NFC North Leads NFL

In w/l column with only the NFC West being even close. Good. When we come out of the bye week it’s going to be “game on” in the North. The guys that we thought would really set the pace vs Philly had almost nothing to do with the win, Hock and Golladay. Finding ways to win when the plan doesn’t come together means that you suddenly believe that you can be in any game you play in.

We are ahead of last year not only in wins but in something we sucked at last season, creating turnovers. We are only +1 thru 3 games but if we can maintain that it means that we can get back to .500 ball. Last year we were -5. In 2017 we were +10. Austin worked wonders with that group in 2017.

Although we only won 6 games last year we were one of the least penalized teams with 94 penalties. This year we are killing ourselves with 26 thru 3 games. We are #2 in the league with false starts, we have 7. If we can get back to being more disciplined it will help plenty. I was chastised for being pissed about our penalties in preseason because those games don’t matter. The attitude matters. The attitude that says that you have to be disciplined matters, how you screw your head on for the game matters. Passing yards matter, running yards matter, but turnovers and penalties matter just as much. If you can excel in those area’s you can win more than you lose all day long.

Still not sold on the coaching staff but I like what they did in the off season in FA and the draft. I absolutely believe that this is a better team. Nobody would be happier than me to say I was wrong about them. I don’t hate them, I’m just not sure that we got the upgrade that everyone expected when we let JBC go.

1 Like

New system, brother. I love your point about penalties, and I think it matters BIG! I think what we did with penalties last year is something we will get back to. I love how we are going after turnovers. There is more to culture than just turnovers. I was thinking about creating a separate conversation on this, but I’l just stick it here.

Our guys are playing the ball. They are trying to create turnovers more than ever before. That play that Davis made was EXTRA effort. That runner was down, and 1/10th of a second before he hit the ground, he was able to punch the ball out. In the past, our guys just recognize him as already down and waltz back to the huddle. You can see the Defense trying to punch the ball out on the majority of plays. Love that.

It shows up on offense too - playing to the whistle. There are plays that would have been sacks in the past. OL used to just stop and watch once their own man beat them. Now, it’s more dynamic back there. We have guys blocking until the whistle, even on broken plays.

This extends to downfield blocking too. We can (and I believe will) get better at downfield blocking, but it is massively improved. It’s almost like we are practicing to be an NFL caliber team, after what we put out there last season.

It feels more like our team is fighting for each other like a brotherhood. As they develop more confidence in each other and/or themselves, we will see this continue to grow and grow. I think the lack of targets for Hock will be good for his development in the long run. He’s a rook that feels like he has to earn it.

I like the growth that is happening here, but I am ready for the ST coach to be fired NOW. LOL. Serious too. Dude is going to cost us games.

1 Like

I’m with you on the special teams coach but I think Agnew saved both of their jobs today.

1 Like

I was thinking the same thing. Too many ST errors though. After 3 games, 2 fumbles, a blocked kick and a blocked punt. Are you kidding me?

Where would we be without the goalpost helping out?

1 Like

This is by far the toughest division in the NFL as all 4 teams legitimately believe they have a shot in the division. We are the only division in the NFL to be anywhere near that. Why people are sleeping on the Lions has more to do with last years finish than logic at all.

We do need to evaluate our ST coaching situation and determine if there needs to be a change. My guess is that it would happen at the bye if they felt it needed to happen. Nice to see some confidence from Agnew and less penalties on returns, but the kicking game is not good. The penalty of off sides was nonsense.

1 Like

Whats funny is the 2 loses in the north were from playing other teams…in the north. All 4 teams are going to be tough this year.

Yeah I agree. Martin had a helluva kickoff to pin them back deep. Replay showed no one off sides.

1 Like

Can a kicker’s foot be beyond the ball? The only offside I could possibly have seen was that Martin’s plant foot may have gone beyond the ball before he kicked it.

I’m not sure what he is allowed to do by rule…but as far as how its been called my entire life the answer is yes…the foot can be beyond the ball. Unless someone knows of some obscure rule as it relates to where players can line up on kickoffs since the rule change, it was clearly not an offsides penalty.

It seems like the NFL has created a mentality for officials that almost requires x amount of specific penalties as part of a “crack down” every year. I’d almost bet that the offsides on the kickoff was part of that knee jerk attitude.

The plant foot has nothing at all to do with offsides.

It’s going to be a tough race in the NFL North! The Lions need to win the division games.

NFC North: Only division where every team has a winning record. In fact, only division where no teams have more than 1 L.

After 3 games the North is undefeated vs the rest of the NFL.

1 Like

I am a firm believer in turnovers are a big key to winning. It’s the main reason CHI won the NFCN last year. In fact CHI forced 5 turnovers on Washington tonight. I do like that we’re on the plus side of turnovers but I’d like to see us do slightly better.

Penalties are drive killers and we have to play smarter but I have to say I’m impressed with how well we’ve done at avoiding the sacks.

Bevell is clearly better than JBC at play calling. I’ve seen way more creative play designs for sure. I’m bothered by the conservative approach we take once we’re up by two scores. However I think this is an MP thing more than a Bevell thing. Bevell was never that conservative in sea. However I hate the passing plays when we’re second and goal. WTF you’d think he’d have learned from his SB loss how stupid that call is.

Our run game has to be better. I’m expecting them to show up vs KC this next week. KC’s defense sucks. Hopefully some success will catapult them into future success as confidence grows. Especially if we pull off the upset.

Slay - I hope he’s healthy for KC. Without Slay our secondary will be lit up like a Christmas tree.

1 Like

That’s why I mentioned penalties and turnovers when I started this thread, if you are better than your opponent in both of these columns you are in the game. We are heading in the right direction. The other number that stands out is sacks, Stafford is getting rid of the ball and the OL is blocking better. I would rather that Staffords completion % goes down if his sacks also do. The outlier is that they seem like they’re having fun.


One thing Caldwell coaches well was turnovers, mental mistakes and field position. He coached conservatively because he believed if you win in these 3 areas you will win most games. I think that’s why he had success getting teams to 9-7. But I also think that conservative play hurt him against the better teams.

I think MP is more about being a physically tough team. A team that’s imposing. He wants to play bend don’t break style. Forcing teams into long drives and physically abusing them the entire way. Ultimately causing mental mistakes. Or forcing FG’s.

Some posters complain the Lions were lucky. I disagree. I think they were gritty, and physical and that physicality forced the opposition into mental errors. That they physically forced fumbles and dropped balls. Several times our DB’s put a hard hit on the WRs when they call the ball. We played close, man coverage, that was physical the entire route ran, forcing WR’s to catch contested balls. Those physical hits, bumps, etc weaken mental awareness.


I do wonder how conservative JBC would have been with the same talent. It’s easier to coach a more physical style when you have the players to do so.

Ideally the toe of the plant foot is even with the ball, but it isn’t a penalty.

The Bears beat the Broncos and the Redskins, two poor teams likely finishing with 3 or 4 wins.
The Packers beat the Broncos.
The Vikings beat the Falcons and the Raiders, one possibly OK team and another likely 3 win team.

I don’t think the division is as strong as many think, the other three have just been beating up on poor teams and each other. I very much doubt the rest of the division will go 2-0 against the Eagles and Chargers.

1 Like