Detroit Lions Had the Right Plays, Poor Execution Plus NFC North News & Notes

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions scrammbles with the ball during their game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on September 16, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

There's been a lot of criticism of the Detroit Lions' game plan against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night, that the team ran the ball too much against a 49ers defense which is strong against the run.

Matt Stafford is fine with the plan, even post loss, according to Philip Zaroo of and I have to say after watching it again, I agree.

For the vast majority of the game, the Lions ran a pretty balanced offense and the 49ers were in a defensive scheme which wouldn't have been easy to throw against. Really, considering the front seven the Niners have, trying to bomb it downfield was a bad idea.

It's easy to take shots at this game plan because it didn't work, and most of the time the usual plan works. However, it wouldn't have played at the Niners' weaknesses either given the pass rush.

I still say the way to go was a more consistent short pass, short pass, bomb, short pass, run, short pass, bomb type of patter—when the Lions did that it seemed to work well. Draw the defense in, then throw over them.

However, the simple fact is this: the Lions didn't execute all that well offensively and the 49ers are very, very good.

As for the rest of the division...


Chicago Bears

Vaughn McClure of the Tribune has a little more reaction from Cutler and Lovie Smith on DJ Moore's criticism of Cutler.

ESPNChicago's Jeff Dickerson says there's a change along the offensive line.

ESPN's NFCN blog writer Kevin Selfert wonders if DJ Moore spoke for himself or all players.


Detroit Lions

Dave Birkett wrote over at the Free Press that the Lions should have played to their strengths Sunday night, even against a tough defense.

Anwar Richardson at MLive reports Ryan Grant and Steve Slaton are working out for the team today.

Bleacher Report's Eric Vincent gives us three things that we learned from the loss to the 49ers.


Green Bay Packers

ESPN Milwaukee's Jason Wilde talks about the criticism from Jermichael Finley's agent of Aaron Rodgers' leadership.

Jersey Al from examines Clay Matthews' success so far this season.

Bob Wolfey over at the Journal-Sentinel says that Terry Bradshaw also has issues with Rodgers' leadership.

B/R's Trent Stutzman explains why the Packers should by no means trade Greg Jennings.


Minnesota Vikings

Tom Pelissero took a closer look at Christian Ponders' game on Sunday at 1500 ESPN.

Bleacher Report's Chris Schad says the Vikings' Cover-2 should go bye bye.

Daily Norseman's hard working Chris Gates says Vikings' fans should be thrilled to have Percy Harvin.


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