* Brent Celek catches the TD pass instead of dropping it
* the officials don’t flag Brent for OPI on the TD pass he did catch
* Brandon Hughes doesn’t look at the QB instead of focusing on Tony Scheffler on deep pass play late in the game
* Mike Vick puts a little loft on his late 3rd down pass to Jeremy Maclin
* Vick doesn’t make a poor throw to DeSean on 4th Qtr post route that was an INT instead of a tD
* Nate Allen doesn’t get hurt late in the game
* Mac doesn’t slip after catching a pass inside the 5
* Shady McCoy makes sure he goes down inbounds instead of landing out on play on final drive of regulation and the clock keeps rolling
* Akeem Jordan realizes the ball is under him after forcing a fumble on PR in OT instead of letting Logan get it back
* the coaches don’t call 3 deep pass plays on the 3 downs in OT
If those things had been different, we either would have won or would have made it that much harder on the Lions to come back. Instead, the Eagles suffered a letdown at almost every critical moment of the final 5 minutes and much of the 4th Qtr.
I’d love to say this loss is on Juan Castillo or Mike Vick or Andy Reid, but it really was a team effort. Felt like just about every player out there had a hand in it. Up 23-13 with 5 minutes left and we blew it. It was hard to watch on Sunday and just as bad to re-watch. Actually gave me an upset stomach since I knew what was coming.
There’s not a lot to say with normal items (timeouts, challenges, going for it on 4th down, etc). There just weren’t many moments like that in the game. I know some people wanted Reid to use his timeouts late in the game to see if we could get the ball back, but I didn’t feel that was a no-brainer. Also worried about the Lions scoring a TD on that drive instead of a FG. I did like the fact that Andy didn’t try to ice the kicker.
The team started slow, but that wasn’t a lack of effort or anything like that. Poor execution. That was also tied to a questionable offensive gameplan. Marty and Andy knew the Lions secondary was vulnerable. And they were right. There were chances for big plays. Marty and Andy failed to focus on a couple of issues.
First, they should have anticipated the Lions coming in fired up. They were 1-3. The press was getting on them quite a bit. There was a report in Pro Football Weekly that questioned Ndamukong Suh’s effort and toughness. Guess what? Suh played with a real chip on his shoulder. Thanks, PFW. Marty/Andy thought the OL could block the Lions due to the lackluster play by the DL so far. They should have anticipated a much stronger effort, which is what we got.
Second, the Steelers just showed everyone last week how confused our OL can get with well-designed blitzes. The Lions like to blitz vs Vick. If you go vertical, you better hope it is on a play where they don’t blitz or where the OL and skill players block it correctly.
This stuff wasn’t happening and Vick took a beating early in the game. The holes in the secondary might have been there, but the time needed to exploit them wasn’t. The coaches did adjust, seems like late in the 2nd Qtr. The offense woke up and went and scored a TD. The offense was terrific in the 3rd Qtr. There were 2 drives. Both ended in scores and covered a good amount of ground. The problem was that both ended in FGs instead of TDs. That grew the lead to just 13-6 instead of 17 or even 21 to 6.
In the 3rd Qtr, Vick played well. Made smart decisions. Got the ball out on time. Made a couple of terrific throws. The OL did a good job. They knew they needed to block for 2 seconds instead of 4 or 5. Things got rolling.
This shows you that Marty/Andy can call small-ball plays. Vick can execute them. The OL can block guys in that style of offense. We got away from it in the 4th Qtr and OT. I understand why they did it, but not in a logical sense so much as I understand why people with bad habits do those types of things knowing they aren’t good or productive. Marty/Andy had been patient in their mind. They’d played small-ball and now was the time to strike. They went deep and it got picked off. Ironically, it was a short pass to Mac that delivered the long TD that they so badly craved.
In OT they got greedy again, looking for the quick strike. Un-freaking-believable. Possibly the worst 3 plays of the Andy Reid era, and I don’t say that lightly. We had 2 sacks for -21 yds and a bad incompletion on 3rd down. We gave the Lions 21 yards of field position. Imagine if we had just punted on 1st down. The Lions would have been backed up to about their own 30 instead of starting around midfield. Unbelievable.
As for Juan and the defense…great job for 3 quarters. The 4th Qtr/OT…not so much. 286 yards, 20 points. In Juan’s defense, losing Nate Allen really did hurt. Colt Anderson looked lost on defense. You can flip that and blame Juan/other coaches for not having Colt more ready to play on defense.
