Detroit Lions: The state of the pride, the Lionesses speak.

Sonja Greenfield Detroit Lions Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

According to a 2001 New York Times article in describing the role of a lioness in a pride, they are responsible for the hunting and gathering of food.  They also have a true community where they are all the same, and there are no bosses.  They essentially are equal.

The same can be said for another group of Lionesses.  My fellow Lions fans who just so happen to be female.  These are some very smart women, and thankfully we’ve formed such a great community.

Because they’re pretty cool people and smart fans, I figured I’d chat with them and get their thoughts on the State of The Pride.  Here are their thoughts on the current state of the Lions going into week 5.

What grade do you give the Lions in the first quarter of the season?

Cindy (@CanswpP)- Through the first quarter of the 2018 NFL season I give the Detroit Lions a C+.  I arrived at that grade by giving the Defense a C and the offense a B. I wasn’t feeling the B- so went with C+.

Sweta (@sweta2311)- Grade for the team – B minus. The Jets game was flat-out crazy, the 49ers game was close, Patriots game was good and the Cowboys game was close as well. I feel like Lions are a few plays away from being 3-1. This team will ultimately gel and start clicking.

Alexandra (@_lionsprincess)- I give the Lions a C. The first game was absolutely horrible. No excuse to play like that. If it wasn’t for that win against the Pats in week 3, I’d give them a D. Hopefully they can turn the season around this week against the Packers at home.

Rebecca (@p1vs_v1tra)-  C+ after the Cowboys game.  They took a step back, but I don’t think the game against the Patriots was a fluke.  We saw flashes of what’s to come in the future. It’s slightly disappointing that they couldn’t keep up with that intensity today, but we have plenty of season left.

Koula (@KoulaStoll)- You know it’s hard to give grades.  I’m going with a “C” and I think that’s being generous. One blow out loss, one great win and 2 “almost/ close” wins.  (What’s the old saying “almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades”)

LaLa (@Lioness_Lala)- Ok. Here’s mine. I promise I didn’t cheat off of the ladies who went first!  I give them a C. They couldn’t beat the Jets handily beat the Pats??? They should be 3-1 not 1-3.

Netty (@LionsDizzle)- Grade: C.  When they start winning games they will get a higher grade.  The Lions played the first few games as if they were still in preseason. They started getting better the 2nd half of their 2nd game but they still have a long road ahead.  Maybe it’s the transition of a new coach?  Who knows why they are so ON AND OFF, but whatever the reason they frustrate me.  How can they play a game looking like a high school football team and the next game looking like a Super Bowl team?  I don’t know how they’re going to fix this problem if they don’t start the game off as hard as they end it.  They keep getting close and the game ENDS with NO WIN!  We (the fans) all get so excited toward the end because we think a miracle will happen and they’ll win (because it’s happened a few times) but nope they lose! Watching a Lions game is like watching a movie and someone saying “the beginning is slow butttt…Keep watching it!!

 

Who are you most impressed with and who are you most disappointed by?

Cindy- I have been most impressed by rookie running back Kerryon Johnson.  As a girl who loves the run game I am so happy to see a light at the end of the tunnel, the Lions may just trudge themselves out of the run game pit of the NFL with this young man.  Quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Lions wide receiver crew have been what I expected- reliable and exciting.  And I would be amiss if I did not mention that the offensive line and blockers really did a good job protecting Stafford in the pocket and from sacks in the first 3 games, and they open up those holes for young Johnson to run through.

Alexandra- I am really impressed with cornerback Quandre Diggs. The way he can play different positions on defense is a great asset for this team. Definitely worth the extension in my opinion. I’m a little unimpressed with the whole team, to be honest. I expected a better turnout with the new coach and adding a run game. I am hoping they will turn the season around this week!

LaLa- I’m most impressed with RB Kerryon Johnson. Love watching him carry the ball….when he gets to. I’m also impressed with the offensive line play against the Patriots. Which leads me to disappointments- offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s play calling and offensive tackle TJ Lang not being able to stay healthy which seems to really affect the offensive line.

Sweta- I have been most impressed by RB Kerryon Johnson and offensive line in general.  As we all know, they have so much potential, barring health concerns.

Koula- Who am I most impressed by? Wide receiver Kenny Golladay, I think he’s a superstar in the making. I said it once and I’ll say it again. He reminds me of retired WR Calvin Johnson Jr. Period. I think we’re watching the beginning of true greatness. Disappointed by? Offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter (you didn’t say if I had to pick a player) I mean, I’m not a coach, and sometimes I’m calling our plays, that can’t be good! Some serious changes need to be made on the offensive coaching front. Did it get better the last 2 games? Yes. A lot better? Not really.

