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Unexpected Twist in Detroit Lions’ Kicker Saga at OTAs

The Detroit Lions may have their kicker for 2024.

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The Detroit Pistons have a new team president to work with Troy Weaver and Monty Williams.

The Detroit Lions went to New England and got Belichick’d

Detroit Lions Loss To New England

Matthew Bassin: All right, Ryan, the Detroit Lions went to Boston, went on out to Foxborough, and got completely owned by Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots 29, nothing. The vaunted offense that was leading the NFL coming into the game walked out with just as many points as they had scored all season going into the game.

After leaving the game, the. In my mind actually looked better. They held the Patriots to feel goals throughout one offensive touchdown in the second half, but that was it. I thought they did a better job of keeping them out of the end zone. The Pats have struggled this year in the red zone in general, but it was nice to see that the Pats didn’t improve how they didn’t in the red zone.

After leaving this game with the Detroit Lions, One touchdown for the Patriots offensively. Obviously, the defensive one on the scoop and score off the Jared Goff fumble made it a bigger score. Lot of people out there screaming for everybody’s heads. From Dan Campbell to Aaron Glen n you name it, they’re out there in droves now, screaming to get this regime outta here and bring in the next regime already in game 22 of the Dan Campbell, Brad Holmes era.

So before I get into everything that I saw from this game, what were your takeaways from this weekend’s game in Foxborough? 

Ryan Griffin: So this weekend, I thought, is what I thought last week would look like. With the offense cause and this weekend, they had Amon-Ra St. Brown, but before, when they’re missing St. Brown and D’Andre Swift, they’re missing DJ Chark like all these other weapons. And you think it’s not gonna go well. And then they score 45 points, and then it’s, Oh, this offense can do anything with anybody. And then this week, you have like just a crashing back-to-earth moment where the offense goes out.

And not only do they get shut out, but they also get outs scored by New England’s defense seven to zero. And it’s a week where you were going up against a third-string quarter. So the defense had their best week, but you should have your best week going up against a third-string rookie quarterback who, by no plans, was supposed to take any type of snaps this year.

And they did, right? They gave up 22 points, which should be enough to win you a game in the NFL if your defense is only gonna give to the other team. Obviously, the Detroit Lions didn’t score at all. So I understand where the frustration comes and it’s really the worst game that the Detroit Lions have played all year.

And it’s probably the game that they were most expected to win, maybe the Commander’s game, which they actually did end up winning. But out of the first five games, this was the one that should have been a cakewalk, where you saw Bailey Zappe, and you saw the fact that you had Amon-Ra St. Brown back, and I know the Detroit Lions were still underdogs in the game, but I felt better going against New England than I did against Seattle. And obviously, it didn’t work out that way at all. 

Matthew Bassin: Yeah, I wonder if a lot of Detroit Lions fans made the same, for lack of a better term, a mistake that you made in assuming that going up against Bill Belichick is a win.

That hasn’t been the case for very many teams very often, even with, I understand, Tom Brady and that offense being gone, and they really have not rebuilt that offense yet. Their offensive weapons are just not there. They have a running situation that’s. They’re wide receivers. We talked about this last week.

They don’t really have a number one; they have a whole bunch of twos and threes that they pieced together the tight ends. Hunter Henry and they have not panned out the way that people thought they would when they joined the New England Patriots. But it’s still, if not the greatest head coach of all time, one of the greatest and definitely the greatest modern head coaches of all time in the NFL.

And I don’t think there’s a better coach out there to take away your strengths and attack your weaknesses. Then Bill Belichick, even with a team not as good as he’s accustomed to not as good as New England, in general, is accustomed to this, they have been ridiculously good for the last 20-plus years. But to have a coach who can scheme and plan as Bill Belichick can.

It’s a tall task for anybody, and I am not surprised in the least bit that our brand-new head coach had circles run around him by Bill Belichick and his coach. Everyone was so focused on Matt Patricia and getting revenge on Matt Patricia. Matt Patricia, I don’t think he does anything for the New England Patriots.

I know he is there on the sideline, and I made this joke online, but he is. I understand what he’s supposed to be doing. I think he’s there more like a Make-a-Wish kid. And, like, Belichick just has him on the sideline because he likes the poor guy. I don’t know what he actually does, but on the defensive side of the ball, which is where apparently he came from, they’re not letting him touch, and they put him on the offensive side of the ball.

And Bill Belichick, who has been a defensive genius since the eighties with the New York football Giants, did what he does. And when you watch this game, and you look at the trench. This game was completely won and lost right then and there. New England Patriots dominated the Detroit Lions. When the Detroit Lions had the ball, their D line dominated our O line.

When they had the ball, their O line dominated our D line. So right there in the trenches is all you need to look at. For me, we can talk about everything else that happened, but in the trench, which is where this game matters and where we’ve talked about where I want to see the Detroit Lions building their team from the inside out, and they have been doing that.

Obviously, people aren’t happy with what’s happened so far, but they have been building it in my mind the right way from the trenches out. We got completely embarrassed and completely dominated by a brilliant football mind and a better team when you look at what they piece together to be able to do against a new young head coach, a new young regime.

And they made Jared Goff look foolish. They got pressure on him all day, and he made bad read after bad read with pressure in his face, and they completely took advantage of it. 

Ryan Griffin: They did take advantage, and I know you mentioned it when we talked about this on Friday; it was just the coaching advantage that the Patriots had, and I thought the coaching advantage would be canceled out by the fact that they had a third-string quarterback.

It most certainly was not, and Dan Campbell. Outside of just calling plays, cuz I know he doesn’t call plays or call the defense or do anything really, but like calling the fourth and nine that the Detroit Lions are down six zero, it’s a 48-yard field goal, and you just signed. Your kicker badge leads are like this week.

