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Ndamukong Suh's Sack List
Keep track of which quarterbacks Suh has faced and which ones he has taken down.

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Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears in Week-17

The Detroit Lions will look to make one last effort to get their third win of the season when the Chicago Bears come to Ford Field this Sunday. The game was sold out and the Lions will be on television one last time in 2009. For some reason, I am expecting there will be a whole lot of Bear fans in the stands.

Jim Schwartz has not said whether he will start Stanton or Culpepper at quarterback this Sunday. It is believed by the media that Culpepper will get the call. Last week he gave Stanton his first start of his career and it was a dismal performance. Not that Culpepper has looked any good since Stafford went down. This is a prime example of one of Schwartz' major failings. All he cares about is winning one more game. Not a person alive will think any different of the Lions or Schwartz if the Lions win three games rather than two games. The win does nothing for the Lions. Winning the last game of the season does not give the players any confidence in the next year. Daunte Culpepper's contract is up and he will be a free agent next year. The Lions are not going to resign him if he plays well this one game. So what does it help to play him? Drew Stanton on the other hand is a different story. Stanton is signed through next year, so he will likely still be a back-up next year. He has only started one game in his career. Yes it was bad, but isn't it possible he was just overwhelmed in his first start? Likely that is not the case, but it is possible. What if Stanton started and he actually played well? A young QB with a decent arm and plays well in only his second start? Do you think he might fetch the Lions a mid to late round draft pick then? As I said. It is all highly unlikely, but so long as the possibility is there, you should take the chance and start him. Starting Culpepper gives the Lions nothing in return.

Schwartz has said that he will play whoever he feels gives the Lions the best chance to win. He has said straight out that he will not play a player just to see what he has got. He does not look to the future. He ONLY looks toward the next game. That is a very bad thing. If the Lions had a winning team, then maybe that would make sense. The Lions are once again one of the worst teams in the NFL. The future us what needs to be considered far more importantly than one last game in a losing season. But Jim Schwartz does not care about the future of the team. He only cares about the last game when the Lions are 2-14. This is why he will once again start Maurice Morris and not even look at what Aaron Brown might do with a heavier work load. Even though Morris reverted to his true form and only gained 37 yards on the ground last week. Even though he only averaged 2.7 yards per carry. In a bad week for Morris, Schwartz only gave Aaron Brown one carry. For the most part, even though Brown has been nothing but average as a return man, he has done the most with what few chances he has had as a running back. He has a good yards per carry average and has a few decent runs. It makes absolutely no sense to continue to play a veteran who is nothing better than average and not even look at a rookie running back who has a lot of speed.

As disappointing as the Lions offense is bound to be yet again with Schwartz ridiculous decisions to play average veterans over rookies with possible talent, the Lions defense is another story.

Rookie linebacker, DeAndre Levy will once again play the middle position and make all of the defensive play calls. I read one article on MLive, that talked about Levy's ability as a leader on the team. In a practice when a defensive lineman was jawing at the offensive players after a good defensive play, Levy grabbed the veteran by the pads behind his neck and told him to shut up and listen for the play call and be ready. This is not something a rookie does very often in the NFL and it shows a lot for this young linebackers leadership ability.

Rookie Free Safety, Louis Delmas has been calling all of the secondary plays for the last couple of games. He has backed up the responsibility of calling plays with very good quality play of his own. He has been one of the few bright spots in another disappointing Lions season and is second on the team in tackles behind veteran linebacker Larry Foote.

The Chicago Bears have not been playing the best of football in recent weeks. Last weeks overtime win was their first game scoring more than 14 points in over a month. If the Lions offense was not such a mess at this time, I would say the Lions could actually win this game. The Lions offense is bad though and however much better the defense has been playing lately, you cant win if you cant score.

Bears 23
Lions 17


Lions vs 49ers - Pregame Week 16

Throughout the year there have been some fans who griped about the Lions never giving quarterback Drew Stanton a chance. This weekend those fans will finally get to see why he has never gotten a start before. Against the San Francisco 49ers, Drew Stanton will get his first start as the Detroit Lions quarterback.

Do not expect too much from him. As I pointed out in another article, on a team as bad as the Lions and behind an offensive line as bad as what the Lions put on the field, no QB can be expected to play well in his first couple starts. Here in the 16th week of the NFL season, Stanton is getting his first week of practice with the 1st stringers. To make things even more difficult, he will be facing a very good San Francisco defense.

Maurice Morris had a strong game last week against the Cardinals. In almost 8 full seasons, it was the best game of his career, so it is not expected to happen again. Unfortunately, it was still good enough and the timing was perfect to cement him as the Lions starter, which will keep the Lions from giving Aaron Brown a chance. With his speed, I have not been able to understand why the Lions wont give him a chance to see what he can do with any real work load.Recently someone told me he was too small. If 6'1" and 208 pounds is too small then why is the 5'11" 216 pound Morris big enough? Personally I would much rather have break away speed than an extra measly 8 pounds on a running back.

