and Anquan Boldin all couldn’t hang on to the ball today, costing Detroit chances at easy points. Jones lead the team in catches with eight for 118 yards. Anquan Boldin was the only receiver to score as he had four catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. Eric Ebron had four catches for 53 yards, Riddick had four for 28 yards and Tate, dropping big passes, only with two for 13 yards. It was a tough day for the receiving core and you bet they will be working on hands drills next week.
The offensive line struggled today, but it could have been worse. They allowed three sacks on Stafford and Laken Tomlinson was the weakest player with multiple holding calls, costing the team a touchdown and more. They couldn’t create holes for the run game and on screen passes they couldn’t give them enough room.
The defensive line was steady today and besides DeMarco Murray’s big 67 yard run, they held the Titans to 73 rushing yards. Ziggy Ansah left the game early in the first quarter with an ankle injury and didn’t return. Kerry Hyder came in and did some work, getting a tackle, a sack and two qb hits. Devin Taylor had seven tackles, a sack and a half, two tackles for loss and qb hits, stepping up with Ansah gone. Haloti Ngata had two tackles and a half a sack.
Linebackers were very weak today. They started out without DeAndre Levy and as the game went on they lost Kyle Van Noy and Antwione Williams, having Thurston Armbrister to come in and force Brandon Copeland, the defensive end, to move to linebacker and help out. The Titans exposed that as Delanie Walker had six catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. Tahir Whitehead had a better day with 10 tackles as Copeland and Arbrister had four tackles a piece. Detroit is going to have to look at some free agents to help with this position if they are going to want to stay in games.
Defensive backs didn’t do horrible as Glover Quin had three tackles, a pass deflection and a big interception. Darius Slay had three tackles and a pass deflection as well, but a questionable pass interference call gave the Titans life late in the fourth quarter. Tavon Wilson had seven tackles and a nice tackle for loss as Nevin Lawson had three tackles and two pass deflections, giving Mariota trouble
Special Teams had nothing special today with Andre Roberts having two punt returns for 23 yards and a kick return for 10 yards along with Washington having a 25 yard kick return. Sam Martin had a fantastic day with all five punts, totaling 217 yards, landing inside the 20 yard line. Matt Prater had two field goals made, the longest from 42 yards.
Week Two What it Means
17 penalties for 138 yards. That is something that should never happen to a professional football team. Detroit cost themselves this game as two touchdowns were wiped away, Ebron had a flag and Tomlinson had a flag as well on a drive that started out first and goal inside the five, to a first and goal inside the 25 yard line.
Seven drops, you have to be kidding right? Detroit is known for having receivers that can’t catch the ball when it is right in their hands. Detroit got some better receivers, ones who aren’t supposed to have drops, and they drop in times we need them to not drop at all.
Detroit falls to 1-1, when they should be 2-0. This is a big loss to Detroit, against a team that didn’t deserve the win and they gave the win to Tennessee. Late in the season, if Detroit is in the playoff hunt, this game could come back to haunt them.
Week Two What to Think About
You have got to wonder, on two separate times where Detroit was around the 40 yard line, about a 50/60 yard field goal kick, they decide to punt it. Matt Prater has the record for the longest field goal kick in NFL history, he can make the big kicks. Why would Jim Caldwell let Sam Martin go out and punt, not that he did wrong, but if Prater could go out and make just one of those field goals, Detroit wins by two.
Detroit has the injury bug and it isn’t good. Losing three linebackers means a major weakness and opposing offenses will expose this week in and week out. Detroit will need to sign some free agents and hope for a speedy recovery for everyone that was hurt today.