By: Channing Cummins
It's week 15 and the Lions currently sit at 2-11. Yes, already better than last year but still nothing any fan enjoys watching. One might even argue that this year has been just as ugly as last. It's hard to argue with that after last week's performance, or lack there of. Bad would be an understatement, historic would be more accurate. Lets all take a second to prepare for next week as the Cardinals come to town. I don't know if you watched last nights game but I predict the Cards will be looking to get back on track. The worst part is I don't think our team can do much about it. With three games remaining and no playoff hopes alive the team has to decide which path it wants to take.
Currently the team is faced with a few key injuries. Matthew Stafford could be a separate topic for debate. Matthew Stafford is still ailing a left shoulder injury and his playing time is questionable. He will likely be the concern for these remaining games and rightly so. Should the team allow him to rest for the remaining year or allow him to gain more experience? This will be a debated topic for the next few weeks and will leave some people dissatisfied. Personally, I feel he should be the starter...of the bench that is. I've watched Jim Schwartz put young Stafford out there in a number of questionable situations. Down a few touchdowns and a small amount of time remaining seems to be backup quarterback time, but you can call me "Crazy." Lets not forget that Stafford is an investment for our future and worsening an injury is not what the team needs. Lets also not forget that Daunte Culpepper is making an attempt to save his career. Coming into this year, Culpepper was looking good and fighting for the starting spot. He had also received the starting spot for the Thanksgiving game, only to have it ripped away moments before the game. If you give him the starting role I don't see much hurt that can evolve. Then were left with fellow Spartan Drew Stanton. I'm only left with one question-"Can this guy play football in the NFL or is he just occupying a roster spot?" After last week I'm left a bit confused.
Now lets take a look at the RB position. In case you weren't aware the Lions lost one of there only producers last week, Kevin Smith. Obtaining a season ending knee injury the Lions are left with a couple options. Maurice Morris and Aaron Brown are the remaining backs and the amount of playing time has yet to be addressed. Do you balance their time or allow one of the backs to take a majority of the carries? If you name one the primary back, which one do you choose? We have an idea what Morris brings to the table but not so much with rookie Aaron Brown. I wouldn't mind seeing Brown get a serious amount of time figuring it can only help a lost cause and build for the future.
As for the rest of the team, it can go either way. Calvin Johnson has been battling injuries all year and I have no problem with him sitting out the rest of the year. I don't see any reason to put him out there each week and risk further injuries. With nothing left to really win besides respect, there should be no harm in playing a large amount of players. I would have no problem with the entire roster hitting the field and coach Schwartz playing the best. With only three games left there should be an opportunity for all players to show what they have and try to keep their jobs.
What else can we accomplish for the rest of the year? The coordinators could possibly mix up their playbooks and try new things...can't hurt. The coaches could focus on individual problems each game and try to solve what they can...tackling would be a great place to start. Maybe you let the players decide their fate and don't install too much preaching. There always is the first pick in the draft, although I don't know if that could help. Personally I would like to sit with the 3rd or 4th pick..not as costly. There is an endless amount of problems that need to be addressed and it's up to coach Schwartz to decide what comes first.
As for the rest of the year, what should we expect? What do the fans of Detroit want out of their team and what would they like to see?
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