The Detroit Lions yielded 110 yards and a touchdown to Chris Wells. They gave up 166 yards and a TD to Ray Rice. What should we expect Frank Gore to do?

The Lions defense actually played fairly well at times last week against the Cardinals. Believe it or not, this might not have been a fluke. It was the first game in which rookie Louis Delmas called the plays for the defense and it was the first game in which the Lions had a decently aggressive blitzing game. If they play as aggressive this week and Delmas does as good of a job calling the defense, they may just surprise the 49ers.

After last weekend, the Lions moved into the 2nd pick overall in the 2010 draft. Though most people expect the Rams to take the super defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, there are plenty who believe the Rams will not pass up on a much needed franchise quarterback. As things stand right now, I would give the Lions a 20% chance of getting Suh. It would not totally surprise me if the Lions won this week and ruined that 20% chance.

Although it wouldn't surprise me if the Lions won this week, I still cannot call for the win. For the Lions to win, it would mean their offense scoring more than their defense gives up. If the Lions defense gives up 17 points, I fear it would be too much.

49ers - 27
Lions - 13


Lions Lose to Cardinals in Week-15

It was not such an embarrassing loss as most thought it would be. It was still a loss and bad enough as the Lions dropped another one 31 to 24.

I must apologize early for any inaccuracies this article may have. With the game not on television, I was forced to listen to it on the radio and trust what the commentators said as well as look over the stats rather than see it with my own eyes. I have come to realize just how often I will hear a commentator say one thing when I just saw something different with my own eyes.

With less than four minutes left in the game, the Lions had the score tied at 24-24. It looked like the Lions would pull a stunt that we would only expect from... well, the Lions. With Tampa Bay and Cleveland both winning this week, the Lions moved into the 2nd overall draft pick for 2010. A win would have kept them in 4th or 5th overall. A win would have done nothing but hurt their draft position. The only team with a worse record now is St.Louis and it is not impossible for them to draft a QB 1st overall. That would leave the super Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh for the Lions to draft. A player like Suh could make a world of a difference for the Lions defense.

Culpepper did not play well. I did not expect him to. I still believe the Lions would have been better off starting Culpepper to begin the season and let Stafford learn on the bench first. I think Culpepper was better prepared to start the season and would have given the Lions a better chance to win games. But after not playing with the starting unit for most of the season, I will not expect him to play well with them now. He no longer has the timing and cohesion with them that he had in the preseason. On a good team a veteran quarterback can step in and look good, but it usually wont happen on a team as bad as the Lions.

Maurice Morris had a good game in his first start with Kevin Smith out. 126 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries are stats that do look good. Better than Kevin Smith has been getting. One impressive factor was Morris' 64 yard scamper for the TD. In two seasons, Smith's longest run was 50 yards and it was not a TD. Yet I cannot help but to be skeptical that Morris can do it again any time soon. He had a very good game but believe me, he is not as good as he looked in that one game. If he was, he would have shown it at one point in his first seven seasons. By the way, before that 64 yard run his longest was 49 yards only.


Lions vs Cardinals - Pregame Week-15

Arizona Cardinals - Great, experienced quarterback, very good running backs, three great receivers and a very good defense.

Detroit Lions - Injured rookie quarterback, one good receiver who has a bum knee, injured running back, horrid offensive line and an even more horrid defense.

Who do you pick to win?

Arz - 41
Det - 13

Seriously, if you actually are willing to bet on the Lions in this game, you should check yourself in right now. Do so before you spend the money on that bet. If you are self admitted, you always have the option of leaving at your own timing.

I would love to sit here and write how the Lions would have a chance if they did this or that. Let us face the facts this week. It does not matter what the Lions do, they will not beat the Cardinals! If they blew up the hotel the whole Arizona team was staying in, they still wont win. Likely Arizona would send up the best scab team they can scrounge up in short order and still beat the Lions by a touchdown.

Take my advice. Listen to the game on the radio, cheer them on and be glad when they lose because you will know they didn't make the draft prospects any worse.


Kevin Smith Injury Could Be Blessing in Disguise

The Detroit Lions placed Running Back, Kevin Smith and Tight End, Casey Fitzsimmons on IR. Many are talking like this is a bad thing for the Lions. I believe it may turn out a blessing in disguise.

To understand my point of view, first you need to acknowledge one fact. The Lions season is over! They cannot make the play-offs. To win a game now will only harm their draft position. It will do no real good except to make the players feel good about themselves for one week. Since the Lions really have nothing good to play for, this is the time to find out what they have in younger players.

Jim Schwartz said in a conference recently that he does not consider playing a player to see what they have. He said he will play the players who gives him the best chance of a win and to do otherwise would be detrimental to the team and its players. I say to not look at younger players and develop those younger players is detrimental to the teams future.

