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TIM AND MIKE: The trade deadline came and went with no fanfare

Posted Oct 30, 2013

Tim Twentyman and Mike O'Hara discuss the Lions lack of moves prior to the trade deadline and what the team needs to improve upon in the second half of the season

The trade deadline passed Tuesday with the Lions standing pat, despite speculation – and the rampant hopes of their fans – that they'd make a deal to shore up the roster for the second half of the season.

Would the Lions have been better off making a deal, and if it they could have made a trade, what position should they have targeted?

Darrelle RevisCB Darrelle Revis (Photo: AP Images)

Mike: It takes two – and sometimes three – to make a deal, and not many NFL teams are willing to make a deal during the season. If the price is no question, then almost any deal is possible. I wouldn't have given up a second- or third-round pick for any of the names that were mentioned. That includes all the receivers.

If a trade could have been made, cornerback was the position to target, not wide receiver. The Lions are doing fine with the receivers they have, and Nate Burleson should return to play against the Bears in the next game after the bye.

The only player I would have gone all in on was Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis, but that's a fantasy deal. There's no indication that he was on the market – except for the fact that the Bucs are horrible and might want to add draft picks for next year – and it would have taken some creative contract negotiation to fit him in under the Lions' salary cap.

It's not my money to spend or my job to work out the salary cap, but playing Fantasy Island GM, I'd have gone for Revis Island.

Tim: I agree with you 100 percent on cornerback over receiver. I wrote about that in my 10 Questions with Twentyman column last week.

If the Lions are going to take this thing where they want it to go, which is ultimately New York, they'll probably have to get by Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees in the playoffs. Getting some help in the secondary wouldn't have been a bad idea.

The Lions had only about $1.7 million to play with though, and there's not a lot they could have done with that unless they got pretty creative.

Look, I know fans love big names and adding another weapon on offense would have been a splash move, but Calvin Johnson is equivalent to two receivers on most teams. Burleson is a very solid slot receiver and I think Kris Durham is settling in nicely to the No. 3 role. Reggie Bush (335 yards) is a pretty good receiving option, too.

The Lions think rookie cornerback Darius Slay is getting better and don't seem too concerned about Bill Bentley's knee injury he suffered last week. Chris Houston playing the way he did last week is a good sign moving forward as well.

The Lions have decided to stand pat with what they have, which was probably the right move.

Darius SlayCB Darius Slay (Photo: G.Smith/Detroit Lions)

So, Mike, there's no help coming, unless you count Burleson and running back Montell Owens coming back from injury. Where do the Lions need to get better on their own in the second half?

Mike: Pass rush, special teams coverage and defending the big play.

Big plays have been a problem for the defense since the opening play of the season, when Adrian Peterson ran 78 yards for a touchdown. Against the Cowboys, the defense gave up TD catches covering 50 and 60 yards.

And the rush has put pressure on the quarterback, but there have been only four sacks in the last four games. You don't put teams in long-yardage situations without sacking the quarterback and getting holding penalties.

Owens should shore up coverage on special teams. I expect him to be back for the next game.

Tim: The defense ranks second in the league on third down (29 percent), sixth in red zone defense (75 points) and have 13 turnovers and still rank 25th in total defense and 20th in points allowed.

Big plays are the reason why. The Lions rank last in the NFL having allowed opponents to score 99 points outside of the red zone. That's more than double the league average of 47.

That's the biggest thing that needs to be corrected. They stop the big plays and their offense will win them a lot of games in the second half.

After a 5-3 start, what kind of finish are we in store for?

Mike: A wild one, and it should be a fun one. If the Lions match their start with a 5-3 finish, they'll make the playoffs. If they do better than that, and beat the Packers on Thanksgiving Day, they'll win the NFC North and have a home game in the playoffs.

I'm not guaranteeing they'll do that, but I am guaranteeing that a 6-2 second half and a win over the Packers will win the North.

If you think I'm wrong, put up some cash ... decorate the mahogany with some Benjamins.

Tim: "Decorate the mahogany with some benjamins."

You never cease to amaze me, Mike. Or make me shake my head in wonder. Not quite sure which one more often.

Wouldn't it be something for Detroit to play well leading into that Thanksgiving Day game vs. Green Bay, giving that game huge division and playoff implications?

The Lions face two opponents with a record over .500 (Green Bay and Chicago) and the combined record of the eight opponents is 20-38.

At this point, anything less than 10-6 would probably be disappointing.

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