Look, I don’t blame any Lions fans for being frustrated and upset after the loss to the Ravens on Monday night.
This is the team that served up a big platter of juicy, delicious playoff hope by starting the season at 6-3, then they lose four of the last five.
The worst part is this is nothing new. It’s a franchise that has breaking fans’ hearts for years.
Here are six reasons not to jump off the bridge, just yet.
1. Matthew Stafford is a good young quarterback going through a bad stretch. Did he drop all those balls? No. He’s fearless, he’s intelligent and he’s a hard worker. He feels responsible for this stinking stretch and coach Jim Schwartz expects him to turn it around. Schwartz thinks it will happen in the final two games which they need to win. One of the first tweets I got after the loss to the Ravens was “Release Stafford.” That would be the absolute worst thing the Lions could do. He’s money. He’s 25 with five seasons of experience.
2. The defensive line is deep and talented even though they haven’t gotten as much pressure on quarterbacks as you would think they would. The defensive front seven is all that. The linebackers have been exceptional this season. This is something they can continue to build on.
3. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who is in the final year of his contract, is invaluable. It’s not just receptions he excels at pass and run blocking. Plus he’s got a good young, tall student in Joe Fauria.
4. The offensive line has been improved this season and protected Stafford really well. He’s only been sacked 16 times which is tied with the Broncos for the best in the NFL. ESPN analyst Jon Gruden thinks the line is better at four positions. Only reason he didn’t include left guard is because Rob Sims is playing his usual solid game.
5. Calvin Johnson is human — he dropped two balls on Monday night. But his ratio of jaw-dropping catches to drops is still quite acceptable. He had a bad game — get over it. It’s surprising and unacceptable, but he’s still Megatron.
6. General manager Martin Mayhew is coming off a stellar draft. He’s got draft picks Ezekiel Ansah, Darius Slay, Larry Warford and Sam Martin contributing big-time. Plus he picked up undrafted rookies Joe Fauria and right tackle LaAdrian Waddle who are starters. Plus signing wide receiver/returner Jeremy Ross, who was cut by the Packers, has been worth three touchdowns so far.