Casey Fitzsimmons has been on the Lions for seven seasons now. It is obvious that he will never be a star Tight End. In two seasons with the Lions, Kevin Smith has proven himself to be an adequate running back but nothing to get excited about. He runs hard but is not a true power runner who can drag defenders with him. He is too slow to be a home run threat and reach the edges with room to run. Neither of these players are anything more than average in their positions. To play them now would not help the Lions prepare for their future and yet, if they were healthy, Schwartz would keep on playing them rather than see what the young guys can do.

Now both players are injured and the Lions hands are forced.... to a point. The Lions went out and signed free agent Tight end Michael Matthews and promoted Running back Cedric Peerman from the practice squad.

Now I do not expect Matthews to step up and be a great tight end that nobody saw in him. The odds of that are extremely slim. But just because the odds are so slim does not mean it is impossible. We know that Fitzsimmons was not a star tight end. That we do know! So the Lions essentially have nothing to lose by using Matthews. Michael Matthews is like finding a mega millions ticket on the road for an upcoming drawing. The chances of it winning are very unlikely but hey, you just never know. One thing for sure, you don't throw that ticket away before you check to see if it wins.

With Kevin Smith going down it is a different story. Unfortunately for the Lions fans, Jim Schwartz hands are not entirely tied. What would be the best for the Lions future would be to play rookie Aaron Brown and see what he can do with his speed if given any real work load. Again, they have nothing to lose in seeing what he can do. Sadly however, Schwartz is far more likely to turn to Maurice Morris to start now, and that does not help the Lions future. This is Morris' 8th season in the NFL. If he had an upside to reach, he would have reached it by now. Morris is nothing more than another average running back who is just one step under what Kevin Smith was. It would be so much more beneficial for the Lions future to see what Brown can do, but Schwartz doesn't look at the Lions future. He has eyes for the upcoming game only. Since he has some small faith in Morris and because Aaron Brown seems to be in the dog house, it is likely we will see Morris carry the workload.

The Lions should play to win. I do not doubt that analogy. There is never an excuse for any pro team, player or coach to not try and win each and every game. But it is also the time to look at the future of this franchise. It is time to give the younger players some time. Other teams do it every year. Once their season is over, they often will try playing younger quarterbacks to get them some time on the field. Why not with running back?


Lions Lose to Ravens in week-14

48-3 ... That was the score of the Detroit Lions latest embarrassing loss. The Ravens have a good defense but only an average offense, yet today the Lions made them look like a Superbowl contender.

For the last several games, Joe Flacco has not played all that well. Running back Ray Rice has become the Ravens big threat on offense. The constant down pour throughout the game screamed that the Ravens would have to depend on Rice to be most of the offense as the ball was slippery and wet. However I try to look at it, I see everything set up for a running game against the Lions. That must be why the Lions played a pass defense for most of the game.

Rarely did I see an eight man front. Even more scarce was the blitz. Often the Lions defense would show a blitz then drop back into coverage. On a rainy afternoon, against a run oriented offense, the Lions played to stop the pass and force the Ravens to beat them with Ray Rice.... Their best player! By the way... Rice ran for 166 yards and a TD on only 13 carries. That is 12.8 yards per carry.

Culpepper did right in throwing often to Calvin Johnson. He had no fear of throwing the ball deep to Calvin even when the receiver looked covered. His only problem was that he often under threw the Lions top player by 5 yards.

Kevin Smith ran well for a short while. Until, that is, the Ravens realized that Culpepper couldn't get enough on the ball when it was wet to reach his receiver. Smith ended with only 69 yards on 21 carries and left early with what looks like it could be a serious knee injury. The Lions replaced him with Maurice Morris who is averaging only 3.7 yards per carry this season. Aaron Brown who is averaging 4.4 yards only carried the ball one time in the game. He took it for 12 yards. The Lions just don't seem to want to take advantage of the players who have speed.

As bad as the 43 to 3 score looks, the play was worse. The tackling was as bad as any game I have ever seen, including last year, and maybe worse. Defensive players are lazily reaching with their arms rather than moving on the balls of their feet to make the tackles. The receivers do not seem to be hustling through their routes. The most energy I saw on the field for the Lions was when Jim Schwartz was yelling at his players. It was an impressive tirade but I fear it falls on deaf ears. The Lions players are lacking talent and to make things worse, they are not put in a place to succeed.

Next week the Lions play the Cardinals fast striking offense. That thought really gives a Lions fan a lot to look forward to doesn't it?


Lions vs Ravens - Pregame Week-14

Daunte Culpepper will have his chance to audition for his future this Sunday as he replaces the injured Matthew Stafford at quarterback for the Detroit Lions.

