Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/23/12
In July I was enjoying a long weekend in Vegas and wandered into Harrah’s to take a look at the Super Bowl odds and I remember looking up and seeing the Lions were at 18-1 odds.I couldn’t believe what I was seeing because going into this season; I felt that the Lions had a great shot of getting to the Super Bowl. I didn’t bet on them because I am a Bears fan and that would be sacrilegious, but if I could have, I would have put money on the Lions right then and there; confident that I had a great shot at winning some serious cash. Vegas odds makers must have a crystal ball.Hindsight is 20/20 and now I am glad I didn’t make that bet but I am left to wonder, what is wrong with the Detroit Lions? This team, who I felt was a serious contender, is in the cellar of the NFC North with a 2-4 record.Let’s start with the obvious issue the Lions are having and that would be at the quarterback position. Matthew Stafford came off of a great 2011 season and was touted as a top 5 quarterback coming into the 2012 season. This year has been less than spectacular so far for Stafford. He has looked uncomfortable throwing the ball and his footwork is off as well. Stafford has had a hamstring issue that hasn’t kept him out of games but it makes one wonder if it has something to do with his performance this year.  Stafford has only thrown five TD passes in six games. Last year he would have had five TD passes in one game! Stafford needs to get his confidence and mechanics back quickly as halfway point to the season is approaching fast.  Another issue I have noticed with the Lions this year is the dropped passes, especially from Calvin Johnson. Megatron is not the same guy he was a year ago, dropped passes, unable to break coverage. He just doesn’t look crisp. Is the Madden jinx the problem here? It must have affected most of the receivers on the Lions. Per the Washington Post, the Lions rank 4th in dropped passes with 17 drops. Brandon Pettigrew has led the way in this category for the Lions with four crucial drops.The defense is giving up a lot of passing yards to opposing quarterbacks who have been averaging 306 yards against them. They have been average against the run giving up 99 yards rushing per game. The defense needs some work but I really don’t feel that they are the problem. The bottom line here is the offense is just a mess. This team is just a play or two away from being 4-2 but fumbles, dropped passes and every kind of turnover that could happen has happened to Detroit. The fix here? The mental aspect of the game is the biggest problem for the Detroit Lions. I feel that offensive coordinator Scott Linehan needs to take a look at more than the X’s and O’s here and find a way to get this offense’s swagger back. Something is not working and something needs to be fixed.I am aware how obvious that statement is but the reality is, time is running out so Linehan and head coach Jim Schwartz need to accept some responsibility here. It’s time for the Lions to start over and go back to basics, build confidence and fight this mental block that is killing a very talented Detroit Lions team.   
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