Lions Leftovers: Jim Caldwell takes blame for 44-20 loss to Ravens, deserves it

Lions Leftovers is the weekly post-game commentary from Detroit Sports Nation contributor Rob Otto. The opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of Detroit Sports Nation.

The Lions lost 44-20 in Baltimore on Sunday. There are two things I believe:

  1. Jim Caldwell is not a good coach and doesn’t deserve to be running an NFL team
  2. Jim Caldwell will still be the head coach of the Lions in 2018

Let’s start with the first one. Caldwell took the blame for this weekend’s debacle, which is very magnanimous of him since we were all going to give it to him anyway. Here are some of his quotes from the postgame:

It wasn’t pretty. I didn’t do a very good job. We just didn’t do a very good job…we get within one score, and then the bottom falls out. I just have to do a better job.

Football’s a funny thing. It just happens. It’s tough to explain sometimes, but one of the things, you know what the issues are. The issues are [that] you’re not playing well. We’re not playing well enough, and I need to do a better job coaching.

It’s all coaching. You’ve never heard me say anything different. I’ll tell you the exact same thing today, tomorrow. We’ve got to do better. It’s our job to get it better.

No, it’s my fault. It’s me, not them. I’ve got to do a better job.

I completely agree. There are things that happen with this team that don't happen anywhere else.

That isn’t against the NFL most powerful teams. Three of the four were the Browns, the Bears, and the Ravens, who before Sunday’s game were one of the lowest scoring offenses in the League. It is beyond all logic why the Lions came out flat in that game while Baltimore looked like the second coming of the “Point a Minute Offense.”

That is all on Caldwell. The biggest debacle came on in the second half when Detroit had closed within seven points, had the Ravens in a third and seven with a chance to force a long field goal attempt, and instead they gave up a wide-open completion and first down.  Why was it such an easy completion for Joe Flacco?

How can every single coach on the sideline miss the fact that there were only nine guys on the field on such an important play? Aren’t there like 20 of them wandering the sidelines in Lions' gear? Not one of them noticed before the snap that their guys were running around like the Keystone Cops and the defensive side of the ball looked a little light?

Even if that was an isolated incident, in my opinion it is a fireable offense to have such little awareness of the field. But this seems to happen every few games. Heck, it happened last week when the Lions had 10 men on the field when they gave up a touchdown to the Vikings, and we were told they were going to have to be better about that. This week they were worse!

How many times have Caldwell’s coaches been unable to count to 11 in the four years he has been here? Five times? Six times? More? The assistant coaches are responsible for that, and Caldwell is responsible for his assistant coaches.

He wants the blame? He’s got it.

Caldwell finds new ways every week to show how inept he is and how unqualified he is to be the head coach of the Detroit Lions.

Which what might make my second belief so difficult for you to understand. Caldwell isn’t going anywhere. Not this week, not in the off-season.

If there is one thing that we have learned from the Lions over the years (other than their inability to win) is that they are loyal to a fault. They kept Russ Thomas for decades and gave Matt Millen a contract extension when he deserved a pink slip. It was the late William Clay Ford that made those decisions, but I believe Martha Firestone Ford is cut the same cloth.

Even as she was hiring Bob Quinn to take over the team, she was saying “I love Jim Caldwell.” She took away Quinn's authority before he even settled into his office.

That is why I believe, despite the week-in and week-out displays of Caldwell’s incompetence, Quinn won’t fire him. Mrs. Ford won’t let him. Not mere months after awarding him a multi-year contract extension.

So, as bad as things are for the Lions and their fans now, you have at least one more year of it to enjoy.

The only silver lining is that with Caldwell staying around, it gives me more time for my Deep Thoughts memes.

And here are a few more choice memes from the DSN Twitter feed I ran during the Lions-Ravens game.\

And finally, one last desperate plea from every Detroit sports fan.