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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

Articles tagged: Detroit Lions

Packers DB takes shot at Lions while praising Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford

Green Bay Packers safety Adrian Amos dropped a comment Wednesday that will probably leave a sour taste in the mouths of Detroit Lions fans.

The Packers are prepping for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams and a quarterback they know well. Matthew Stafford has played the Packers 20 times in his career during his time with the Detroit Lions, so longtime Green Bay players know him well.

Amos is one of them, and he has plenty of respect for Stafford. In his words, it was the Lions that held back Stafford and not vice versa.

“Matt Stafford was always good,” Amos said Wednesday, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “He just played for the Lions.”

Painful but true. After all, Stafford and Bobby Layne are the only two quarterbacks in Lions franchise history to make the postseason in three separate seasons with the team. Now that he’s playing with a strong contender, Stafford is having one of the best years of his career, with 24 touchdowns to eight interceptions.

It’s clear the Packers won’t be taking Stafford lightly. After all, Aaron Rodgers was even more effusive in his praise for his former division rival.

How the Lions played role in Rams signing Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr warms up

Shortly after being waived by the Cleveland Browns, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. ended up with the Los Angeles Rams. It was reportedly a desired destination for Beckham, but a dream that almost didn’t come to fruition.

While appearing on The Dan Patrick Podcast, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said the Rams didn’t become involved in the Odell pursuit until midway through the process. The reason? The Rams were holding out on another potential waiver claim.

“I would say close. The question was all along if L.A. had an opportunity that’s where he was going to go. I would say [Los Angeles wasn’t involved] until mid-way through the process,” Payton told Patrick.

Los Angeles had placed a claim on former Tennessee Titans receiver Josh Reynolds and were waiting for the process to play out. The Rams were familiar with Reynolds, who played for the team from 2017 through 2020. The Rams lost Reynolds to the Detroit Lions, who were higher on the waiver priority list. It’s no surprise Detroit claimed Reynolds considering the former Rams who are now part of the Lions’ front office.

After the Lions scooped up Reynolds, the Rams dove in on Beckham. The rest, as they say, is history.

Los Angeles inked Beckham to a one-year, fully guaranteed $1.25 million deal. He caught two receptions on three targets for 18 yards in his debut with the team — a 31-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Image: Oct 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) warms up before the game between the Browns and the Denver Broncos at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Sanchez upset Lions fans with comments about Matthew Stafford, Detroit

Mark Sanchez in front of a FOX background

Mark Sanchez and Kevin Kugler were the announcing team for Sunday’s Detroit Lions-Los Angeles Rams, and not everything went smoothly.

During the third quarter of the game, Sanchez tried to clarify a point he made earlier in the telecast about Detroit and Matthew Stafford.

Stafford is in his first season with the Rams after spending the first 12 years of his career playing for the Lions. Sanchez said on the telecast that Stafford had finally found a home in Los Angeles. He called Detroit a small market and described Stafford as “underappreciated” while in Detroit.

Lions fans and media that covers the team did not appreciate the comments.

Late in the third quarter, Sanchez issued a clarification. He said that he meant Stafford was underappreciated by the national media, not the fans.

“I didn’t mean about the fans not appreciating him … because I think the fans and the organization in Detroit knew who they had. It’s more from a national media standpoint … we just kind of overlooked them because of their losing seasons and small market,” Sanchez said in his clarification.

What’s amazing is that even in his attempt to make nice with Detroit fans, he insulted them by calling them “small market.”

Detroit is not at all a small market. It’s a mid-market city with teams in all four major pro sports (Lions, Tigers, Pistons and Red Wings). All football fans knew who Stafford was. Most people recognized that it was time for Stafford to move on. There were no hard feelings.

Maybe the problem is Sanchez played at USC in Los Angeles and then for the Jets in New York. Maybe for him, anything less than LA or New York is small market.

If Sanchez had said that Stafford never fully realized his potential at a team or individual level while with Detroit, but he is in the process of doing so in LA, few would have complained. Because that’s effectively what’s happening.

Photo: FOX Sports

Will Jared Goff be benched by Lions?

Jared Goff Lions

The Detroit Lions have not won a game with Jared Goff as their starting quarterback, and it would not be a surprise if the team decides to go in another direction at some point. That apparently will not be happening anytime soon.

Goff is not in danger of losing his starting job in the near future, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Sunday. The Lions still believe Goff gives them the best chance to win, and there have been no internal discussions about benching him for David Blough.

Whether or not Goff will return to the Lions in 2022 is another issue. The Lions would have to pay Goff more than $26 million guaranteed if they bring him back next season, unless they agree to a restructure or extension with him. Goff will have to play better going forward to justify that.

Goff faced some public criticism from his coach following last week’s blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He has turned the ball over eight times in six games and seems hesitant to throw downfield. His play certainly is not Detroit’s only problem, but it hasn’t helped.

Video: Jared Goff, Lions had one of ugliest fumbles you will ever see

Jared Goff Lions fumble

We may only be four weeks into the 2021 NFL season, but it is hard to imagine we will see a fumble that is uglier than the one the Detroit Lions committed in their game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

The Lions were deep inside the red zone when they had an embarrassing mishap. Jared Goff walked up to the line of scrimmage to change a play, but center Frank Ragnow didn’t hear him because of the crowd noise. Ragnow snapped the ball when Goff wasn’t ready for it, and what happened next may have been a first.

