The bluest of Fridays to all 12 of you reading this! We’ve reached Week Four of the NFL season, and this week’s Seahawks opponent you need to know about is… the Detroit Lions.
Golden Tate is back! The guy who is absolutely, unequivocally, 100-percent responsible for Russell and Ashton Wilson’s divorce is returning to Seattle this weekend to wreck some homes, jack a few doughnuts, and maybe make a catch or two.
What? Don’t pretend like you weren’t consumed by the Golden-Ashton rumors. They may be silly. They may be unsubstantiated. They may not even be true. But don’t deny it: you were sucked into the juiciness like a 40-year-old single woman on Bachelor night.
And even if you found yourself on the outside looking in, smugly smirking as you rode by on your high horse, Golden, himself, went to great lengths to insist that he had not bedded the former Mrs. Wilson. Most notoriously, Tate penned this manifesto for The Cauldron, explicitly addressing the hearsay and flatly denying its truth. Anyone who takes that much care to wag a finger at garbage that would otherwise reside on internet message boards, well… they’re obviously guilty, come on.
So Golden may or may not be responsible for Ciara being a part of Russell’s life now, and that, we can all agree, should be reason enough to boo him. Never mind the fact that Tate has spent time badmouthing Seattle in the wake of his departure, or that he became a Pro Bowler in Detroit, or that he won’t return any of my texts, or call me, or take me nice places anymore. The former Seahawk deserves whatever vitriol you’ve been storing since he took off for more economically-deprived pastures after the 2013 season. Let the guy have it.
Okay, enough about Golden Tate. Let’s talk about his quarterback, the inimitable Matthew Stafford.
A season ago, my friends and I started an auction-draft fantasy football league after years of participating in standard snake-draft leagues. When Matthew Stafford came up for auction early in the draft, my good buddy Dave, arguably the wisest of all our friends, hit the wrong button and accidentally spent the vast majority of his allotted salary cap on the Lions quarterback. It was a complete and utter failure, and after enduring a few minutes of the inevitable shit-talk that follows such a blunder, Dave glumly slunk out of the draft room and mailed in his entire season before it even began. The saddest fantasy-related incident I’ve ever paid witness to and it was all because of Matt Freakin’ Stafford.
The spendy fantasy flub could serve as a metaphor for Stafford’s entire NFL career up to this point. Once upon a time, Detroit wagered big money on the 27-year-old Georgia product, selecting him No. 1 overall in the 2009 Draft. Since then, the organization has been desperately banking on their investment to live up to the hype that comes along with being the first pick. Unfortunately for the Lions, Stafford has been good, not great, and nothing if not incredibly inconsistent throughout his six-year career. He mixes in flashes of undeniable talent with all-too-frequent errant tosses, leading to interceptions at crucial junctures in critical games. And with receivers as talented as those the Lions possess, the results Stafford has delivered have been disappointing.
In all likelihood, Stafford’s leading pass-catcher on Monday night will be Richard Sherman, who, as the evening transpires, will get his hands on every lazy spiral slung in the direction of Calvin Johnson. That may sound over-the-top, but Detroit’s signal-caller has, of late, been as adept at finding his No. 1 wideout as a drunk Aldon Smith finding a taxi cab. It hasn’t been pretty, and the Seahawks defense should only serve to exacerbate the issues Stafford has had locating his receivers this season.
It’s not all Stafford’s fault, though. The help in the ground game has been non-existent. So far in 2015, Detroit’s running backs have amassed a total – TOTAL – of 148 rushing yards. Seriously, that’s it. You might expect more from the likes of the esteemed Ameer Abdullah and Joique Bell, but sadly, no. Abdullah and Bell have been nothing short of terrible with the football in their hands, which has led to all sorts of strife throughout Detroit.
You think Darrell Bevell (aka, #FireBevell) has it bad in Seattle? Let me introduce you to Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who might be the most hated man in the Motor City right now. Besides taking veiled abuse from the guy who pissed all over Russell Wilson’s first marriage, the masses are beginning to speculate that Lombardi may simply be the NFL’s latest recipient of football nepotism. Yes, Joe is in fact the grandson of late Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi, which means he can suck for weeks, if not decades, before anyone will kick him to the curb and wholly abolish the Lombardi name from America’s game. You just don’t dismiss a Lombardi, people! Time may be running out for this Lombardi, however. Staring down the barrel of an 0-4 start to the season, Joe’s days in Detroit are undoubtedly numbered.
The same likely goes for head coach Jim Caldwell, who is the king of looking hopeless and confused on the sideline. His hapless expressions are actually a real thing you can Google. In fact, I’ve already done some of the legwork for you.
First, here’s Jim feeling the heat in Indianapolis:
Now here’s Jim looking overwhelmed in Baltimore:
And finally we have present-day Jim, seemingly paralyzed by fear even as he cheers on his ball club:
By all accounts, Jim Caldwell is a decent man and a fairly competent football mind. But my god, do his facial expressions fail to inspire. Caldwell Face should be the next great Halloween costume. Kids would get twice as much candy out of pity.
“Honey, bring me the full-size Twix bars. There’s a boy out here dressed exactly like Coach Caldwell, and, well, I mean… just look at that face.”
Caldwell’s body language combined with an 0-3 Lions squad playing on the road in one of the toughest environments in football is a recipe for an epic disaster. Get ready for another beatdown, Seahawks fans, because it’s coming.
And just for good measure, here are some more Caldwell Faces for you to enjoy. Happy Friday.