After A Thanksgiving Loss To The Chicago Bears, It Is Officially Time For Detroit Lions Fans To Look To Next Season.
Most Detroit Lions fans had already given up hope for this season weeks ago. A win last week against the Carolina Panthers was a bit surprising and may have drawn a few unfortunate fans back into the crowd of dreamers that believed that the playoffs were still on the table. Thursday’s loss to the Chicago Bears to complete the sweep should put an end to fans that still clung to the slim hope of reaching the playoffs.
In case the rest of the season wasn’t enough evidence, the Lions loss to the Chase-Daniels-led-Bears should have been enough to show you that this just simply isn’t a playoff caliber team this year.
This team has lived and died by the arm of quarterback Matthew Stafford, and while it isn’t necessarily fair to put that much of a burden on a single player when he isn’t playing his best ball, the Lions struggle and Stafford has not been playing his best ball this year.
He isn’t the problem with this team, but he has certainly been a part of the problem with the struggling offense this year.
Missing wide receiver Marvin Jones and running back Kerryon Johnson on Thursday certainly didn’t help an already depleted Lions offense. The unit just hasn’t looked the same since trading wide receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The offensive line, despite significant investment from the front office, is still struggling to protect their struggling quarterback, the Lions wide receivers are struggling to create separation, further compounding the issue and, without Johnson, rushing yards are tough to come by.
The entire offense looks like a mess right now.
The defense certainly had its bright spots in their Thanksgiving loss to the Bears, but it is tough to evaluate a defense that is facing a backup quarterback that is leading a team already known primarily for their defense. The unit still has holes that need to be filled, and the Lions have plenty of time to plan out how they plan to attack this upcoming offseason, but it is clear that they simply don’t have the necessary talent on both sides of the ball to be a legitimate playoff contender, let alone Super Bowl contender.
More likely than not, offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter will be leaving the organization after this season and, hopefully, a fresh play-caller will be able to help breathe some life into the struggling offense and maximize the talent that is already on the roster, allowing the front office to focus more on the defensive side of the ball.
The plan for the offseason will start to shape up the closer we get, but for now, it seems clear to me that this team has a long ways to go and needs some serious improvements in the offseason.