The best thing the Lions offense could do is to throw a lot of quick slants. Plays that are designed to get rid of the ball fast and hit the receiver moving forward. However, likely they will stick to their usual plans. The same plays they have called through several quarterbacks, multiple coaches and decades of losing seasons. Screens, dumps and simple plays that hit a receiver or running back while standing still, waiting for the defender to come for the hit as he gets the ball. Along with those, the other pass plays will mostly be plays that take a deep drop and wait for the play to develop while the offensive line desperately flails at defenders running by them. The worst part is that that is not what they really need to worry about. The Lions defense is far worse than their offense.

Joe Flacco is not having the season he had last year. Even so, he has only had three games with a completion percentage of less than 60%. What will he do against a Lions defense that often allows average quarterbacks to complete over 70%? How are the Lions defense going to stop Ray Rice when he has run well against much better defenses?

Could this be the week the Lions actually live by the blitz? Could they finally realize that they get burnt often when they play the lousy zone defense and rush with four linemen? Flacco is one quarterback they could rattle with the blitz. Get to Rice in the backfield before he gets any speed going and they might have a chance. Likely the Lions will play the same defensive style we have watched every year since I have been a fan. Rarely blitzing, soft zones and allowing teams to consistently move the ball.

Ever watch a good team play? Ever get upset that a team holds their opponent to a minimum all game long then in the waining minutes they change to the zone defense and allow a team to move the ball down field? The difference is that the good teams only get stupid and go to the soft "Bend but don't break" defense at the end of the games when they just don't want to give up the big play. The Lions live by it!

I honestly believe that if the Lions played aggressive football this week, they could actually beat the Ravens. I truly believe it is a good match-up for them if they blitzed and called aggressive plays. That would be against the Ford style Lions though.

Ravens 24
Lions 13


Lions Lose to Bengals in week-13

Sorry this article comes so late. The way this season is going, it really begins to feel like every article is nothing more than a rerun of the weeks before. It would be so nice if the Lions would give us something worthy of writing more often. The Detroit Lions cant stop a pass. The Lions cannot stop the run. They cannot run the ball and Stafford has another bad game. All too often it is the same thing.

How many times are we going to watch Stafford completely miss wide open guys when he does have time to throw and all the while the announcers are praising him? I am tired of hearing the comparisons of Stafford to Manning. Let me tell you, Stafford is no Manning! Stafford may throw around the same amount of interceptions as Manning did his rookie season, but he will not throw near as touchdowns. Manning had 26 TDs and 28 ITs. Stafford is on pace for 17 - 27 respectively. Manning also didn't suffer a dislocated knee and a dislocated shoulder in his rookie season.

Kevin Smith actually found some room to run against the Bengals. Gaining 75 yards on the ground, his longest gain was a 17 yards scamper. His longest run this year is 31 yards. His longest in the two years is 50 yards. Other than that one 50 yard run, his longest is 32 yards. It is obvious that Smith is not the threatening running back of the Lions future. With Aaron Brown having a lot more speed, and the Lions with nothing to lose, isn't it time to let Brown feature for a couple games just to see what we have?

The Bengals have one man who is any real threat in the passing game. Chad Ochocinco! Coles is a decent receiver but he is no star. Chad is the big guy on campus. Can someone tell me how he finds himself so wide open so often? With only one receiver you really have to stop, how does he end up with 137 yards and a TD? There are two reasons why. The Lions play a soft zone defense too often and they put no pressure on a quarterback. Mr.Schwartz, you cant get to the QB with your front 4. It is time to blitz a lot more!

Well only three more games of the Lions torture left for us to endure. Then it is another 8 months of torture because we don't have the Lions to watch. Detroit is a torturous city to live in.


Lions vs Bengals - Pregame Week-13

Sometimes I get overly upset with the Detroit Lions. I love the Lions and there is not many things I would wish for more than for the Lions to have that magical season. Today one of those few things smacked me in the face. My dad had his fifth heart attack.

Before I go on, I will say now that he is doing okay, but it still hits you with a lot of scary thoughts. Other than the obvious that you have to wonder how many more he can handle before its the last one, there are many other fears. My Mothers livelihood, how my brothers would take it, etc...

The problem is that he is retirement age and has to work to survive. Yet it is that work in a machine shop every day that could kill him. My career is dead and my wife and I are barely surviving as it is, so we cannot do anything for them. Hell, we are worried enough about even buying my wife's kids some Christmas presents which is a whole different set of stress!

I know we are not the worst off in Michigan, or any other state, but it always hurts more when it is you going through the problems. One thing I realized is that between my dad's health and my own financial struggles, the Lions problems just don't seem so bothersome.

Sunday the Detroit Lions will play the Cincinnati Bengals and quite frankly, they don't have more than a miracle prayers chance for a win. The Lions have been stomped on by all but two teams this season. One of the teams they beat were the Browns and they just barely got away with a win against them.

