Naturally, the stinging nature of the defeat and how it played out will generate the most hype, but the Lions are trying to improve, and finding ways to apply meaningful lessons for the future has to be the biggest takeaway off of such a crushing loss.
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Naturally, there are no shortage of ideas about what the Lions have to do better to find a win, and running back D’Andre Swift knows that the team has to clean things up in order to improve and give themselves a chance. Speaking with the media after the game on September 26 in an interview posted to DetroitLions.com Swift admitted bluntly that with a cleaner first half, the Lions probably wouldn’t have been in a position to lose on a historic field goal.
“If we play better in the first half, we’re probably talking about something different right now,” he explained to the media after the defeat.
Like most of the Lions as well as the fans, Swift seemed frustrated by the loss, but only due to the fact that he felt as if the team shot themselves in the foot too often early on and dug themselves a big time hole. As a result, he wants to see a more consistent effort throughout the game rather than just periodic flashes of greatness.
“It’s flashes there of how we can be as a team, how we can be as an offense, a defense, as a team collectively. We just got to start from the first whistle and finish to the last whistle,” he said.
Finding a way to maintain has looked to be the biggest problem for the Lions all season long. Swift himself seems to grasp that as an issue, and wants to see it change in order for the team to take the next step and put away some wins in close games.
Jamaal Williams: Lions Must Stop Beating Themselves
Interestingly enough, Swift wasn’t the only member of the Lions to be lamenting mistakes that cost the team dearly after the game. Fellow running back Jamaal Williams also admitted to being frustrated at the team’s inability to execute in crunch time in terms of making mistakes that ended up being critical in the end.
Speaking with the media on September 26, Williams also alluded to the self-inflicted wounds the team has sustained so far this year.
“Sometimes people try to stop us but most of the time, like this whole game, I feel like at the beginning, we just made too many personal mistakes,” Williams said. “Same again, us beating ourselves. In the second half, you can see what happens when we actually don’t beat ourselves and just play football.”
Clearly, the running back room understands what has to change, and thinks the team needs to find a way to avoid the costly mistakes early that have made winning difficult.
Swift Impresses During Solid Second Half
It took a while for Swift to get going within the Detroit offense against Baltimore, but once he did, he was more than off and running. Swift should have scored a touchdown on a pass that wasn’t reviewed, but the running back heated up in the second half and managed to put up 107 total yards on the day to go with a rushing touchdown. The Lions seemed to make feeding Swift a conscious part of the game plan in the second half and it almost worked for them in an epic comeback.
What worked when the team was executing well on offense? As Swift explained, some of that consistency he has been talking about showed up on the scoring drive out of halftime.
“Executing a little bit better, didn’t have any penalties on that opening drive. We just have to find a way to start out better,” he said honestly.
So far this season, Swift has been good both with regard to the run and the pass. He’s finding a way to hit the holes as well as make the critical catches for the team. As he knows, though, the Lions need to keep things clean as a whole if they want to get over the hump with some wins.