Film Review: Examining 8 key plays from Lions’ gut-wrenching loss to Seattle

DET at SEA - Johnson's fumble at GL

This article was published by the Detroit Free Press.

Most games in the NFL are decided by a handful of plays. Sometimes one play – or six inches as it was in the Detroit Lions’ 13-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks – is the difference between winning and losing. Continue reading

Film Review: What’s wrong with Lions’ offense?

DET at MIN 3Q 1-10 Vikes disguise coverage

A version of this article was published by the Detroit Free Press.

Entering this season, there were high expectations for a Lions’ offense that was far too inconsistent last season.

Detroit’s priority in the off-season was to improve the offensive line and, by extension, the league’s 28th-ranked rushing attack, which averaged a paltry 3.6 yards-per-carry (29th). They traded for veteran guard/center Manny Ramirez, drafted guard Laken Tomlinson in the first round and added running back Ameer Abdullah in the second round. Continue reading

Film Review: Can Ngata fill crater-sized hole left by Suh?

Haloti Ngata warms up before preseason action on Sept. 3, 2015 at Ford Field in Detroit. (Photo Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press).

Haloti Ngata, 2015 (Photo Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press).

This article was published by the Detroit Free Press.

The Detroit Lions wasted little time looking to fill the crater-sized hole left by star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who signed a record deal in free agency with the Miami Dolphins last March.

Just two days after Suh was set to leave the Lions, the team aggressively traded for Baltimore Ravens five-time All Pro and five-time Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata. Continue reading

Lions All-22: Suh a dominant force in run and pass game

Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions warms up prior to the start of a game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, in Detroit.(Photo: Leon Halip Getty Images)

Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions warms up prior to the start of a game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, in Detroit.(Photo: Leon Halip Getty Images)

A version of this article was published by the Detroit Free Press.

The Lions face a monumental decision over the next five weeks as the centerpiece of the defense, Ndamukong Suh, gets set to enter the open market.

Suh, 28, will be a free agent for the first time in his career on March 10. He is likely looking for a contract that would eclipse J.J. Watt’s $100 million deal (with a record $51.8 million guaranteed for a defensive player). The Lions reportedly are the favorites to sign Suh. Continue reading

NFC Championship Game All-22: Examining Morgan Burnett’s slide

Green Bay Packers' Morgan Burnett (42) slides after intercepting a pass during the second half of the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Green Bay Packers’ Morgan Burnett (42) slides after intercepting a pass during the second half of the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The Green Bay Packers epic collapse in Seattle on Sunday afternoon has been analyzed and discussed all over the country. There are a number of reasons they lost. Seattle made key plays down the stretch, while the Packers were seemingly glad to help. People have rightfully criticized Packers coach Mike McCarthy for being too conservative throughout the entire game, including settling for two field goals inside the two-yard line in the first quarter.

There are three specific fourth quarter plays that aided the Seahawks comeback, all within the final 5:13 with the Packers holding a 19-7 lead.  Continue reading

Lions All-22: Dissecting the Impact of Golden Tate

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 04: Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate (15) runs in for a touchdown as Dallas Cowboys free safety J.J. Wilcox (27) defends during the first half of an NFL wildcard playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

ARLINGTON, TX – JANUARY 04: Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate (15) runs in for a touchdown as Dallas Cowboys free safety J.J. Wilcox (27) defends during the first half of an NFL wildcard playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

A version of this article was published by the Detroit Free Press.

At 25 yards old and entering the prime of his career, wide receiver Golden Tate entered last March’s free agency looking for a juicy new contract.

A month prior, he had won the Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks and was coming off of his best season as a pro. Tate posted a team-high 64 catches, 898 receiving yards and five touchdowns while playing in a run-heavy offense. He led all receivers with 21 forced missed tackles in 2013 and owned the lowest drop rate of any wideout with at least 100 targets since 2011. Pro Football Focus also graded Tate as the leagues’ best punt returner. Continue reading