A Red Flag For Lions Fans?

Why Brad Holmes first big move as Lions’ GM has me concerned

A new era has started in Detroit and the first few months of the new regime don’t have me optimistic. Granted, as a Lions fan, pessimism is in our nature. We’ve seen it all before. The new pair of GM Brad Holmes and Head Coach Dan Campbell have already earned national attention…for all of the wrong reasons thanks to the biting of knee caps. Despite this poor analogy and being quite under-qualified, Dan Campbell is not the epicenter of my concern with the Lions. My biggest concern lies on history repeating itself and if Holmes’ is going to display patterns we’re all too familiar with following Bob Quinn.

When Quinn and Patricia came to town, they brought the “Patriot way” with them. What worked in New England, they were going to bring to Detroit. However, as we’re now seeing with the Patriots, their “way” seems to be more “Tom Brady” than a successful culture. Tom’s now playing in the Super Bowl with his new team as the Pats are one of the least talented teams in the league with little light at the end of the tunnel. That is the Patriots Way Quintnricia brought with them. They brought in former Patriot after former Patriot to the point where it was laughable. The experiment failed miserably.

Now the Lions introduce Brad Holmes as General Manager, and his first big move? Moving Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams. Where did Brad Holmes come from before being hired in Detroit? Why, The Los Angeles Rams. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I know what you’re thinking, the Lions didn’t get fleeced in this deal. They had to move on from Stafford and got two first round picks, a third, and a potential starting quarterback in Jared Goff. That’s not a bad return, in fact, it’s pretty good and can’t complain about it. However, there are now reports that better offers were on the table from places like Carolina, who reportedly offered their first round pick (the 8th pick in this years draft) which would have given the Lions two picks in the top ten this year. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater also might have been involved in that deal. The Washington Football Team, San Francisco 49ers, and Indianapolis Colts also had offers in; while the New York Jets and Chicago Bears made calls to test the temperature of the water.

Most fans will say in the end the Lions won the deal, and I would be one of them. However, I’m going to be hoping they start making moves with other teams instead of focusing everything on turning the Lions into the Rams. If that’s what the front office is going to try then we are doomed to repeat history. Brad Holmes will suffer the same fate as Bob Quinn. Dan Campbell is not Sean McVay. The Rams success, in my opinion, stems from McVay and the system he’s running and what he brings to the table. You can try to copy that but you’re just going to end up with a lesser version of the original product. The sequel is never as good as the original. Except for Deuce Bigalow.

How are you feeling about the start of the new regime? Reach out on twitter @CortFreeman

Pick ‘Em Pickle: NFL Week 11

Snow is on the ground! The times are a changin’. Weather this year always starts to play a major role in games like we saw last week with Houston @ Cleveland. I expect that to continue henceforth across the league. Now, the holidays are just around the corner so it’s time to make some extra money so you can afford to get every member of the family a gift this year.

Lions @ Panthers Line: DET -3.0

Lesson: make this list earlier than noon on Sunday. This morning, the line on this game was even. Now, the Lions are favored -3.0. I wish I had acted sooner. I like the Lions in this game even if Teddy was playing. Like the Lions? What am I saying? Both teams are dealing with injuries to big time playmakers. Now that Stafford is active and Bridgewater isn’t, I’ll take the veteran.

Pick: Lions -3.0 Lions 24 Panthers 16

Packers @ Colts Line: IND -1.5

I think this could end up being an entertaining game. I’m curious to see what the Packers do against this terrific defense. Yet again, I’m betting on the better quarterback. That’s Aaron Rodgers.

Line: Packers +1.5 Packers 27 Colts 24

Eagles @ Browns Line: CLE -2.5

The weather in Cleveland is going to play a factor again. Poor weather means good news for teams who like to run the ball. Who likes to run the ball? The Browns. They’re pretty good at it, too. Also, betting on an NFC East team just can’t be a good idea this year.

