Three Yards and a Cloud of Losses: A Plea for Innovation in Michigan & Detroit Sports

I feel like I’m about to state the obvious. And maybe I am, but hey: as a fan, I need to vent from time to time.

Michigan and Detroit sports are trapped in the past.

In the aftermath of Michigan’s embarrassing 62-39 loss to Ohio State on Saturday, the Lion’s 24-16 loss to the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving, and the brilliant matchup between the Rams and Chiefs on Monday, it feels more obvious than ever.

While Jim Harbaugh’s offense ran for little-to-no gain on first and second down throughout a majority of The Game, Urban Meyer opted for crossing routes and deep passes courtesy of future NFL quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Meanwhile in the NFL, Matt Nagy’s defense pounced on a typical short passing play from Matthew Stafford for a crucial Eddie Jackson pick-six. This, of course, all occurred three days after Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff combined for 891 passing yards in a 54-51 shootout that included three total defensive touchdowns.

Both the NFL and college football have innovated. Jim Harbaugh, meanwhile, continues to emulate Bo Schembechler, while Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter continues to fixate on establishing the run and limiting turnovers by neutering the greatest strength of the Lion’s offense: Matthew Stafford’s arm strength.

The tide has turned. Offense wins championships. In all sports.

Until something gives, neither team will win anything. And until then, as the Red Wings and Tigers rebuild, and the NBA continues to be dominated by the Golden State Warriors, our sole hopes for a championship in Ann Arbor or Detroit lie with John Beilein’s innovative offense, Luke Yalkich’s innovative defense, and Michigan Basketball. (And, of course, Duke being upset prior to the Final Four.)



Categories: Opinion

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