Mike: The biggest damage is to the won-lost record, and that can't be fixed. It put the Lions two games under .500 at 2-4 and in a deep hole in the NFC North.
The reason to dwell on the game is to make corrections. One is on situation awareness; such as the fumbles by
Tim: The red zone offense certainly needs fixing. The Lions have only three red zone touchdowns on the season; this from a team that was one of the best inside the opponent's 20 a season ago and they have essentially the same personnel back.
I agree with you 100 percent that Stafford has to be better. He’s missed too many throws through six games for it not to be mentioned when talking about what’s ailing this team. Stafford admitted after the game he needs to play better, but so do a lot of players on offense.
As far as Logan, if Jim Schwartz and Danny Crossman can’t trust their returner to at least secure the football and not make a bad play, they should consider a replacement. Crossman told me a couple weeks ago in an interview that the No. 1 goal of special teams is to still have the ball when they come off the field.
How big of a loss is Burleson?
Mike: His absence because of a broken leg takes away a productive receiver and a team leader, and both are important. It hurts depth at receiver, too. There are only three receivers on the active roster who have had playing time:
Another receiver has to be brought in, and the big names are sure to be mentioned: Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson and Plaxico Burress. I wouldn't sign any of them.
A receiver has to be added in case of injury, and nobody the Lions sign will be as good as Burleson.
Would you go for one of those big names?
Tim: For my sanity as a beat writer this week I hope they do not bring one of those guys in because they bring the circus with them. There’s a reason those guys aren’t playing right now and not just because of the baggage they bring.
I’m not replacing a team leader and a guy who’s respected as much as anyone in the locker room with one of those guys. But that's me. I agree they won't find someone as good as Burleson, either.
You are right, though, the Lions do need to add another guy because
The Lions face a tough Seahawks defense this Sunday. Is this the start of a crucial three-game stretch for them against the Seahawks, Jaguars and Vikings? Do they have to win all three to keep their playoff hopes alive?
Mike: If I were running the team meeting Wednesday, the first thing I'd stress is that Wednesday is a big day because it's the next day. And Sunday's game against Seattle is big because it's the next one. And go from there -- day by day by day.
You can't change the overall picture, but that really isn't necessary. Players understand math. They know a 2-4 record doesn't equal 5-1. They know the spot they're in. They have to play their way out, and it falls equally on everyone -- coaches leading, guiding and planning, and players executing good game plans.
Tim: Couldn’t agree more. Defensive tackle
I’d like to see them come out and play with a sense of urgency – especially on offense. Where’s it been? Hang on to the football. Make a point of it. Catch the football. Make a point of it. Deliver the football where it can be caught. Make a point of it.
We both sat in that press box Monday night, Mike, and shook our heads as they went three-and-out five of their first six possessions.
It doesn’t get any easier Sunday against the Seahawks and their top-10 defense, but the Lions have to break out at some point, right? They’re just too talented.
Mike: They'll break out eventually, but I'm wondering about the talent level and whether the offense has as much as we've thought all along. There is no speed back, and the No. 2 receiver opposite Johnson hasn't been a consistent threat, and certainly not a game-breaker.
Through six games, the evidence is that everyone might have been oversold on how much talent there is on offense.
Tim: I think there’s something to that. I said a couple weeks ago that
When Matthew Stafford isn’t playing at an elite level, like he did last year, the deficiencies are evident.
For the first time since he was dealing with the injuries his first two seasons, I thought Stafford seemed the most frustrated I’ve seen him in that post-game press conference Monday. He said it’s not about talking the talk anymore. We’ll see what he plans to do about it.