There has been some ongoing questioning about whether Louis Delmas will talk any trash to Chad Ochocinco. I really hope not. I truly hope that he is smart enough to leave his mouth at home. First off, there is nobody on the Lions who should talk trash to anyone. They have not won enough to gain that right! Louis Delmas talking trash to anyone on the Bengals is near to Roy Williams giving the first down signal when the team is down by three touchdowns! Secondly, the Lions really do not need to give a good receiver any more incentive. The Lions have not stopped a passing game yet in 2009 and in fact, most receivers have made the Lions look like amateurs. Do they really need to give a very good receiver a reason to play hard?

The Bengals defense has been very solid this year. Far better than most anyone expected before the season started. The Lions offense is actually worse than I thought they would be and I did not expect too much. Stafford has yet to put together any kind of string of good games. Only once has he played well two games in a row. Kevin Smith being slow to begin with, is a joke behind the Lions offensive line. Pettigrew is done for the season and Calvin Johnson is banged up.

Bengals - 34
Lions - 17

The worst part about the Lions season right now is that the fans don't seem to care as much as they once did. As always the Lions have gone against sound judgement in most all of their moves and they have no right to wonder why they are not selling tickets.


Lions Lose to Packers in week-12

One step forward and one step back. So goes the progress of Matthew Stafford as the Detroit Lions quarterback. A few weeks ago, he had five interceptions. A week and a half ago he had five touchdowns and only one interception. This week he had one touchdown and four interceptions en route to a 34 to 12 drubbing by the Green Bay Packers.

I believe it was in the 3rd quarter when Matthew Stafford threw his first deep ball. It was incomplete, not even real close to catchable, but that is not what matters. The point is they did not even attempt a deep throw in the first half.

Maybe Stafford was hurting more than we knew and it threw him off. That doesn't matter either. If he was too hurt to play well, he should not have been playing. If he was healthy enough to play, then the four interceptions is inexcusable. Yes he has had a couple real nice games. He has had far more horrible games.

Sure he is tough. The fans love him because he went out and played injured. This fan does not care. I would rather have a quarterback throw a consistently accurate ball than a quarterback who is tough and consistently throws behind his receivers.

Calvin Johnson is playing hurt too. It is very evident every time he struggled to get up off the ground. His injury is in his legs, something that affects him more than Stafford's non-throwing shoulder. Yet I don't hear people loving how tough Calvin Johnson is being.

As expected, the Lions defense could not stop the pass as they let Aaron Rodgers accumulate 348 yards while completing nearly 72% of his passes. As usual the Lions rarely blitzed as Rodgers had all day to make many of his throws. The long pass to Driver down the middle? Rodger must have waited nearly 4 seconds before letting that one go. People are upset with Marvin White because he got burnt by Driver on that play. Let me tell you something. If it took Driver four seconds to break free, White did his job. It was the defensive line that failed!

I would love for the television station to put a timer on the quarterbacks. Down in the bottom corner of the screen where it is out of the way. When the ball is snapped, the timer starts. When the quarterback lets go of the ball, it stops. I would love to see the average amount of time the Lions allow opposing quarterbacks before they have to throw the ball. If there is any position the Lions absolutely need to address with a real force, it is defensive line. They need players that can actually get around a block more than once a game. Seriously, wouldn't it be nice if opposing quarterbacks knew they could no longer bring a bag lunch to dig into while waiting for their receivers to find an opening? The fact the quarterbacks take a cot out on the field to take a nap before throwing the ball is bad enough. What is really embarrassing is that they have to use an alarm clock to get them up because they cant count on Lions players shaking them awake.

Next week the Lions play the Bengals. Do you think the outcome will be much different?


Lions vs Packers - Pregame Week-12

If I was a very accurate writer, but a very lazy one, I could sum this game up in one sentence. "The Packers have one of the best passing games and the Lions cant stop the worst passing games."

Then of course I would have to follow it up with my prediction of the score.
Packers - 31
Lions - 17

If Green Bay had a decent offensive line and they weren't so injury plagued, I would add another 14 to that score. Keep in mind that the Lions allowed the Browns who did not even have a touchdown pass to a receiver throw three to receivers in the first quarter. Aaron Rodgers and company is far above the Browns.

The Packers make a living off of a quick passing game. Rodgers job is not to sit back in the pocket waiting for the play to develop. He takes the snap, makes a quick read and lets it fly. They know their offensive line is one of the worst in the NFL and they off set that with their play calling.

It doesn't matter what Green Bay does, the Detroit Lions need to blitz if they even want to make this one respectable. Read these words very closely now... THE LIONS CANNOT COVER! The only way to slow down the pass when you cannot cover is to blitz and blitz a lot. If you don't blitz, you force your defense to cover for a longer time. If you blitz, you will get beat and probably quite often, but you have a chance to get to Rodgers sometimes and disrupt some plays. The Lions do not have the chance if they do not blitz.