And if you’re not gonna trust them to kick a 48-yard field goal, then what’d you sign ’em for? And again, dude, it’s fourth and nine, so you’re not gonna get it. It’s not one of those things where it’s like, Oh, it’s fourth and one. And the numbers told us we had a better shot of getting fourth and one; then we did, making this field goal that I understand.

But at that point, the Patriots had kicked two field goals themselves. So it’s not like they were moving the ball down the. And if you can’t kick a 48-yard field goal, then one, like, why are you signing a kicker really in the first place if you’re not gonna trust them to make that kick? And I thought that decision was just astounding, honestly, like it was befuddling, and it, I know we’re gonna talk about the rebuild a little bit later, but it’s one of those things that makes you lose faith in Dan Campbell because it happened last year and it happens this year.

And he goes into every press conference and says, Oh man, I wish I had that one back. Well, then stop doing it. 

Matthew Bassin: No, I hear you. And there were some questionable calls that Dan handled, made that fourth and nine was really the only egregious one because you’re right, you did just sign Michael Badgley from the Bears, who he just had made four field goals for them last week while he was filling in for Ryan Santoso.

And that’s why he was let go. And that was the one, but there were other ones as well. So these the first, Was it the first one? Yeah. So the first fourth down, they went for its happy yard. All right. And they went for the inside handoff instead of a quarterback sneak. I don’t understand; going back to try and go forward, it’s never made sense to me.

When you have to get literally less than three feet just, you’re the quarterback, fall forward. That’s all you have to do to get the first down at that point. I know I’m making it sound simple. It’s not simple, but the idea to go backward, two yards to hand it to a running back to then go back forward, those plus yards, it just, that one didn’t make sense to me.

The fourth and nine is the only one where it was a little bit in no man’s lane. Yeah, it was right around the 33-yard line, which gives you about a 50-yard field goal, 48, like you said. And maybe he’s just shell-shocked by how bad the kicking has been so far. Since he’s been with the Detroit Lions, they just haven’t had a long consistent kicker.

Obviously, he’s only been here for 22 games, like we said, but in that time period, the kicking situation has been spotty at best. And, but you’re right. You signed a kicker for a reason. Utilize that one. It stands out, but the other fourth downs that they went for throughout this game, and everyone wants to pick ’em apart for going, oh, for six on fourth down, every other fourth down to me made sense.

For the first one, I just didn’t like the play call, but it made sense. The third, fourth down is fourth and two from the Patriot’s 35-yard line. Again, it’s a 52-yard feel goal, and Goff missed horribly. In the play before, on third and two, he passes it short of the sticks and doesn’t get the first down. Terrible play. 

Detroit Lions New England Patriots

Either terrible execution or terrible design, One way or the other. Throw it on the players or throw it on him. The fourth, fourth down, they went for his fourth goal from the sixth. Later in the game, it’s a pass to Amon-Ra he’s heavily covered. It bounces off his chest. It wouldn’t matter if he had grabbed it anyway; there were three Patriots around him.

He wasn’t getting to the end. So the plays that you’re running, even if they’re called under the right play, they’re not being executed correctly, and you’re putting yourself in a hole with this as well. It was, there were, there were brain-dead moves by the coaching staff for sure. And by the players, for sure.

You can attribute that to. The youngness of our head coach, the fact that he was a former football player, so he is headstrong and he always wants to go for it. I don’t know. But you’re absolutely right that, at the moment, he has made mistakes, and there needs to be accountability and rectifying that.

And I’m not saying fire him. In fact, I’m saying the opposite. I don’t want him fired. I want to. This plays out a lot longer than just the 22 games that we’ve seen so far. But there needs to be someone there. Who was the head coach? Was it McVay that had a guy that would hold him back and keep him away from the sidelines?

Some head coach in the NFL, I think it was McVay, has a strength and conditioning coach that would just pull him away from Campbell needs a guy like that says, coach kick the damn. Or Coach does this. Coach does like just every once in a while to get Campbell out so he can get out of his own way because he wants to win and do this so badly, but he makes these mistakes on the field that are so costly.

Ryan Griffin: So apparently, they have somebody like that, and I, I don’t know the gentleman’s name, but they were talking about it on the radio probably about a week, a week and a half ago. And it’s essentially it’s like a football consultant, but his job is supposed to be, Because you ha, you see other teams have it like these sort of game situation gurus and a lot of teams.

It’s not just an alliance. A lot of teams mess up these late-game situations or these fourth-down situations. So it’s not alliance specific problem. But I would say Dan Campbell is probably just one of the worst at it in the entire league. So it’s not something new, right? It’s not something that would be cutting edge, and it’s, Oh my God, why?

Why didn’t anybody ever think of this? The Detroit Lions supposedly had. I don’t know that that gentleman or woman should have a job right now based on what we’ve seen transpire. But I don’t know what they’re doing. I don’t know what the team is doing or how you don’t. how you don’t get this right?

Because it seems like, and look, we’re fans, everybody armed your quarterback, right? You’re looking at home, and you’re like, Oh, you just easily do that. How’d you miss that dude streaking up the sideline X, Y, and Z? And while that’s not always wrong, right? And sometimes, there is some merit to that, like the play-calling one.

It just seems like it should be easier, at least the decision-making, not even the actual calling of the play, but like, Hey, you should definitely kick a field goal right here for X, Y, and Z reasons. And then when the team doesn’t, and obviously it’s gonna backfire, it’s just super frustrating, and I can see. I can see why fans are honestly starting to lose their patience with it.

About The Show

Detroit Lions,New England Patriots

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Griffin & Bass – Hosted by Ryan Griffin and Matt Bassin – We discuss the latest hot topics of the week and have some fun while doing it. New episodes are LIVE Tuesdays and Fridays.

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