Tim: Nope, and it’s almost too much to deal with. About the only thing I can see where this team is legitimately better is Stafford isn’t throwing as many interceptions as in past years. I’m saying this without any research, so hopefully I’m right. Too bad Sunday he didn’t throw for any touchdowns either and I would rather not talk about what was supposedly the Lions’ run game against Jacksonville.
Dalton: Do we cut or keep Andre Roberts? Not sure if he is awful or just kinda better than what's out on the market.
Tim: Why would we cut him? Sure he brings the ball out from nine yards deep every kickoff, but is he really that bad? And sure, he muffed a punt, but did you see the guy from the Texans? He tried to catch one with his facemask! (Spoiler alert: Didn’t work.) Roberts had that big catch a couple of weeks ago on a fourth quarter comeback when Stafford threw the ball roughly 17 feet in the air and he’s returned two punts for touchdowns, plus has one receiving touchdown. I’ll take that from a return man. Now watch him catch a case of perpetual muffs and I demand management to cut him.
Dalton: If the Lions lose on Thanksgiving, what is the path to get back into the driver's seat of the NFC North?
Tim: The Vikings aren’t going to win out, even if they beat the Lions. This division is a race to nine wins, in my eyes. So if they lose and fall to 6-5 rather than improve to 7-4, it’s tough to find three wins on their remaining schedule, in my opinion. They have a game with the Bears left, and the season finale against a crumbling Green Bay team at home is a winnable game. A road game in New Orleans scares me, and the Lions also have back-to-back road games against the Giants and Cowboys. I can’t see either of those games ending well for the Lions. After taking all of this into consideration, if the Lions lose, they have to win in New Orleans and then at home against Chicago. That would put them at 8-5 with three chances left to get to nine. The problem is, the Vikings’ only toughest games left are the Cowboys (at home, which is BS) and a trip to Lambeau. If Minnesota beats us on Turkey Day, we need Jacksonville and/or Indianapolis to give us some help by pulling an upset.
Tim: Well, that seemed to drag on forever. Your turn. Is Stafford sneakily turning into a “game manager?” (Fewer INTs so far, lower yards per attempt.) If so, do you approve?
Dalton: Stafford is really toeing the line of game manager. He isn't throwing it as deep and isn't forcing it into receivers but I'm not going to call him a game manager yet. Why? Because of the game winning/tying drives. Alex Smith is the prototypical game managing qb and I don't ever see him leading a game winning drive, let alone multiple. Stafford’s numbers have decreased as a product of the system and, I hate saying this but, losing Calvin Johnson has really helped him. He doesn't feel the need to force it to him and now, with much more effective weapons, he can spread it around to the open man.
Tim:Why do the Lions run the ball? Seriously.
Dalton: I'm really not sure. I thought Theo Riddick could be that dual threat RB the Lions so desperately needed and through the first few games I thought he was that running back. I’m not sure if maybe trying to air the ball out down field will help this running game or not but for the time being the Lions should just use a lot of screens to Tate, Riddick, Jones, etc.
Tim: In the spirit of the holiday, which Lions receiver/TE are you most thankful for? It’s a short week folks, bear with me here.
Dalton: Anquan Boldin. He is that big receiving threat to replace Calvin. He has made numerous big first down catches in traffic and he just seems like a hard worker. Plays a minor role on the stat sheet but is one of those guys that makes a huge in game impact.
Tim: Lions win 24-23, the difference being Minnesota’s new kicker who replaced the terrible Blair Walsh misses a point after.
Dalton: 31-10 Detroit. Fuck it. Happy Thanksgiving.