ALL PARK – Four players allowed at least seven presses in the first week of the season. And two play offensive dueling skills for the Detroit Lions.
Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner both allowed seven pressures in the opening game against Arizona, and Decker also allowed two sacks. He imposed four penalties. He was one of the worst offensive linemen in the league last week, and now the challenge is growing with a matchup on tap against the Los Angeles Chargers (13.00, CBS), who happen to have one of the best 1: 2 league kombos in the league ,
So yes. Decker was a hot topic this week and we will start there with the latest issue of the mailbag. Again, my deepest appreciation to all who have asked questions. It was impossible to reach everyone and still have time to pet my cat, but we will do it again next week. Questions can be tweeted here or emailed to [email protected]
Then let's get started.
Q: Do not overreact, but it's time to find Decker replacing him or is he still struggling to return from his injury? I thought it would be a solid year and would continue to evolve from there, but I also know how injuries can change that (see Mikel Leshoure). ̵
That means I'm not ready to dig his grave yet. It was a game. And it was a game against some pretty good edge rushers. He also has a back injury. Maybe there's more to it than we know. I just do not think you're giving up on a decision in the first round that you spent more than three years developing because it was playing a bad game. Let's see him jump back this week – against Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, not less – before he writes his obituary.
But it's hard to see how bad he was last week, and I do not like what he and coaches have said – that Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs are just really good. Well, they are. But also Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, whom he will see this week. And Brandon Graham, whom he will see next week. And Frank Clark, whom he will see in the following week. I mean, that's the NFL. Decker plays left. He will see good players almost every week. His job is to wipe out good players. That's the job. He has not done so against Arizona, and he must make progress to dispel concerns about him and the Lions offensive.
It's too early to panic. With all the resources that Bob Quinn has put into the offensive, this start – allowing for up to 24 league pressure – is truly daunting.
Q: Do you put more emphasis on coaching or legitimate fatigue, why they looked so good and then just collapsed? It seemed like they could not get used to Fitz – @ joelirvine97
A: I think it's a bit of column A and a bit of column B. They looked in the second Half definitely tired out, and it was so bad that even Kyler Murray mentioned it after the game unsolicited. You can not blame Detroit for getting tired. The defense was on the field for 82 games, more than in any match last season. And 46 of these pieces came alone in the second half.
By comparison, they played a total of 48 defensive snaps against New England last year.
It's too early. Nobody in the league practices enough to be in the right shape for football in September – not anymore – and so much bad football is played in the league. And people like Trey Flowers, snacks Harrison and Mike Daniels have barely trained in summer. Then they went there in week 1 and played in the second half against a fast team that hardly accumulates, almost a game full of defensive snaps. So you can understand why they might get tired on the track.
But that's no excuse for the coaching. I think Matt Patricia has made headway as a head coach and I really liked the game Darrell Bevell called (except for a few exceptions, especially the failed Downfield pass in third and fifth place). But there were also some problems. Above all, they have distanced themselves from what worked in the first half (over), and from something that did not run in the second half (over). They passed in the first half 54% of the time and were on average only 4.0 meters away to take third place. In the second half they ran the ball 61% of the time and averaged 9.9 yards to take third place.
Matthew Stafford was in business, but Detroit was determined to win the game by blistering the clock on the floor. That sounds great in theory, except that there was nothing on the ground. Stafford spearheaded them in the third quarter, and Kerryon Johnson finished the race just 49 meters. All of these failed runs put Detroit into difficult situations – 11 of his 18 third runs required at least 6 yards to move the chains – and led to five punts in his six series in the second half.
It's easy to say that we've "played to not lose", as many have done this week, and I think that's true. But the upshot is, if those runs worked and Detroit killed the clock, we're all sitting here today talking about how great the playcalling was to kick the cardinals. After all, it's all about doing what it means, and the Lions did not do that. This is partly because of coaching, while conditioning for this type of track meeting in Week 1 also seemed to be a problem.
Q: Was Patricia on time and so far on schedule? I know that was a focus this year. – @Kenneth_Gabbert
A: Yes. As I wrote a few times recently, I know the tie hurts, but I also do not feel like they're hanging on a thread like I did at the time last year. The players were unhappy at the time. They were frustrated. Nothing was on time, exercises and meetings were moved on and on at the last minute. The moral was low. One player told me he had a bad feeling at the beginning and I've never heard that in my career.
But this year, players are on board. I think that's partly because the players got used to Matt Patricia and know what to expect and that Patricia recognized some of his own mistakes and changed things. Now everything is going better – and yes, that means almost everything is almost always punctual.
That did not win in Week 1, and the draw was ugly, and there's no way around it. But the talent is better and the team is in a better place. You had a good week this week. I no longer have the feeling of an impending fate. I think they will fight back against an injured Chargers team on Sunday and win enough games this year to keep things interesting until the end.
Q: Top 3 taco joints in the area? Even if the lions would trade for Taco Charlton, would he improve the pass rush? – @JoeSailus
A: Mexicantown (Southwest Detroit) is a mecca for cheap, tasty tacos in the city. Taqueria Nuestra Familia is my favorite, and Taqueria El Rey is great as well. And hey, they fit in perfectly with a sports author's budget. Outside of Taco Heaven, Jose's in downtown Detroit is a personal favorite. Gather is not a taco joint, but they have a great taco Tuesday (sorry, LeBron). And outside the city, I particularly like Imperial in Ferndale.
Anyway, that's why I'm no longer skinny, mom.
