In 2009 Justin Verlander was afflicted with a terrible disease. Justin's year was simply not going according to schedule. He was loosing games. His ERA skyrocketed, and he simply couldn't strike anyone out. Was it his mechanics? A thorough review of video tape past and present revealed nothing. Was it his Velocity? No he still threw in the mid to high 90's. Did his slider desert him? No, it wasn't that either. It was as if the batter new when to lay-off and when to be aggressive. That was the key clue to the answer. You see, Justin was tipping his pitches. Once the Tigers realized that and corrected it Justin was able to right his ship and regain his dominance.
Fast forward to this year and our Detroit Lions offensive wows. Once again we see the same clues. The offense has struggled to make plays until the final moments of games. The defense seems to know when to be aggressive with the rush or sit back and plug up the running lanes.The play calling has either been to predictable or we are tipping the defense. What happens at the line of scrimmage. Just how does Dominic Raiola communicate blocking assignments with his fellow linemen at the point of attack. Are there defensive counter measures just prior to the snap? Is there code that they use? If so, has the defense cracked that code? Does Raiola use fake or dummy calls to trick his adversaries. In baseball the catcher will change signs when a runner reaches second base. Wouldn't it behoove the Leos Line to fake a call? Does a lineman alter his stance? Is someone on the line leaning his weight forward to the balls of his feet on running plays and back on his heels for passing plays? Perhaps Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has simple fallen into a predictable pattern. When I was growing up, My buddies father would say "same old Lions. Run, run, pass, kick" repeatedly during the game. They were that predictable. Is our offense still that vanilla? I realize that most writers here on Bleacher Report do wonderful research. They pose interesting arguments backed with facts to support their theories. But alas, I possess neither the resources or intellect to draw concrete conclusions for these questions. Perhaps with practice I will acquire some skill set that will make me a better writer. Until then, this is where you, the reader, comes in. Fell free to share your thoughts in the comment section. I really would appreciate some lively debate and any insights on the subject.