Line: Browns -2.5 Browns 20 Eagles 10

Falcons @ Saints Line: NO -3.5

This game is getting a lot of attention on the networks this week, because of the quarterback controversy. I thought Winston was going to start, but they go with Taysom Hill. It’s a move I don’t understand. Hill is an amazing athlete. He makes big plays and is a valuable weapon to have in the arsenal. I don’t think he should be the main piece, however. You don’t build around his skillset, I think he’s better being utilized as an expected threat. I think…well, I guess it’s kind of hope…it backfires on them, selfishly. I’m betting against them due to my gut (which you should never do by the way) instead of the analytics. I shouldn’t be doing this. Maybe you shouldn’t put your money on it, but sometimes you need to take that extra risk for that extra reward. It’s not even that I think Jameis Winston deserves it or is great, I just feel like he may have been stabbed in the back here and I refuse to get down with that! If that’s even the case…oh well. I’m sticking with the spite pick. Sipping that Latte Larry’s, (yup I’m stealing that now). Give me the Falcons this week to teach Sean Payton a lesson.

Pick: Falcons +3.5 Falcons Falcons 28 Saints 21

Bengals @ Washington Line: WSH -1.5

Ugh. This is a tough pick. Bengals have so much potential but Washington proved to be able to keep up with a mediocre team (at best) against the Lions. Alex Smith’s comeback is impressive and he deserves respect, and that defense is developing into something special, but they aren’t elite yet. I mean…they’re in the NFC East and not winning it. That’s not good. Give me the team not in the NFC East.

Pick: Bengals +1.5 Bengals 23 Washington 20

Steelers @ Jaguars Line: PIT -10.5

The Steelers finally proved they don’t only win close games last week. I expect that to continue against a poor Jaguars team.

Pick: Steelers -10.5 Steelers 33 Jaguars 17

Titans @ Ravens Line: BAL -6.0

I have flashbacks of Henry running all over the Ravens in the playoffs last year. That happened, right? The Mandela Effect? No, that happened. I think the Ravens still win this game but think it could be low scoring and the Titans could keep it close. Or run all over the Ravens, again. History does tend to repeat itself.

Pick: Titans +6 Titans 17 Ravens 20

Patriots @ Texans Line: NE -2.5

Still don’t know what to make of either of these teams. Texans could do quite literally nothing against the Browns in bad weather last week. Patriots continue to show flashes of playoff potential, followed by weeks of disappointment. I don’t like the Texans run defense and that’s what the Patriots do best. It’s a game of matchups, give me the Pats.

Pick: Patriots -2.5 Patriots 23 Texans 20

Dolphins @ Broncos Line: MIA -4.0

Tua Time? He’s shown to be better than I initially gave him credit for against really solid defenses. For the first time, I’ll bet on him and that Dolphins defense which has been on a tear lately.

Pick: Dolphins -4.0 Dolphins 17 Broncos 12

Jets @ Chargers Line: LAC -9.5

I think the Jets have a real chance to go 0-16 on the season. My money is on a big game from Keenan Allen and Justin Herbert. It’s a lot of points…but it’s also the Jets.

Pick: Chargers -9.5 Chargers 28 Jets 13

Cowboys @ Vikings Line: MIN -7.5

The Vikings are showing they can win in a variety of ways. They have a shot at the playoffs since the Bears have been slipping. Skol.

Pick: Vikings -7.5 Vikings 27 Cowboys 17

Chiefs @ Raiders Lione: KC -7.5

The Raiders came away with the W and Derek Carr had a great game the last time these two met. However, Chiefs are fresh off the bye. They’ll split the series against the Raiders and cover. Have to believe there’s a better gameplan in place this go round.

Pick: Chiefs -7.5 Chiefs 35 Raiders 24

Rams @ Buccaneers Line: TB -4.5

Good defenses can frustrate Tom Brady. We saw that against the Saints and Bears. Give me the defense to keep it close.

Pick: Rams +4.5 Rams 21 Bucs 24

NFL Week 8: Pick ‘Em Pickle

I wanted to do better last week. I’m prepared to correct that this week in Week 8. Last week, some surprises (and maybe a poor pick or two) led to a 5-8 record against the spread in Week 7. The Falcons proved to be the bigger disappointment compared to the Lions, Bengals clawed away against the Browns again, and the Bills decided to let the Jets hang around for most of the game. Onwards and upwards! In Week 8, we’ll see some solid Divisional matchups, Tua Time, and the battle for the AFC North. Let’s pick ‘em!