Stafford looked good last week (from what I know since it was blacked out), he will have to be as good again. The packers defense is hurting and the Lions need to take advantage of that.

Kevin Smith is just too slow. He is the kind of back that needs to be behind a line the busts open some big holes so he can continuously gain positive yards. The Lions do not have that kind of line, though they may be able to against Green Bays injury plagued defense. If they cannot control the line of scrimmage, they need to use Aaron Brown much more often. It seems to me that in the running game, he has had as many exciting runs as Kevin Smith has on far fewer carries. Especially when they pitch it to him on the outside.

The game will be on television this Thursday after selling the game out. Enjoy it if you can, they likely will not sell another one out this season.

I am so glad I have Aaron Rodgers in my ESPN fantasy football teams. I'm expecting a big week.


Lions Win in Week-11

Yes the title is true. The Detroit Lions have actually won their second game of the season. That is two wins in one year!

Down 37 to 31, Matthew Stafford dropped back in what was expected to be the Lions last play of the game. The Browns were flagged for a pass interference in the end-zone however, giving the Lions one more play from the one yard line. Rather than trying a run play, Stafford again dropped back and sent the ball into the hands of Brandon Pettigrew for his 5th touchdown pass of the game. Jason Hanson kicked the extra point for the win. The Lions won 38 to 37.

I am almost on the verge of saying I can see Stafford being a star quarterback in the future. After a decent game in last weeks loss, I said I needed to see him show accuracy in two or three games in a row before saying he can be an accurate quarterback. For now I will hold back my decision only because this five TD game came against the only team in the NFL that is actually worse than the Lions. I will say however, that he is leaning me toward believing.

On the radio the fans seemed to be split into two groups. Some called in filled with excitement because the Lions were down 24 to 3 and still came back to win. They were excited because Stafford had a Lions rookie record of five touchdown passes. Some were excited because the Lions won a second game which is two more than they had last year and that shows improvement.

The other group complained about those fans excitement. They were upset that so many fans would be so excited when the Lions are still one of the worst five teams in the NFL.

I am not excited and I am not upset with the excitement. It is easy to feel excited after winning in a shootout high scoring game. It is exciting to come from so far behind and walk away with a victory. If it would have come against a decent team, I might actually be excited too.

It is important to remember however that the Lions barely beat a very lousy team in the Cleveland Browns. Consider the fact that the last time the Browns had a touchdown pass go to a receiver was November 12, 2008. Today, against the Lions defense, the Browns had three TD passes to wide receivers in the first quarter. Consider that the Cleveland Browns set their season high in scoring against the Lions. Consider the fact their team record was broken in less than 13 minutes of play. Consider the fact that before this game, Brady Quinn had only 1 touchdown and 5 interceptions and a low 51.0 QB rating. Against the Lions he had 4 TD's and no picks for a 133.1 rating.

It is nice to see a victory again, but you cannot let yourself forget just how bad this team is still. Keep in mind that this was the Browns! And they only beat them by one point!

Lions vs Browns - Pregame Week-11

Could it be possible that the Lions are up against a team that is actually worse than they are? Both teams are currently 1-8 and at the bottom of the NFL. The Lions have a better offense than Cleveland does, but the Browns have a better defense than the Lions do.

The Browns have only faced two teams that are below .500 and one of those, Buffalo, they beat. The Lions have faced 4 teams under .500 and only beat one of them. The Rams only win for the season came against the Lions.

The Lions can pass the ball a little, sometimes, kind of. They sure can't run though. Doesn't it seem like it has been almost a decade since the Lions actually had a threat at running back? It has been about a dozen years since the Lions have had some semblance of a decent offensive line.

Seriously though, this is one game the Lions have to win. If they do not beat the Browns, they will probably not even get another chance at a victory this season. Cleveland is the last bad team the Lions will play this year. They need this win to be able to actually say they are improved over last season. If they lose to Cleveland, the win against Washington will be considered a complete fluke. If the Lions lose this week, they will very likely end the season at 1-15 which would make it 1-31 for the last two years.

Yet, a part of me hopes they lose. Outside of Stafford having a real bad injury, there is simply no way the Lions will draft a quarterback in the coming draft. From everything I could find, there are no true studs in running back coming out of college this next season. Does anyone think the Lions would dare to actually draft a receiver with their first round pick again? I would bet they do not draft a receiver in the first round so long as they have Calvin Johnson healthy. So they will not draft a quarterback, running back or receiver in the first round and likely will not take a tight end either. In other words, the way I see it, the Lions will actually be forced to draft a good offensive lineman or a great defensive player.

In most mock draft boards at this early stage, the #1 player is DT-Ndamukong Suh. This guy has size, athleticism, quickness and a non-stop motor. He is the type of defensive tackle who will draw a double team and still cause problems. This is a player the Lions absolutely need to have a good defense. If the Lions win against the Browns, they likely will not get him.