We were doing many of the same things in the 4th Qtr that we did earlier. We needed to mix some things up and throw a curveball at the Lions. Juan did try a couple of blitzes, but one was slow and one came on a run play and proved completely ineffective. Those weren’t the only 2, but the point is that we weren’t dictating anything to the Lions. They weren’t confused by anything. If players beat them on the field, so be it. I don’t think we out-schemed them on D at all.
I do have to say here that the Lions really benefited from the bye week. They had fresh legs. It seemed like they did a great job with self-scouting and scouting us. The Lions were one of the worst running teams in the league through the first month. They decided to get creative and make that work. They had 28 runs and did a mixture of RBs, WRs, and even QB runs. That put pressure on our Safeties to come up vs staying back. The Lions burned us with bootleg pass plays. They knew our DEs crashed hard to the inside. We got burned on that at least 3 times.
As for the Lions D, they seemed to know our offense really well. I don’t know if we have some serious “tells” or what, but the Lions were in perfect position on a lot of plays. Kudos to them for scouting so well and the players for listening and being in the right position.
* 8 of 17 on 3rd downs. Very good at small-ball.
* Only 1 of 3 in the RZ. That hurt in a big way.
* Penalties helped us a lot. Detroit had 16-132 yds. Seemed like most came on their defense.
VICK – Long day. 28-46-311. 1 TD, 2 INTs. 9-59 as a runner. There were times when he looked really good. Watch the 3rd Qtr and you’ll see Vick the playmaker. Took a real pounding in the 1st Qtr. Detroit hit him low, high, and everywhere in between. Vick always got up. Super tough. The 2 INTs were bad. One came on a throw to Avant over the middle. Mike was hit as he threw. Can’t force a ball over the deep middle like that if you aren’t sure you can make a good throw. The pressure caused the INT, but he’s got to know he can’t put that ball up for grabs. Other INT was worse. Called a deep post in the 4th. Vick had a clean pocket. DeSean ran a perfect route. Open for a TD. Vick didn’t step into the throw cleanly and the ball stayed straight. He needed to lead DeSean to the middle, that’s what the post route is. Goes inside, not straight. INT. Only thing I can say in his defense, was throwing into the wind. Still, bad throw. We should have had a big play TD. Instead, gave the ball to the Lions.
I did like Vick’s running. Got out of bounds. Got max yards before doing so, but didn’t expose himself to big hits. Was aggressive, not greedy.
Vick could have saved us all a lot of grief if he had just gotten a bit of air under his throw to Mac on 3rd down late in the game. Mac was wide open. Had room to run. Vick threw the TD to Mac with loft, but on this 3rd down the pass was flatter. I think Vick got excited when he saw him and rushed the throw. Suh was able to bat it down. Could have made a huge difference. I don’t know that Mac takes that for a TD, but would have got for at least 25 yards and helped us to eat more of the clock.
* Vick did a great job with hard counts. He got the Lions to jump, over and over.
* Vick was sloppy on the final drive of the half. Threw a ball to Shady on the right side. LB tackled him easily and forced us to burn the final timeout. Vick would have been better served to throw the ball out of bounds. The next play Vick threw to Avant on the left side. I’ve blamed Avant for not getting out of bounds, but the throw was part of that. Pass needed to lead him wide. Avant had to adjust to the pass, was tackled in. That ate up clock and killed the drive.
* Vick threw some terrific passes. Hit DJax with a slant that was perfect. The TD to Mac was an easy throw, but those can be the hardest to make sometimes. Best pass might have been throw to DJax down the right sideline. Touch. Accuracy. Ball went behind the CB and in front of the S.
SHADY - No room to run. 14-22 on the ground. 7-26 as a receiver, but did have a short TD. Solid job of blocking. Left the game for a bit after landing hard on his knee. Scared us all, but only missed a handful of plays.
B BROWN – Good game. 5-4 as a runner. Didn’t have room. Almost busted a 3rd Qtr run for a 15-yd TD. Got 5 on the play and was a step away from firing through a gap and into the open. DB got him. Took over for Shady when he got hurt and did fine. Had his best blocking day so far. Looked pretty good in pass pro. 16 snaps.