As for Charlton, I'm usually a fan of getting as many tacos as possible, but that makes no sense to Detroit. Why should you give up resources to find a player in a position that is already your strength? If the Lions make a deal, it should be in a weak position. Example: offensive line?
Q: Will Trey Flowers have more impact than a less mobile QB (Rivers)? – @ Lionsfan1960
A: They hope he has more influence on a quarterback. Flowers did not have sacks or hits in week 1, and in total there were only two pressures in 31 passes. That was the 73rd place among all players.
That's not exactly $ 90 million.
Of course, Flowers also has a shoulder injury, which made it difficult to practice all year round. He missed all the terms, OTAs and the minicamp, and then opened a training camp on the physically ineffective list. He did not return until the 10th of August and started practicing only on the last day before the kick-off. So it is to be expected that there will be more interruptions if he shakes off the rust, feels more comfortable in his new defense – and yes, if he faces a more steady quarterback, this could help. And Philip Rivers is for sure.
Q: What happens first: Don Muhlbach is retiring or we welcome our new robotic Overlord SkyNet? – @bigdrewCON
A: That's a trick question. Everyone knows that Don Muhlbach will never retire.
Q: Why does Amani oruwariye get no burns, he has to be better than Agnew, right? Or do Agnew special teams give him an advantage? – @ thelionsfan90
A: Because he's a freshman? Most of these guys are best off if they do not play right away. Exhibition A: Slay, Darius. This guy was a rookie, but he was still forced onto the field – and then bombed so he was thrown on things at Ford Field and eventually put on a bench. And that guy was a second-round winner.
Oruwariye, a five-round winner, could be good. He could not. It's just too early to say. This position takes some time until the guys are ready to face the size and speed of NFL receivers and quarterbacks who can squeeze the ball through a thimble. I like the size of Oruwariye (it's the first thing you notice when you see him) and he did a few pieces in the preseason. But if all goes well, we will not see much of him on the defensive until next season.
By the way, Rashann Melvin has just turned into a damn good game as CB2. He held Kyler Murray to a pass rating of 49.1. He defended three passes – a league high – and was rated according to ProFootballFocus as the ninth-best corner in Week 1. I do not think there's any rush to bring Oruwariye to the field.
Finally: Jamal Agnew is a man from the inside and Oruwariye plays from the outside, so one does not have much to do with the other.
Q: If the Lions decide that Agnew is too inconsistent in the second leg, who is the next man? How long do you think they will leash him? – @kejsphs
A: Danny Amendola was ranked No. 2 again throughout the training camp, but I suspect the Lions will be reluctant to endanger the 33-year-old receiver. He is too valuable for the offense, since he has no pure slot receiver in the squad.
Rookie Ty Johnson was also driven in the camp and can look back on his experiences from his time in Maryland. Quandre Diggs has also fucked one or the other ball here and there.
Q: Many people did not like the Amendola signature and said it was too old! Is it safe to say that Stafford will rely heavily on Danny, as he used to do with Tate? – @DirtyJerzFinest
A: Somehow. Danny Amendola and Golden Tate are very different players and are used very differently. Tate's route left much to be desired, but he was the king of the YAC. And while Amendola can run after the catch – have you seen this touchdown on Sunday? – He does his hay more as a distance runner. These guys are different players.
But your overriding question: Will Stafford, like Tate, rely heavily on Amendola? – has some weight. The use will not be the same as Tate was a better player than Amendola and the Lions currently have more options than at any other time since Calvin Johnson's resignation. Kenny Golladay is a great recipient, Marvin Jones is a good one and we've all seen what the T.J. Hockenson child can do. And we must not forget that this is a crime that wants to run the ball more than ever.
So I do not believe that Amendola will achieve the goals required for Tate's production. But I think he will see many soccer balls this year. He was one of Matthew Stafford's favorite targets in the camp along with Hockenson. He drives really good tracks and Stafford seems to trust him. I think we'll see a lot of production out of the slot this year, whether it's a slot receiver or a tight end.
Q: So my question is that Lions have lost in the past, it seems that Matt Patricia does not understand or ignore the culture or history. I know that every regime is different. Does Matt Patricia understand the pressure he's under to win now? I think he can be the man who turns it around. He and Bob Quinn are having a good game, but do they really understand the urgency? Did you or any other beatwriter address this with the beleaguered Lions coach? – Mr Crying Since January '91
A: Not knowing the story is no problem for Matt Patricia. He plays a big role in the history of the league. He is a constant tribute to greats of all time. He spent a lot of time making sure team members returned to Detroit and part of the organization. He has repainted the dressing room and remodeled it with memories of the great players and the great years of the team. He even spent much of the year wearing "1934" hats, the year the Lions were founded.
"I just love everything from the beginnings to our beginnings here in Detroit," Patricia said during the training camp. "I just love this stuff, it's cool, we always try to talk to the players about everything we can about the story, and we try to pull it back as far as possible, I think it's important."
So he knows And no league coach has to be reminded of the urgency of the win: the Cardinals have fired Steve Wilks after a season, Marty Schottenheimer had been dismissed after a 2-14 victory – and that happened after a defeat against the Patriots In the playoffs with Patricia on the other side.
After I've said all that, I think while Patricia knows the story, I do not think he correctly assessed the implications in Year One. The fans were frustrated, but he gave nothing last year, in the field and away from it. He was also frustrated with questions about this story. And I know he was frustrated with negative stories and reporting on the team. But that's exactly what happens if you do not win for six decades.
Q: What is the best N64 game and why is it Mario Kart 64? – @ nicosuave6