For once the Lions just might be forced to draft the positions they should have addressed a decade ago. The only way I think the Lions will mess that up is by beating the Browns. That reason alone is why I will pick the Lions to win.

Lions - 20
Browns - 17


A Letter to Mr. Ford

Dear Mr. Ford

There is a very common belief that you do not care about what the fans think. So writing this letter would be senseless. However, I am writing this letter anyway under the belief that if you actually do end up reading it, that act alone would show you do care and therefore be proving the fans wrong.

I have been a Detroit Lions fan for a long time now. I have lived and died through the Billy Simms era and the Barry Sanders era. I have agonized through the many losing seasons through the last few decades. During these times, I like any fan have always had my opinions on what the Lions need to do to become good. Unlike most fans, I have never seen my beliefs put into gear.

The closest I have ever come to seeing it was in 1997 when Barry Sanders ran for over 2000 yards. I remember a game when Sanders broke away for two touchdown runs of 80 yards each and both of those runs came behind Juan Roque. It was the only game I remember with or without Barry where the Lions offensive line opened up gaping holes for Barry to run through. Soon after however, Roque hurt his knee and was never the same. Thus ended the beginning of my vision for the Lions.

You see Mr. Ford, my vision for the Lions is to have a powerful offensive line and a great defense. Yet the Lions never seem to have either. When was the last time the Lions had a top five defense? When was the last time they had a great offensive line? Many have argued that the Lions had a good line with Barry Sanders because of how many yards he gained. I believe that Barry ran behind a terrible line. It was rare that Sanders had a huge hole to run through. I often saw Emmitt Smith run through holes that you could drive a freighter through, but rarely did Barry get anything close to that. Far, far more often, Barry was tackled for a one yard loss because he was hit as he took the hand-off. A good line would not have had that happen nearly so often.

With a great offensive line, a team can sustain drives far more often, keeping their defense off the field and fresh. It is rare that I see the Lion push for a first down in short yardage situations. A top offensive line will protect the quarterback and give him time to find receivers. We ran Scott Mitchell and Joey Harrington out of Detroit because they never had 2 seconds to throw. Will Stafford be next?

I have argued many times that if you gave me a great offensive line and a great defense with the worst quarterback in the NFL, I could beat a team with the best quarterback and a bad line and defense. Baltimore once won the Superbowl because they had a great offensive line and great running game as well as a great defense. They won the Superbowl with Trent Dilfer! Evidence that backs up my beliefs. Look at Green bay this season. Great quarterback with a lousy line and average defense. They are not going to make the play-offs.

Please Mr. Ford. I beg you to either hand the Lions off to your son, sell the team or finally address the team in a different way. Please do not draft anymore high profile position players. We do not need another quarterback. The Lions do not need to address the running back or wide receivers. They need offensive and defensive linemen!

Consider two very famous cliches in the NFL. "You build a team from the inside out" and "The games are won in the trenches". There are reasons these sayings are so famous. They are right! The best teams open holes for their running backs and protect their quarterback. The best teams can pressure the quarterbacks with just their defensive linemen. The best teams control the trenches.

I have heard many say the Lions need to address the cornerbacks and safety. This is a mistake. The only reason our defensive backs look so bad is because the line puts no pressure on the quarterbacks. The worst QB in the NFL will look like a star if he has all day to throw. As we have seen this year as most of the QB's have completed near 75% of their passes against the Lions.

Please MR. Ford, forget the rest of the team for one off-season and focus on the trenches. The only other position the Lions can truly upgrade would be running back. Only because Kevin Smith is not fast enough to be a real threat. But I would rather have him behind a great line than Adrian Peterson behind a bad line.

That is my vision for the Lions. A team that controls the trenches. That has been my vision my entire life as a Lions fan. It is a vision I have yet to see filled. Isn't it time to do things right?


Lions Lose to Vikings in week-10

Matthew Stafford actually completed 57% of his pass attempts. He had one touchdown and no interceptions. Calvin Johnson had 8 receptions for 84 yards and Kevin Smith averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Looking at it that way, the Lions had a decent week. The Vikings had one of their sloppiest games, dropping several passes and accumulating 13 penalties for 91 yards. The Lions had a decent day and the Vikings had a very lethargic day coming off of their bye-week; yet the Detroit Lions were still beat by the Minnesota Vikings 27-10.

IF you took the Vikings players and wrapped all of their hands in tape, they would still tackle better than the Lions. There is nothing more exciting than seeing a Lions player shoot into the Vikings backfield and hit Adrian Peterson head on before the Minnesota running back can get any momentum going. There is nothing more aggravating than to see that Lions player bounce off of the Minnesota star and watch Adrian Peterson run away for a long touchdown. I know Peterson is a big strong and fast running back who is hard to bring down, but so often it looks like the Lions defensive players forget they actually have hands they can grab with.

