Cosell’s Watching: Lions Have Both a Great Passer & Protection Issues

Detroit Lions, From the Desk of Greg Cosell, Greg Cosell, Inside the Game, San Diego Chargers

NFL Matchup’s Executive Producer shares notes from his study of Week 16 coaching tape: the Lions offense vs. the Chargers defense.

  • Lions shot play on game’s 1st play, Stafford never should have thrown the ball to Johnson yet it ended up being a 46 yd completion – There was no definition and Stafford just threw it up for grabs
  • Chargers matched Jammer on Johnson when Johnson aligned on the outside
  • Hughes remained the Chargers nickel slot corner as he has been all season

  • Pettigrew 7 yd TD one-on-one matchup with LB Diggs, Result of double on Johnson with Jammer and Weddle on the same side – Johnson factor in the red zone

    Matthew Stafford (AP)

  • Stafford threw with great velocity and accuracy right from the start, He put the ball on his receivers hands – Outstanding ball location
  • NT Thomas an improving player over the last month, Good athleticism and movement for a 330 pound NT
  • Lions have OL issues with pass protection, Tackles Backus and Cherilus both struggled in this game
  • Chargers defense not very good, Did not generate any consistent pressure on Stafford and their zone coverage concepts had a lot of voids
  • Chargers defense did not play their zone coverage concepts very well in this game, Too many large voids
  • Smith 3 yd TD catch came v. man coverage, LB Spikes late reacting – Lions again doubled Johnson with Jammer and Gregory
  • Stafford was decisive with his reads and throws, and most importantly he was consistently accurate
  • What could hurt the Lions in the playoffs is they don’t have a consistent base run game
  • This was a very poor defensive performance by the Chargers; Stafford was very sharp but there were far too many open receivers, Stafford did not have to make many difficult throws
  • A very positive performance by Stafford re: accuracy, He was as precise as any game this season
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