HAVILI - Good blitz pickup on play late in half where we got the PI call and got inside the 5. Was open a couple of times as a checkdown target, but Vick was looking downfield. One play Havili was open by 10 yds. Would have been a nice play. Had a couple of good blocks on run plays, but we didn’t do too much running from the I-formation. 24 snaps.
CELEK - Rough day. Dropped 3 passes by my count, 1 being a TD. Had a TD wiped out by OPI call. Took some big hits in the legs. DBs were going low on him. Brent struggled to get up after a couple of hits. Got helmet knocked off while blocking late in the half. Possible penalty, but no call. Would have put us in FG range. Beaten for sack by Avril when left as 1-on-1 blocker in passing situation. Other than that, he had a great game. Did catch 4 passes for 33 yds. 2 of the drops came in traffic, but Brent has to make those plays if he’s going to be a top flight TE. The TD drop was painful. No excuse on that. The OPI call was bogus. There was contact, but it was within 5 yds. Brent did push off, but didn’t extend his arms. He was bigger than the other guy and just out-muscled him. That’s not my version of OPI.
HARBOR - Quiet game. Tried to get him the ball on a special play. Had Clay line up right and then go in motion. Was doing a variation of the wheel route. Instead of him faking outside, he just raced up the field. The thought was that by having him go in motion, he’d already be on the move at the snap and could get deep. Defender stuck right with him. Give the defender credit there. Good play design. Caught 2 passes for 9 yds. One pass was with Clay out wide. Quick throw to him. Fought for a couple of yards, but couldn’t break free.
MACLIN - 6-130. Highlight was the 70-yd TD. Wasn’t covered due to blown assignment. Best play other than that was a quick pass to the left side where Mac fought through a tackle and added about 15 RAC yds. Strong. Showed good burst up the sideline on that.
D JACKSON – 5-74. Used to stretch the D quite a bit. Was open for some big gainers, but he and Vick couldn’t connect. Got the ball on an end around, but the backside DE was waiting for him and lost yds. Bad call. That play needed to be a few plays later so that you could see if the DE was biting or playing contain. DeSean made a couple of terrific catches along the sideline.
AVANT - 2-21. I have ripped Jason for not getting out of bounds late in the half, but I owe him a partial apology. Bad throw from Vick really made it tough on him. I still think he could have fought harder to get out, but I don’t know that he would have made it.
COOPER - Made 2 catches in the game. Caught the ball cleanly. Tough to tackle. Let’s mix this guy in some more.
BELL - Bad job on shovel pass on 3rd/1. Went for wrong DL and hit Shady in the backfield. Looked confused. Did a good job on the short TD pass. Pushed DT to inside, then got on LB. Had a few plays in the 2nd half where he really struggled. Failed to block inside guy on a pass play. On pass play in OT he got knocked to the ground by rusher. Bell is showing that he can be a functional LT. His mental mistakes are now the biggest issue. Gets confused on who to block and that cost us at some key moments.
MATHIS – Threw blitzer to the ground early in the game. Had the best game of any OL. Had a great block on early run in the 3rd Qtr. Downblocked the NT and opened huge hole for Shady right up the middle. Got 11 on that play.
REYNOLDS - Played his best game at PIT. I hoped he would build off that. Yeah…not so much. Bad game. First thing to mention is snap issues. There were 3 fumbles/mis-snaps. One was with Vick under Center. Other 2 were in shotgun. On one of those, you could see Vick pick up his foot. Normally you do that in an obvious way. Vick did it 2 to 3 inches. Wasn’t a signal to Reynolds, but he thought it was and snapped. Not good when the C/QB exchange has 3 bad plays.
That aside, the blocking wasn’t consistently good. Reynolds struggled with seal blocks on the 2nd level. He struggled vs Suh on a couple of plays. He just doesn’t have the quickness or strength to deal with Suh 1-on-1 in some situations. Reynolds was sloppy in pass pro. He did a good job on short TD to Shady. Pushed DT to inside, then got LB. Reynolds did pretty well in the 3rd Qtr as the offense got some rhythm and he built up his confidence.
WATKINS - So very, very frustrating. Part of me wants to sit here and rip Danny for the missed blocks and sloppy plays. Then you watch the 3rd Qtr and see him make some perfect blocks. Textbook stuff. And that’s run and pass. Up and down game. Struggled at times with Suh, both run and pass. Sometimes it was power that got him. Other times it was a quick burst.
