During the caldwell years, the lions were never out of a ballgame. there was always fight. typically they started slow and finished strong(er) except of course when they weren’t just shitting the bed. there were a lot of memorable comeback wins during those years. put another way, many of the games rested on the O’s back. the D might get a key stop and then put it on the shoulders of the O to seal the deal.
Under MP / bevell, generally speaking, it seems that the lions are often jumping out to leads and then having to defend them. it’s sort of the opposite of caldwell. instead of the O heating up and sealing the win, the O gets worse or goes absent as the game goes on and the D is asked to protect the win.
I’m not sure if either is better. all i can say is that for whatever reason, i used to feel more confident with having the ball and playing for the win vs letting the game slip away and protecting a lead on D. the former way feels more like we’re peaking and getting better as the game goes on vs the latter which feels like we’re coming unglued and getting worse as the minutes tick away. it’s the old sinking we’re going to “blow another one feeling”.
in theory you want to always be playing from a lead because that means you’re already winning ;), so it should be better. but b/c the lions are so inconsistent watching a lead evaporate feels worse than watching them chip away at a deficit. maybe i’m just like offense more than defense.
anyway, the best way to get to and be successful in the playoffs is to play 4 qtrs of good ball week in and week out. they gotta get better.