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Bourbon Street Blues

Written By: Terry Foster | January 8, 2012

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Following the Lions 45-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints broadcaster Jim Brandstatter asked Lions coach Jim Schwartz to talk about the great accomplishments his team made this year.

The Schwartz quickly ended the interview by sayuing “no.” It sounded mean. It soiunded bitter and it was a bit surprising. However, Schwartz is a competitor and he really wanted that game. The entire community wanted it. You are probably not in the best mood today. You saw your team compete but lacked enough savvy and experience to pull off victory in the Lions first playoff game in 12 years.

Once you wipe away the cheers and chip away the bitterness you will realize today is a good day. The Lions not only have a future but now they’ve got that chip on their shoulder that most teams need to compete for championships. You don’t just roll up on experienced teams and beat them in professional sports. You need anger, hurt, disappointment and a big pile of ashes to build greatness.

The Lions built that against the Saints. You can call it the Bourbon Street Blues. But this team needed this game as a building block for the future. I talked to Lions center Dominic Raiola before the game and he admitted.

“We don’t know what to expect.”

Now he knows. When you look at many of the great champions in sports they needed disappointment to become champions. How long did it take Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings to win their Cups? The Bad Boy Pistons learned how to win from the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. The Tigers could be building upon that after losing to Texas in the American League Championship Series.

I saw the final minutes of the game at Hoops in Auburn Hills and one fan complained that New Orleans did not get called for any holds. A couple of others played the “officials done us wrong” card. That is part of the process. Do you really think the referees are going to give the Lions the benefit of the doubt over the Saints?

Try to smile at some point. You needed this dark cloud to pass to enjoy sun shine and brighter days.

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10 Responses to “Bourbon Street Blues”

  1. RJ Says:

    I agree T. Overall a big improvement this season. Not just the win loss record, stafford showed he is a franchise qb and calvin proved to us what we already believed, he could become more dominant than he was in prior seasons. The weapons around stafford are legit too and the team matured. Now need to upgrade the defense and consider a new D coordinator. I don’t remember schwartz’ playoff defenses in Tenn. being this bad

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  2. Sou Says:

    I’m not sure I can hold off my anger with a good record with their performances against anyone who was considered a good team.

    Stafford and the Offense got better as the season went on, but the Defense definitely regressed. And to be honest I can’t even say that the Offense got better. Stafford and everyone he passed to got better. But we still couldnt run the ball. Something the Saints did on us to shake our defense up that worked! A passing team with a run game….What a novel idea.

    That Defense deteriorated over the season.

    Giving up over 1000 yards in two games is just god awful. Not forcing the Saints to punt the ENTIRE Second Half of that game!? Just makes me want to vomit.

    Gunther got taken to school in this playoff game. That Saints OC ate his lunch.

    And worst of all, our Vaunted DLine str8 sucked this season. Avril has good sacks. But the fact that people could run AND throw on the Lions is just abysmal.

    I need to see some real upgrading in that secondary, OLine and run game.

    I’m glad we got to the PlayOffs, hell I didnt even expect them to win. But what I did expect was for the Lions to make it a game and not get their asses kicked up and down the field.

    We got victory formationed in the damn playoffs. Embarrassing.

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  3. chris hope Says:

    I also agree. They played their hearts out. I disagree that defensive coordinator needs to go. It all comes down to execution. Offense did. Defense did not

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  4. Big K Says:

    Tough loss to say the least. The Lions started off on fire, but fizzled out in the 2nd half. The lack of a running game paralleled with one of the worst defensive secondaries in the NFL (BTW…I heard the Lions were holding open try-outs for DB’s in the parking lot of the Superdome after the game last night)makes it tough to win playoff football. You throw in bad calls from the refs (whistle blow on fumble takes probable TD away, fourth down spot which should have challenged by Swartz keeps scoring drive alive, and fourth down leap by Breese who stretched out but brought his arms back behind the line himself not by a defender which kept that drive alive). Take those 3 calls out of the game and it’s a different ballgame. The Lions need to bring in better players that will allow them to overcome bad calls because it’s obvious to me that they will never be on the positive end of the refs.

    That being said…it’s been a very good year for the Lions. I bought season tickets for the first time this year and I wasn’t disappointed. The next step is building for next season. Can they keep key players, sign key free agents, and draft well again this year. Next season can’t come soon enough for me.

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  5. BID316 Says:

    Yeah, Terry, I hate to play the “horrible officiating” card, but the NFL is riddled with it! Last night was no different. It was just too pervasive to go without mentioning. How many times did the Saints get saved by the whistle (or lack thereof)?

    On the 4th down leap by Brees, he lost the ball before he was down. Refs paid no attention! Unlike a goal-line leap, Brees must retain possession at that point and ball should be marked wherever it is recovered. Later (I believe on the same drive), there appeared to be HOLDING on the Sproles TD run.