Rebecca- I’m most impressed with RB Kerryon Johnson. The Lions haven’t seen anything like him in such a long time. He’s the real deal and he gives me so much hope.  I don’t think any players have disappointed me but offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni have to go.  These two frustrate me to no end. You can’t have this talent and produce this nonsense.

Netty- Most impressed with WR Golden Tate! Tate has been stepping it up and pulling through for the team. 2 touchdowns in 1 game is pretty awesome. He’s never shined like this and hopefully, he keeps it up, along with the rest of the wide receiver group!  I’m most disappointed by the defense.  I feel they’re slacking. In the Cowboy game, they had only 1 player to stop and couldn’t do it. That is pretty sad. Also, Stafford gets sacked too many times, and/or he holds onto the ball for too long.  He either needs better protection or he needs to focus harder,  start thinking quicker and get the ball out of his hands!

 

What are your expectations for the next quarter?

Netty- They have good players but their consistency throughout the entire game needs to improve on all ends. They need to play harder defense and stop these teams from moving.

Rebecca-  I think it’s important to note what my expectations were in the beginning. My expectations for this season were pretty low after the announcement of our new head coach.  I think it’s very rare to have an amazing season following any significant changes to personnel. With the progression of the off-season and training camp and drinking the kool-aid, my expectations were at a fever pitch, I had the team going 11-5. With the first quarter of the season under their belt, I’m thinking they’ll finish at .500. next quarter and possibly overall.  I honestly think that they need time, this might not be our season and I’m okay with that.

Koula- What are my expectations for the next quarter?  I WANT them to win the next 4. We NEED them to win the next 4. I think they can do it too.

Sweta- First quarter is over and the Lions are 1-3 which is disheartening.  But remember last year they were 3-1 and ended up winning 6 out of last 10.  The season is still young. I wouldn’t consider this as a season-ending quarter. There is a lot of football left and things change very fast in this league.  Sort of like defensive end Da’Shawn Hands would be fumble in the Cowboys game.

LaLa– I expect to win the next 4. No excuses.

Alexandra– I expect the Lions to go 2-2. I believe the Packer game will be tough. I’m sure the refs will play a factor. I believe after the bye week, they will dominate the next 2. I believe a win against the Dolphins and Seahawks will happen. I think the Viking game will also be a rough one. It could go either way.

Cindy– I expect the Lions to win 2 of the next 3 games. Home field advantage will come into play for the Packers and Seahawks games.  The Lions are good enough to beat either team and that Ford Field enthusiasm will help.  The Lions have bones to pick with both of those teams. Phantom facemask calls and batted balls in the end zone, the Lions and their fans don’t forget these grievances. I do not think the Lions will win in Miami.  The Dolphins have some good things going on, and as of now, they are the better team.

 

What’s the ONE thing that needs to improve in these next few games?

Cindy- The one thing that must be improved in the next 3 games is an improvement in the defense. And serious work is needed across the board.  Whether that improvement comes through scheme or personnel, I don’t know. They need to work extra hard in practice at effective tackling. The Lions need to figure out how to get a pass rush going, stop the run game and create turnovers.  You know, all the things you expect from a defense.

Alexandra- The offensive line. They NEED to protect Stafford. When he’s able to take his time and throw, they make the catches. If Stafford is playing well, the whole team is – but he needs to have good protection. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing him get sacked.

LaLa-A one Jim Bob Cooter. Period.

Koula- You’re making me choose one? It’s got to be the defense. Stop the other team. Hate to simplify it down. Stop the run, stop the pass. It’s on everybody from the coaches to the players. They’ve got to be better. They ARE better. There was no reason to lose to the Cowboys. No reason for so many penalties. The officiating wasn’t good, but at the end of the day you have to overcome it or you’re not going to win.  (Writers note: Please forgive Koula.  She was still upset after the Lions loss against the Cowboys.  She promises she’ll cool down before she answers the next time!)

Rebecca- What’s the ONE thing that needs to improve in this next 3 games? Endurance. We saw against the Patriots what playing at a high intensity for all 4 quarters can do. If they don’t let up on the gas, these games should be easily won by the Lions.

Netty- I really want to see them do is take more chances and try for more touchdowns instead of relying on field goals.  They also really need to just stay hungry throughout the entire game – start to finish.

 

And there you have it!  Some of the ladies of the Pride have spoken.   These are some wonderful women, and I’m very thankful that they took the time to answer my questions.  Please make sure you give them a follow on Twitter!  If you want to be included in my next State of The Pride article, please feel free to let me know!!  

The Lions will be facing a banged up Packers team on Sunday.  But with a pretty healthy QB in Aaron Rodgers, anything is possible.   Let’s hope the Lions get the 2nd part of their season started with a win.

 

#OnePride

 

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