Not the way the Lions secondary wanted to head into New Orleans

Posted Jan 1, 2012

This isn’t the way the Lions wanted to head into New Orleans to face Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints passing attack.

Six days before they face one of the league’s elite quarterbacks, the Lions’ secondary was torched for 480 yards and six touchdowns by Packers back-up quarterback Matt Flynn. The same Flynn who had a total of five pass attempts on the season heading into the game.

 “I’m not disappointed, I’m angry,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said after the Lions 45-41 loss in Green Bay Sunday.

“We played poorly in coverage, we played poorly in man, we played poorly in blitz, we played poorly in zone. We didn’t rush the passer, we didn’t tackle, and we didn’t play coverage.”

That about covers it.

The secondary allowed an average of 10 yards per completion to Flynn and his 480 yards and six touchdowns are both new franchise records for the Packers.

“I looked up at the scoreboard and saw all those passing yards. What I can say about us is that obviously we didn’t play our best game,” said corner Alphonso Smith, who was victimized on two Flynn touchdowns Sunday.

“We gave up a lot of plays that we practice and that is the most disappointing part about today’s performance. I didn’t execute things as well as I could have today. We didn’t execute the game plan that Coach Schwartz had planned for us.”

For his part, Smith was benched in the second half.

It seemed Packers receiver Jordy Nelson had Smith’s number every time he was matched up with him.

Nelson stiff-armed Smith in the open field on his way to the end zone in the first quarter and later caught a 36-yard touchdown along the sideline right over him.

Smith did make one of the few good plays from the defense, though, when he intercepted Flynn in the second quarter and returned it 30 yards which set up a Lions field goal.

But those plays were few and far between.

It wasn’t just Smith, either. Flynn was an equal opportunist when it came to victimizing Lions defensive backs.

“For whatever reason we lacked discipline,” said safety Chris Harris, who started in place of Louis Delmas. “We didn’t execute the scheme the coaches set in place. What happened, happened, and we have to move on from it.”

The problem for the Lions is they move on to the Saints and Brees, who broke Dan Marino’s 27-year record for most passing yards in a season this year.

Brees torched the Lions for 342 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-17 victory earlier this year.

The Lions were without Delmas in that earlier meeting against the Saints, just like they were on Sunday against the Packers.

Delmas (knee) is expected to be back for the playoffs and that’s good news after watching Packers players run roughshod through the Lions secondary.

Delmas is certainly a difference maker for the Lions, but will that be enough?

Having to face Brees at the Superdome was a scary proposition before watching the Lions defense on Sunday.

Now, it’s almost petrifying.