    The head-slap which was called on the non-TD in the end zone before the half was “charity!” It was somewhat incidental contact away from the face-mask. While this didn’t hurt the Lions on the scoreboard, it allowed the Saints to run out the clock and kept the Lions defense on the field longer. BUT… Perhaps the most egregious piece of officiating occurred prior earlier in the same drive. On Saints 3rd & 1 at 1:49 of the 2nd Quarter, officials called a catch AND double-foul on a play. It appeared that the ball MAY have touched the ground prior to the catch and that the Saints were saved by a double-foul where, unless there was another infraction (or wrong number called), the Lions linebacker appeared to have made a legal chuck. An offensive infraction would have put the Saints in a hole on 3rd down. NOT getting the Saints in a hole was a problem for the Lions all day.

    There was also a fumble which PROBABLY would have been recovered for a score without an unfortunate whistle. I don’t see “conspiracy.” But, it was bad luck! A defensive TD there MAY have changed the game!

    I realize that unfortunate officiating is part of the game. It just seemed to work against the Lions SO much last night that you almost want to see conspiracy. There is HOLDING on every play and, as referenced in your article, the Saints weren’t getting called for it. HOLDING is a 10-yd penalty. This isn’t impossible from which to recover, but it MAY slow down an offense.

    Beyond the officiating and bad luck, the Lions FAILED to make their own luck when it was right in front of them! Brees made a coupla mistakes. Berry allowed an interception to go right through his hands, arms and Buckner’s legs… The Wright (possible) interception was defended by the opponent. Berry HAS to make that catch! The ball was thrown right to him! That’s his job! He’ll never see an easier interception!

    Stafford under-threw a coupla passes which were intercepted. Beyond that, the Saints made their own luck! I believe that it was SO easy for Stafford earlier in the game that (maybe) he felt that he could do anything. It’s unfortunate that he over-threw Titus Young on a pass that he just couldn’t manage to bring in.

    It’s unfortunate that too often “the first guy” couldn’t manage to make a tackle on the Saints RBs. It’s unfortunate that the Lions couldn’t make a stop on 4th down. It’s unfortunate that the Lions couldn’t force the Saints to punt! It’s unfortunate that Calvin Johnson couldn’t bring in a 35-yd reception at 5:18 of the 1st quarter. This ONE play may have changed the game. 1st & goal probably leads to a TD. Up 14-0 (or 10-0), the Lions could have taken the crowd out of the game completely!

    The Lions needed better officiating and every bit of luck which they had and some that they didn’t get. Sometimes, that’s the difference between winning and losing!

    Reply

  6. BID316 Says:

    P.S.

    I forgot to mention the porous Lions defense. I’ll address it this way: The Lions defensive woes COULD have been over-shadowed by better luck and better officiating. You can’t give Drew Brees the kind of luck he was getting (at home) and still think that you’re gonna win.

    IF… The Lions recover “that fumble” for a TD, the Saints are down by two TDs. This affects EVERYTHING. This would affect the crowd, play-calling, etc. Down two TDs, you’re going to punt on 4th & 1! You’re NOT going to be able to expose the Lions defense as easily. And that’s only considering the officiating and “luck” in regards to a single play. So, I’m not asking for the impossible. I’m not asking for the improbable. This ONE PLAY could have been the difference between winning and losing!

    Reply

  7. Mmiles84 Says:

    Fact of the matter is our defense gave up 90 pts in there last two games and that needs to change. We still need help in the secondary Alfonzo, and Berry not gonna cut it, and stop blaming the refs. Had we been able to stop the run and there was two times we could have intercepted the ball would have been a big game changer. On top of that we produced 0 pts on our two turnovers. You have to produce some sort of offense on a team like the saints to rattle them.

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  8. Mikeyday Says:

    I agree T, will be back better than ever next year

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  9. Nickabu76 Says:

    At what point should we be concerned with the Offense? I know how odd that question sounds given the Lions Rack up points so easily but the team still cannot seem to get a pass completed to any receiver not named Calvin Johnson? How can CJ be double and tripled teamed leaving single coverage on Titus and Nate and they not get open? Is it Stafford not trusting the other WR’s? Are the other receivers not getting clean separation? This team needs to find a diamond in the ruff much like Jordy Nelson, Victor Cruz, or Antonio Brown. This team could take a major step back next year if CJ gets hurt. I am concerned.

    Reply

  10. Kevin Says:

    The Detroit Lions have come a long way and they have a few more things to fix before they can go all the way and win a Super Bowl. To name a few, fullback to score when they’re on the goal line, a few more players to complete their defense, a offensive play coach that can always produce plays for the offense to run that will keep the opposing defense scratching their heads. Always run Kevin Smith off tackle as he is a open field runner. Give Jason Hanson a big contract before he retires as he has been the only option the Lions have had to score any points up to now and he’s still automatic.

    Also, you can say what you want but the New Orlean Saints new they were in fight until they pulled ahead. When teams get to this point it boils down to what team makes the least mistakes.

    Reply

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