Craig Remsburg column: Can the Lions sustain momentum built from gutsy victory over Cowboys?
For the first time in recent memory, the Detroit Lions found a way last Sunday to win a game by all rights they should have lost.
Trailing the Dallas Cowboys 30-24 with 1:02 remaining and no time outs, left, the Lions somehow drove from their own 20 for the game-winning touchdown.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford surprised everyone by faking a spiked ball attempt at the 1-yard line and then leaping over the line of scrimmage with the football to score a TD.
With that gutsy play, the Lions improved to 5-3 on the season heading into today’s bye week. That sure looks better than the 4-4 record the Lions should have come out of the game with.
All during the game, the nagging thought that head coach Jim Schwartz and his staff should be fired at the end of the season for wasting the team’s obvious talent stayed with me.
The Lions are still undisciplined. They’re flagged for personal fouls, offsides and false starts at what always seems to be the most inopportune time.
Schwartz should take the offending player out of the game and let him contemplate about what he had just done. But the coach keeps him on the field, so the point does not come across.
Why do the Lions run Reggie Bush inside a majority of the time? Why not use his speed to the outside more often to force opposing teams to stretch their defense?
And why don’t the Lions blitz more on defense, to put more pressure on the opposing QB so he has to throw the ball in a hurry and often off-target?
Quarterbacks with a lot of time to survey the field before throwing the ball will almost always find an open receiver, especially against the Lions’ porous defensive backfield.
A 5-3 record at this point of the season is not bad for the long-inept Lions. Remember, the team won just four games all of last season.
Keeping any momentum the team gained against the Cowboys is imperative if the Lions are serious about making the playoffs.
If they can somehow beat the Chicago Bears next Sunday in the Windy City, the Lions will then play at Pittsburgh and home against Tampa Bay – both winnable games.
But the nagging thought persists that despite the team’s talented core of players, the Lions will find a way to collapse and waste another season.
It has happened too many times before.
If that happens this season, Schwartz and his staff should be checking the want ads come January.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is email@example.com.