You can blame it on the refs, a muffed punt, or even the Metrodome crowd.
No matter where blame is placed for Sunday’s performance against the Vikings, the fact is that the hope the Lions provided their fans in the first two weeks is quietly fading. Winning drives in the fourth quarters against Chicago and Philadelphia came up short, but it was a relatively hopeless second half against Minnesota that should draw the most concern. With three tough games behind them, the Lions can only hope for a quick turnaround to this season.
The team is really looking for a leader right now, and until Matt Stafford returns, the Lions may be destined to only win one or two games this season. Shaun Hill is not a terrible quarterback, but his numbers are nothing to ooh and aah over. Hill, like Jeff Garcia, Ty Detmer, Jon Kitna and others, is only meant to be a stop-gap for a team that has lost its starter.
With Stafford in the starting lineup, the chances to win the occasional game tremendously increase as their fearless ways take over. Stafford has practiced all offseason with the first team, and that chemistry needs to eventually find its way to the game field.
If there’s a blueprint for this success, it may be found in St. Louis with the Rams. Sam Bradford was also a highly touted prospect/top pick out of college when he joined the Rams before this season. Against a challenging Redskins team in Week 3, the Rams showed up from the opening kickoff and put 30 on the board for the victory.
Bradford was not expected to make huge plays, just be smart with the ball at all times. If the Lions are even hoping to reel off some wins this season, they need to cut down those penalties and spread the field and the defense.