Friday, 4 December 2015

Why wasn't Calvin Johnson on the field for Packers' Hail Mary?

The sting of the loss for the Lions following Green Bay's Miracle in Motown Hail Mary on Thursday night is still fresh. It should sting even more considering the way in which the Lions blew the defensive coverage on the final play of the game.

We covered extensively last night the issues with the defensive alignment when Aaron Rodgers dropped back and heaved the ball for a group of Packers in the end zone.
But there's more than just horrible alignment going on here. There was also a horrible use of personnel, because Lions wideout Calvin Johnson wasn't on the field for the final play.

He COULD have been on the field for the final play -- the Lions had one timeout remaining when the Packers ran the final play of the game, the walkoff touchdown bomb to Richard Rodgers.

Jim Caldwell could've called timeout and gotten Megatron -- simultaneously the biggest player on his team, the guy with the most leaping ability on his team and the guy best at high-pointing footballs on his team -- on the field.

Instead he didn't call timeout, he didn't organize his defense and he let the Rodgers-Rodgers combo

"In that situation we have a couple different things that we do," Caldwell said via the Detroit Free-Press. "That was one where you're kind of looking for more of that pass back and forth kind of thing because of the range. He ran around there so long, moved up, gave himself a chance to get it in the end zone. We had plenty of guys back there. We had of plenty guys, we just didn't make the play. They did."

OK, see, this is not accurate. There were NOT enough guys back there. There were six of a possible 11 players in the end zone to stop this catch from happening. So just over half of the available players you have to stop the one thing you should know they're doing.

And even if, as Caldwell says, you're protecting against a lateral, well, the lateral still has to cross the goal line.

"I know there's a lot of things that they'll say, 'Hey, why didn't you do this or that?'" Caldwell said. "And there's always been hindsight and that kind of stuff that you look at it and there's probably a number of things that we could look at someone could come up with a little different idea. But the fact of the matter is, I'm proud of the way our guys played. They played tough, we were ready for a big game and I think we played that way up until all of about a couple flashes of that ballgame."

This is crazy. It's not hindsight. You know the Packers need to go 70 yards in six seconds. There are two ways of getting there and one of them involves a really long pass play that could be coming.

How can you get outcoached on a Hail Mary???

Just call timeout, put Megatron in the game, let him block the long pass and walk off the field with a win.

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