HERREMANS - Disappointing. What the hell happened to Todd Herremans? Biggest mistake came on 1st/10 in OT. Flat out missed block of Avril on pass play and that ended in a sack. Crucial play. Crucial situation. Avril didn’t use some ungodly explosive move. Standard pass rush. Todd just got beat. Can’t have that from the guy who should be your top OL. Didn’t have a strong game overall, run or pass.
* Lions were just 3 of 13 on 3rd downs. They beat us with “chunk” plays.
* 2 of 4 in the RZ.
* No sacks.
* 1 Takeaway. QB overthrew his WR so it isn’t like we created that with pressure or a special play. Just caught the ball.
* A note about the lack of sacks…once again we saw a team that had a very specific plan and the discipline to stick to it. Ran draws. Threw screens. Used bootleg passes. Ran end arounds. Threw 3-step drops with some cut blocking. Used 6 OL in some sets. Used double teams on the DEs. There were very few plays where DEs had one blocker to beat on a 5 or 7-step drop. Still, there were some of those plays and the guys up front didn’t get to Stafford when the Lions took chances.
COLE - Got pressure when single blocked in the 1st half. Helped get in on a TFL on 3rd/3 run play. Wasn’t credited with a tackle all day. Had a free run at Stafford in the 4th Qtr, but tripped and fell. Ugh. Struggled to get good pressure on the final couple of drives. Burned on bootleg play early in the game.
BABIN - Got pressure on 3 specific pass plays. Credited with being in on 3 tackles. Got mad at Jason when he bought fake and was burned on bootleg. Got really mad when he did it a 2nd time. Finally played that right in the 4th Qtr and Stafford had to rush the throw and the pass was into the ground. Disappointing game.
LANDRI - Came alive in OT. Drew a holding call that I hoped might keep the Lions out of FG range. Didn’t work. Was very active and around the ball in OT. Got some penetration on earlier short yardage play and helped the play to fail. Credited with a TFL in the game. Didn’t see much pressure on Stafford.
JENKINS - Another guy who had a quiet game. Didn’t get regular pressure. Credited with a couple of tackles. I expected him to show up when the Lions got down 10 and he could just turn it loose. Didn’t happen. Discouraging.
TAPP - Up and down game. Liked what I saw for parts of the game. I don’t know if the LT relaxed with him in the game, but Tapp got pressure on a couple of plays. Did see him get knocked to the ground at least once. Credited with 1 tackle.
GRAHAM - Good game. Played 18 snaps. Got pressure on several of them. Still most effective with the bull rush. Credited with 1 tackle. Disrupted TE screen by sticking with the TE and forcing the QB to throw the ball into the ground.
COX - Thrown out in 2nd half for punching player on extra point. Dumb. Admitted as much after the game and said he’d never do that again. Had some success with pushing the pocket. Had a sack wiped out when he was called for hands to the face. Had some good moments overall, but failed to push the pocket as much as we needed. Credited with batting down a pass. Could have really used his presence in the 4th Qtr, but Fletch was ejected for punching someone after an extra point. Un-freaking-believable.
HUNT - Only played one snap.
THORNTON - Solid vs the run. Had a couple of tackles. Still not doing much as a pass rusher. Made a good tackle of Stafford on QB draw late when the Lions tried to catch us off guard.
KENDRICKS - Very good game in coverage. Was all over Lions TEs. Credited with 4 solo stops. Run defense was sloppy. Got in the wrong gap a couple of times.
RYANS - Good game. A force in the middle. Had 10 solo tackles, 13 overall. 3 were TFLs. Made good stops on a couple of 3rd/short plays. Just missed another one when he got out wide on pass play, but wasn’t able to keep the RB from getting to the marker.
JORDAN - Solid showing. Had good coverage of RB on pass about 10 yds upfield. It was still completed, but Akeem was right there. Solid job in run D. Credited with 3 tackles. Did a better job than Chaney of shedding blocks.
ALLEN - Pretty solid game, but with some luck involved. One aspect of Nate’s game that is starting to really bug me is diagnosing plays. Bit on play fake early on that could have resulted in big play to TD to the TE. Nate looked dumbfounded that it was a pass. There were some run plays where he was slow to read and come up. There was an end around where he should have seen the receiver get the ball, but Nate was slow to react to that. None of these plays amounted to much. Just not a good sign. I said Nate had a good game simply because he helped to control Megatron for 3 Qtrs. It wasn’t as if Nate did anything special. Stayed deep and reacted to the ball when it was in the air.
