Allen Park — Watching the NFL playoffs was a bittersweet experience for Detroit Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis.
On one hand, he loves football, and will readily consume a game any chance he gets. The counterbalance is Davis wants to be playing in the games, not sitting on his couch, come January.
But make no mistake about it, while many fans hated the Super Bowl, a low-scoring affair where a shootout had been reasonably expected, Davis found beauty in the Patriots' 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
"It wasn’t boring at all," Davis said. "You watch the game and everybody wants to see high scoring, everybody wants to see the points fly up, but it’s beautiful how the Patriots did their thing. They went out there and they executed, they made sure they were doing exactly what they needed to do.
"It's one of those, like, in-the-trenches kind of game. You can’t give up too many running yards, and when they get ready to throw the ball, you have to make sure that you’re on point and in the position you’re supposed to be in to stop these guys. So the Patriots did an excellent job, just watching that game and just knowing, hey, we ran this defense, we ran that defense, you can see it just watching the game, and it’s like, man, if we could have just executed a couple different times we could have beat this team, too."
The Lions played both Super Bowl participants last season, steamrolling the eventual champions in Week 3, 26-10, and hanging tough with the Rams for three quarters before giving up two late touchdowns in a 30-16 defeat in Week 13.
It's been acknowledged that the Patriots utilized the Lions' defensive blueprint to stop the Rams in the Super Bowl.
Davis also took note of a number of situations that came up during the playoffs, recognizing how they related to coaching points preached in Detroit throughout last season.
"It’s things that we harp on to and you can see that," Davis said. "You hear them, but until you see them, how they affect other teams, or you get to see how they really affect you through our season, you don’t really expect them.
"Just being able to have that experience we had throughout last season, and to be able to have that example throughout the playoffs, I think is going to help us grow and help us become better in those situations at points in the game."