By: Will Burchfield
The Lions only had nine defensive players on the field in a costly mishap in their loss to the Ravens on Sunday, and Jim Caldwell took the blame.
Asked on Monday what exactly led to the mistake, which extended a Ravens’ scoring drive, Caldwell said, “It didn’t take me to look at the film to find out what’s happening. … Completely my fault, have to get it straightened out. Not acceptable — horrendous, actually. I have to get that straightened out. I have to be better.”
The play occurred early in the fourth quarter with the Lions trailing 20-13. After an incompletion by Joe Flacco that looked like it could have been a fumble, the quarterback quickly ran up to the line and snapped the ball before Detroit’s defense could get reorganized.
On third and seven, Flacco hit wide-open receiver Chris Moore over the middle of the field for a 23-yard gain. Running back Alex Collins found the end zone two plays later to double Baltimore’s lead.
The Lions committed a similar error in their Week 12 loss to the Vikings, when they defended a touchdown pass with just 10 players. It was explained afterward as a communication issue.
Clearly, they didn’t fix it.
Said safety Glover Quin, “That’s something we have to do better at. When subbing or not subbing, there’s different personnel and groups, so whatever’s going on we have to be on top of it. If we don’t have time to sub, we can’t sub. We have to figure it out. There seems to be one or two plays like that every week where something happens.”
Caldwell confirmed he’s responsible for shuttling players on and off the field before a play.
“In this particular case, it’s not their fault. It’s completely mine,” he said.