Somehow, the ball deflected off Goff, hit one of his linemen in the helmet, went over the line of scrimmage, and landed right in the arms of Bears defensive lineman Bilal Nichols.

They call that being in the right place at the right time. There were flags on the play, but the penalty — illegal motion on Detroit — was declined.

We have definitely seen uglier fumbles in the past, but that play was up there with the worst of them.

Dan Campbell got strange explanation from NFL about missed delay of game

Dan Campbell

There’s a widespread acceptance that the Detroit Lions were the victims of a missed delay of game call just before their loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. The NFL, apparently, is refusing to say as much in private.

Lions coach Dan Campbell said Friday he had not asked the league for a written review of the non-call, but did phone the league office for an explanation. The one he said he got was strange to say the least.

“It’s really a subjective call is really what it came down to,” Campbell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “So I think they’re kind of split on it. Some are — it’s just, you guys have heard the procedure of it and I’ll be honest with you, I don’t even, I’m so over it now. I’m not even (thinking about it).”

Campbell’s attitude is the right one. There’s no use dwelling on it, and at some point, everyone has to move on. There’s another game this week, after all.

However, it’s a weird explanation from the NFL. There’s very little that’s subjective about delay of game. The ball is either snapped before the play clock expires or it isn’t. In this case, video from inside the stadium pretty definitively shows the play clock at zero. Had officials thrown the flag, it would have forced the Ravens to try a 71-yard field goal instead, which is a big ask for even Justin Tucker.

On the other hand, the Lions had the chance to get off the field and clinch the win on 4th and 19 the play before this one and didn’t. For that, they have no one to blame but themselves.

New fan video proves officials blew delay of game call to rob Lions

Ravens delay of game clock

A recently-discovered video proves that the officials in Sunday’s Baltimore Ravens-Detroit Lions game blew a delay of game penalty.

The Ravens were down 17-16 to the Lions with seven seconds left in the game. Lamar Jackson took the second-down snap and threw it away. However, the CBS telecast showed that the play clock hit zero for a few seconds before the ball was snapped (video here).

At the time, there was an argument that the play clock viewers on TV were seeing was different from the one the officials were watching in the stadium.

However, this video from YouTube user JamminJim420 definitively proves that the play clock in the stadium was at zero for a few seconds before the ball was snapped. If you look closely at the electronic board just above the first level of the stadium seats and to the right of the upright, you will see a play clock counting down. You can see it hit zero before the ball is snapped.

The Ravens should have been pushed back five yards, which would have put the field goal distance at 71 yards. Instead, nothing was called and Jackson threw the ball away. On the following play, Justin Tucker made his record kick to win the game 19-17.

That was a heck of a kick by Tucker, but it came thanks to some help from the officials.

H/T NFL Reddit

Ravens get away with delay of game before winning field goal

Ravens delay of game

The Baltimore Ravens got a miracle kick from Justin Tucker to beat the Detroit Lions on Sunday. But Tucker’s 66-yard field goal attempt might have been a 71-yarder had a penalty for delay of game been called.

The Ravens had a 2nd-and-10 at the Detroit 48 with seven seconds left. Before Lamar Jackson took a snap and threw the ball away, the play clock appeared to hit zero.

The clock seemed to be at zero for well more than a second before the snap, yet no penalty was called. That seemed to be a badly missed delay of game.

The Ravens should have been moved back five yards due to delay of game and had a 71-yard attempt to win the game. Considering Tucker’s field goal hit the crossbar before bouncing over for the win, a properly called penalty likely would have given Detroit the win.

Lions coach offers troubling response to Jamie Collins effort questions

Dan Campbell

Jamie Collins has moments where he looks like one of the best linebackers in football, and there are others where the veteran looks totally lost or disinterested. There have been questions about his effort level this season, and Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell is not exactly defending his player.

Campbell was asked by a reporter on Tuesday if the criticisms of Collins are warranted. He said Collins plays “a little bit different.” He also said Collins doesn’t match the intensity of fellow Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone.

Campbell also said there are “things that Jamie does well that we have to continue to use.” That isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

Those who have followed Collins’ career know this has been his story for years. The New England Patriots made a surprising decision to trade him years ago when he was a key part of their defense. There were reports then about how Collins’ attitude didn’t match up with his talent, and many accused the Patriots of smearing him on his way out the door.

Campbell seems to have no interest in pushing the narrative in another direction, which says a lot.

Collins had 101 total tackles, three forced fumbles and a sack in 14 games with the Lions last year. He has 10 total tackles through two games this season.

Calvin Johnson to be honored at Lions game despite feud with team

Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson has been at odds with the Detroit Lions organization since his retirement, but it sounds like the Hall of Fame wide receiver will put it aside, at least temporarily, later this month.

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Johnson will be honored at the Lions’ Sept. 26 game against the Baltimore Ravens. Johnson will attend the game and receive his Hall of Fame ring. This comes in spite of the fact that Johnson has been at odds with the Lions over bonus money he was forced to pay back upon retiring.

It sounds like the issues that caused Johnson’s feud with the organization still exist. They certainly did as of July, when Johnson notably did not thank the organization in his Hall of Fame speech. That makes it appear as if this is an opportunity Johnson is taking to greet and thank Lions fans, whom he did thank and praise in that speech.

There had been hints that the Lions, under Sheila Ford Hamp’s ownership, had been working to fix things with Johnson. That may still be true, but it sounds like it hasn’t happened yet despite this upcoming appearance.