It was a comical, yet frustrating experience. Watching Tuesday morning”s SportsCenter Showcase highlights exemplified why it”s so painstaking for anyone to root for the Detroit Lions.
As if the 35-0 score of Monday night”s game wasn”t embarrassing enough, the anemic Lions” offense that sputtered once again definitely took the cake.
After all, it didn”t matter if the football gods would have miraculously inserted the members of the Steelers “Iron Curtain” defense from the 1970s, Detroit simply wasn”t going to win and will not win unless it can put points on the board.
And find a new quarterback.
One offensive touchdown in three games isn”t going to cut it not even in Pop Warner football leagues.
And the laughable revolving door at quarterback for the Lions is a major culprit.
Granted, the Lions have more problems than just the signal caller. An outmatched secondary, a non-existent running game and the “run-and-shoot” offense isn”t that easy to perfect.
But watching highlights of both Ty Detmer and Charlie Batch throwing perfectly tight spirals into the hands of Rams” cornerbacks symbolize the weakness of the Lions team and is almost as degrading as hearing Dennis Miller mock the Lions” fans that was cheering “Let”s Go Red Wings!” in the SilverDome.
“We got zero points. Zero,” coach Marty Mornhinweg told the Associated Press after the game. “It was a brutal offensive game.”
Good Marty, you can count. Now all you have to do is find, and stick with a quarterback who can legitimately lead this team.
But the answer to the problem clearly isn”t wearing Honolulu Blue and Silver.
Mornhinweg was never really high on Batch before the season, but he was the $35 million dollar quarterback he inherited when he became the new Lions coach. Jim Harbaugh was an old, yet solid backup but it was uncertain whether he could work his magic over a 16-game schedule. And rookie Mike McMahon was an afterthought.
So Batch started the season, and Mornhinweg publicly stated his confidence that Batch was his man.
But just six sacks and a season-opening 28-6 thumping by Green Bay later, Mornhinwheg was already searching the waiver wire for a new quarterback.
Scrambling to find a quarterback, Mornhinweg found Cleveland Brown defect Ty Detmer, who didn”t have much starting experience other than holding a clipboard for numerous NFL teams.
But who cares? He knew the “run-and-shoot” better than anyone else available.
But after eight interceptions in a game-and-a-half, with only one touchdown pass, Mornhinweg had seen enough spinning the quarterback carousel one more time and placing Batch back into the lineup in the second half of Monday night”s game against the Rams.
Despite Batch throwing an interception and fumbling once, Mornhinweg says Batch is his man for good.
“Charlie is the guy,”” said Mornhinweg, who mentioned that Batch needed that time off to rest his injured body. “This is Charlie”s job, and he won”t have to be looking over his shoulder. We”ll stick with him through thick and thin.”
Where have we heard this before? After next week”s loss to winless Tennessee, will Mornhinweg change his mind again and insert Matt Millen himself behind the center?
Batch, who has two more injuries this year than touchdown passes, will eventually hurt himself, and Mornhinweg will find himself between a rock and a hard place again.
“I am searching for a quarterback who can play at the highest level on a consistent basis,” Mornhinweg told the Associated Press on Tuesday. “Neither has played at the highest level.”
So common sense dictates that the Lions new coach should smarten up, and take a look for a ghost from the Lions” distant playoff past to lead them to the promise land (beyond first round of playoffs).
He should bring in the last man to direct the “run-and-shoot” to perfection for the Lions, who won Detroit”s only playoff game since 1991.
Yes, the man is pushing 40, but he still has skills at least more than Batch and Detmer. Look how well older quarterbacks like Doug Flutie have done in the league. Flutie has the Chargers turning some heads in the AFC West.
Plus, Kramer knows the system and will undoubtedly do better than throwing eight interceptions in two weeks. And he won”t ask for a contract extension he doesn”t deserve.
He”s a smart quarterback who isn”t injury prone and will not make a ton of mistakes.
After all, what else do the Lions have to lose except their dignity?
“I”m excited,” Batch told the Associated Press. “We are at the bottom right now, so there is nothing to do but get better.”
Just call Erik Kramer. I”m sure he”s available.
Joe Smith is going to sign a 10-day contract with the Lions to play quarterback. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.