Feast Or Famine: Poor Coaching Costs Detroit On Sunday Night Football

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The Lions That Succeeded And Who Disappointed In Their Week Eight Loss To The Pittsburgh Steelers


Lions Who Feasted

Glover Quin proved again why he is among the top safeties in the NFL this week. Early in the game he made an incredible diving interception on a pass intended for Antonio Brown. Quin also recovered a fumble caused by Anthony Zettel in the second half. The safety was in great coverage consistently and added two tackles on Sunday Night Football.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin had a very impressive first half showing. He was in good coverage and took great angles against the run. He played with more control and discipline tonight, which helped him place second on the team with tackles, including a tackle for loss. And he did this with most of his playing time coming in the first half of the game.

Marvin Jones six receptions for 128 yards showed up big for Detroit today in the passing game. While his struggles have been shown to be against press-man, Jones really strives against zone coverage. He is great at finding the soft spot in the defense and displayed great body control in jump ball situations tonight. He led the team in receiving with.

Lions In Famine

Jim Caldwell made one of the most questionable decisions of his career in this game. Near the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Lions are down 13-12 and have the ball on the Steelers 2-yard line. Its 4th down and Caldwell elects to go for the touchdown, instead of taking the chip shot field goal for the 15-13 lead. The play fails and the Steelers score a 97-yard touchdown as a result of the subsequent drive, to go up 20-12.

Jim Bob Cooter had one of his worst games as offensive coordinator Sunday night. Several drives began with runs on first down that often got negative or no yardage. But the biggest issue was the inability to convert touchdowns in the red zone in this game. Detroit had five attempts in the red zone and came away only two field goals to show for it.

While some of it was failure to execute by players, a large chunk of the issues in the red zone stemmed from continuing to run predictable runs that got stuffed almost every play within the Steeler 10-yard line. This play-calling continued even into their final drive where the offense failed to score from the Pittsburgh 3-yard line.

The Tight Ends as a group really struggled in the passing game tonight. Crucial drops in the end zone and on third down were big factors in a game that was as close as this one was. The group had a total of eleven targets, but only managed to haul in three of them.

They also struggled in the running game as well. Usually, this unit has done well blocking for the ground game this season. But linebackers Bud Dupree, Ryan Shazier, and TJ Watt were so disruptive on the edges that it killed many running plays designed to the perimeter. It forced the running game to go inside, where the weakest run blocking has been this season and was a big reason why the running backs averaged merely 2.9 yards per carry in this one.

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