Monday, September 25, 2006

"Talented" Lions Just Can't Believe They're Winless

To hear the Lions tell it, they're the most talented winless team in the NFL. They have so much talent, they would have us think, that it's just unfathomable that they are looking for their first victory as the calendar turns to October.

Roy Williams, quickly becoming the team's spin doctor, said it again yesterday after the Lions' 31 to 24 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The Packers no longer seek their first win, thanks to the Lions.

"We realized we can score and we can really move the football," Williams said. "It hit home with a lot of guys.... We're oh and three. Guys aren't hanging their heads, guys aren't giving up, guys want to fight, because they know what kind of talent we have ... Sooner or later, it's going to turn around."

Here's Dre' Bly: "We're better than we played the last two weeks. We have a very talented defense."

Kevin Jones: "I don't think the record shows our talent."

Please. Stop.

They ARE right about one thing: the difference in talent in the NFL is razor thin. Most games come down to execution and lack of turnovers. And who can pressure the quarterback. And who can pass defend. And who can get off the field on third down. And who can hit open men for touchdowns.

The Lions didn't do any of those things, so they are still winless, despite all that world of talent.

It's the same old refrain for the losers of NFL games: in Week 1, the Lions got great defense, but no offense. In Game 2, they got neither, and committed tons of penatlies to boot. In Week 3, decent offense, no defense.

How a team can harass and beat up on the defending NFC champion Seahawks one week, and then disappear from the QB's personal space in the following two weeks is surely curious. The Lions allowed Brett Favre to pick them apart because they couldn't so much as breathe on him all afternoon. For even the most mediocre of quarterbacks, a complete lack of pass rush is poison to a defense. When the QB is Favre, it's akin to placing land mines all over Ford Field, only able to be detonated by the Lions.

The see saw that the Lions play on teetered and tottered, but never could they balance it. Good offensive series followed by a bad defensive series followed by a good offensive series, followed by a ...

You get the idea.

Next week, the Lions take their talented bunch to St. Louis, where Mike Martz gets to return to the turf of his past glory. The turf on which he presented the NFL's Greatest Show.

So what's his problem? The Lions are so talented, after all.

But not so talented, at the same time.

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