Colts @ Lions Line: IND -3

The Lions were one of my disappointing picks last week. I felt Falcons were better than their record and with a healthy Julio Jones could light up a struggling Lions defense, but that didn’t happen. Detroit now has a very favorable schedule the next couple of weeks and I think their success continues against the Colts. These are two evenly matched teams, actually. I really like the Colts defense, but I can’t bet on Philip Rivers. I just don’t trust them. Lions win an ugly game filled with mistakes.

Pick: Lions 24 Colts 21

Vikings @ Packers Line: GB -6

Last week was a big bounce back week for the Pack and Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings have been having a rough season and playing the Packers shouldn’t help that. Pack roll winning by at least two scores.

Pick: Packers 34 Vikings 14

Patriots @ Bills Line: BUFF -4.5

Buffalo was a major let down last week against the spread playing the Jets. I thought the Jets were going to end up winning for most of the game. However, you can’t mention struggle without bringing up the Pats. Cam Newton is now playing for his job…and possibly career. Won’t help that all his help is beat up on both sides of the ball. This isn’t their week. Bills win and cover.

Pick: Bills 20 Patriots 10

Titans @ Bengals Line: TEN -7

The Bengals were my shock of the week last week. For a second time they hung on against the Browns. Does this say more about them or the Browns? We’ll find out soon, but there has to be a lot of optimism in Cincinnati right now regardless of the record. With that being said, the Titans are coming off a narrow loss to the undefeated Steelers and will want to prove they’re still a Super Bowl contender. I don’t see the Bengals luck repeating against the Titans.

Pick: Titans 28 Bengals 10

Raiders @ Browns Line: CLE -1

I think this could be one of the more interesting games of the week. Who are these teams? Both are largely inconsistent. As are their quarterbacks. Baker had a stellar second half last week…but it was against the Bengals. How much do we factor that in? Meanwhile, Carr is a QB who is elite one week and getting run out of town the next. The Browns find themselves in a competitive division and need every win they can get. This is a winnable game for them, but they’re missing OBJ for the season. This could be used as motivation for the team, but I look for patterns. I don’t trust the Browns pattern. They lose a disappointing game against the Raiders here.

Pick: Raiders 24 Browns 21

Jets @ Chiefs Line: KC -20

The Jets burned me last week. 20 points is a big spread. But I’m still riding it. Best team in the league against the worst. Bet the best.

Pick: Chiefs 35 Jets 14

Rams @ Dolphins Line: LAR -4.5

Tua Time is getting the headlines. I think the Fins learn quickly that they might have rushed this thing. Debuting against Aaron Donald? Ouch.

Pick: Rams 21 Dolphins 10

Steelers @ Ravens Line: BAL -4

Hoping for a great game here. This is a right division and every game matters. I have to go with the Steelers here, though. It’s a big game and historically that doesn’t work well for Lamar. Steelers remain undefeated going into week 9.

Pick: Steelers 24 Ravens 17

Chargers @ Broncos Line: LAC -3.5

Chargers look great with Justin Herbert behind center. My pick for rookie of the year stays hot against Denver.

Pick: Chargers 17 Broncos 10

Saints @ Bears Line: NO -4

The Bears started hot but are now slipping. And will continue to fall the next couple of weeks. Can’t see them beating the Saints, even if the Saints don’t have a healthy squad.

Pick: Saints 24 Bears 13

49ers @ Seahawks Line: SEA -3.0

Last week was a head scratcher for the Seahawks. Wilson threw three picks and they lost to the Cardinals in OT. I expect them to bounce back here and return to their normal selves.

Pick: Seahawks 31 49ers 21

Cowboys @ Eagles Line: PHL -10.5

I believed in the Cowboys last week. Even through all of the disasters leading up to Week 8. I still believed. However, my faith is gone. They are as bad as they say they are. It’s all just bad. Oh, the Eagles are, too. But not quite *that* bad.

Pick: Eagles 27 Cowboys 13

Buccaneers @ Giants Line: TB -12.5

Tom Brady and The Bucs are looking like Super Bowl contenders, as many expected. But what’s really been impressive is the Tampa Bay defense. I expect them to demolish a Giants team prone to turnovers. Plus, we all know Tom would love to run up the score against the Giants. People don’t forget.

Pick: Buccaneers 35 Giants 13

Lines based on ESPN ScoreCenter App at 9:40am Sunday morning.