Got isolated on Megatron on 4th Qtr pass play. He ran drag route. Nate stayed back, but followed. CJ got the pass and Nate came up quickly to make the stop. CJ just pushed him away and went down the sideline. Nate took a poor angle on the play. Too flat. Needed to give up the 5 yd pass, but contain CJ. Didn’t.
COLEMAN - Solid game. Had 6 solo tackles. Flew around and was very active. Stayed deep and helped in covering Megatron on several plays. Showed good discipline in not getting beaten deep on fakes. Came up quickly in run support on a few plays. Didn’t show good ball awareness. That ties into the lack of turnovers. Safeties need to see the ball and play it when they can. 1st Qtr pass play Kurt was so locked in to hitting Megatron that he didn’t even see the ball near him. Wasn’t a sure INT, but might have been able to pick it off. Had another play later in the game when he looked dialed in to the receiver and showed no awareness of the ball.
C. ANDERSON - First time on defense in a while and it showed. Made a big mistake on the deep ball to Scheffler. We were in Cover 2. Safeties must stay deeper than the deepest. Colt bit on short route, left Hughes alone deep. Had a penalty in the end zone late in the game. DRC almost picked off a pass on that play. I was screaming at him for dropping when they showed the replay and Colt clearly ran into a WR. Dumb. Looked lost on that. Missed tackle in run support. Not a good day.
NNAMDI - Good game. Held Megatron to 1 catch through 3 Qtrs. Nnamdi had an INT in that stretch so it was 1 catch for each guy. Broke up 3 passes. Paid attention to the scouting reports and knew which routes to jump, which to stay back on. Was in on 5 tackles. The times when CJ did beat him for catches, Nnamdi was playing loose due to being in a zone or CJ just made spectacular grabs.
DRC - Did a solid job overall, but struggled when in the slot on CJ a couple of times. Got beat for key gain that set up the winning FG. DRC bought inside fake. CJ then broke hard outside and had all the separation he needed. DRC was credited with breaking up an earlier pass to another WR. Helped blow up a run play to his side. Got beat deep, but the pass wasn’t completed. DRC had good coverage initially, but stumbled. Got lucky on that. Could have been a TD.
BOYKIN - Credited with 4 tackles. Covered well on a couple of plays.
MARSH - Looked like he came in the game late. 7 snaps.
HUGHES - Bad game. Made 2 big mistakes in coverage. Got burned for huge gain by Scheffler on broken play. Brandon had good initial coverage, but turned his head back to the QB to look for the ball. Assumed Scheffler was going inside. Instead, Tony whipped around and went outside and then down the field. Got separation and was able to haul in a deep ball for 57 yds. All the momentum of the 23-13 lead evaporated in that moment. Got burned on another 4th Qtr pass play. 3rd/long. Bit on short fake and got burned on wheel route for TD. Should have stayed back and given up the 5 yd pass. Who cares? Ugh.
MCBRIAR - Good numbers. Averaged 56.6 per punt. First kick was low and got returned 48 yds. Got better after that.
HENERY - Good game. 4 touchbacks. 3 of 3 on FGs, including a 49-yd’er. Wind may have helped the touchbacks and McBriar’s punts.
KOR – Boykin’s best game, but still nothing to get excited about. Had 31-yd return to start the game for us. His longest KOR yet. Did pretty well on a couple of others. Still isn’t going all out. Too much thinking and reading. Needs to just run.
Boykin let us down late in the game. We needed a good return, but he didn’t have good blocking and was hesitant himself. Only got 12 yds on that. Getting 25 would have really helped.
PR – Mardy Gilyard took the place of Damaris Johnson. Caught punts well. Almost broke one for a good return.
* Polk, Cooper had key blocks on first KOR, which was the longest of the year.
* Havili had a good block on next KOR (up the middle)
* Fletcher Cox was thrown out for punching a player on extra point in the 4th Qtr. DUMB.
* Akeem Jordan forced a fumble on punt in OT. Ball was actually beside/under him, but Akeem didn’t know it. Before he could get his hands moving, Logan grabbed it and got control. So close. Would have put us at the 50 and given us a huge chance for OT win.