Stafford was much more accurate than he has been in the past. He still had his misfires, but nowhere near as often as usual. However, I still do not see any touch on his passes. Every throw looks like it is on a tight rope. Touch, however can be taught. I for one do not believe real accuracy can be. The question with Stafford is, was this just a great game for him, or was it a showing of him actually being accurate. I will need to see him put two, maybe even three games in a row with being fairly accurate before I believe he is actually accurate.

All in all though, it was just another game filled with lousy offensive and defensive line play. Teams don't need to blitz the Lions very often because they know their lineman will find their way through to pressure the quarterback. The Lions wont blitz because they are afraid of being burnt so they continue to be shredded while playing the lethargic zone defense.

Once again it is all new coaches, a new general manager and even new players for the most part. Yet it is still the same old results we have been seeing for decades now. A pansy zone defense with rarely a blitz. Horrid offensive line play. Dropped passes and no imagination to the play calling. The drafts are all about getting the sexy high profile player to sell tickets rather than the gritty linemen the Lions need so badly. All new Lions with the same old results. Yet there is only one constant through it all. William Clay Ford!

Honestly. Does anyone really believe the Lions will beat the 1-7 Cleveland Browns? Likely 1-8 after tonight's game against Baltimore. The Lions lost to the Rams and the Seahawks in consecutive weeks. Do you really think they are better than the Browns? Can they beat them? Yes they can. They beat Washington didn't they? Watching at what level their play is in recent games however, can you have any confidence at all?

With all of the changes the Detroit Lions have made from last season, it sure seems to me that they have gotten worse rather than better.


Lions vs Vikings - Pregame Week-10

The 2009 NFL season is 9 weeks old. Including the bye-week, the Lions have now played 8 games. Within those 8 games, they have already fallen 6 games out of first place, behind this weeks opponent, the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have lost as many games as the Lions have won. That is One!

When the Vikings have the ball: Opposing quarterbacks have been completing nearly 75% of their passes every week against the Lions. In their first meeting, Brett Favre completed 85% of his passes. In my entire life I have never seen a defense so bad against the pass. Yes that includes last years Lions. The Lions can almost stop the run this season but even with a good game they will only slow Adrian Peterson down. Larry Foote and Louis Delmas are the only players I am seeing attack the ball. Too often players will come to a stop and shuffle their feet while waiting for the runner to make the move. This often leads to tackling after the first down is made.

When the Lions have the ball: The offensive line has moments of looking okay on run blocking, but it often gets absolutely no push up the middle. Kevin Smith is banged up and simply too slow. Matthew Stafford rarely shows he can put any touch on a pass, is very inaccurate and not reading defenses very well. The Lions best receiver in Calvin Johnson has a banged up knee. These are not good points when facing a strong Minnesota Defense. They are not good points when facing any defense for that fact.

Intangibles: Too often the Lions best play comes in the first quarter. Far too often the other teams make adjustments and the Lions don't. Until the Coaches figure out how to make some adjustments, the Lions will continue to get worse as games go on.

I have never liked Brett Favre. As great as he was, I still feel he was overrated. When pressured, he makes bad mistakes. I cannot tell you how much it bothers me to watch him rip the Lions apart because they cannot put any pressure on him. It is going to be a very long three hours Sunday.

Det = 13
Min = 34


Another Wasted 1st Round Pick

Watching his play so far this season, I cannot understand how anyone can say that Matthew Stafford is going to be a great quarterback in the NFL. A few of his touchdowns were pretty, but that does not make him a great quarterback prospect. Remember, even the hated Joey Harrington threw some touchdowns. It is rare that Stafford shows he has the ability to put any kind of touch on his passes. He has a great arm, that is a fact, but he throws a bullet every pass. His down field passes are always thrown on a rope so defenses can snatch them before they get to the receivers. Yet that is not why I am down on him.

Far more often than not on crossing routes, he throws the ball behind his receivers. It is seldom that the receivers can catch the ball and continue to run rather than going into a slide as they reach behind them. Just as often, his passes are not even catchable. I do not doubt that he can learn to put some touch on his passes as he accumulates experience but accuracy in general is not something to be taught.

If you look at the better quarterbacks in the NFL, there are a few things they all have in common. They are accurate throwers, they have good poise and they are intelligent. Matthew Stafford does not have accuracy or poise and the intelligence is still up for questioning.

I have already talked about hi9m not being accurate, but I will add one more point of evidence on the fact. In college, he only passed for over 60% in one season. His junior season he completed 61.4% of his attempts. In college, that is not considered great. So far in the NFL he is at a 54.1% clip.

I know many will want to argue the poise claim. I can only go by what I have seen of him and so far his poise is practically non-existent. Yes, he does wait til the last second sometimes to throw the pass, but when he does wait, his passes are usually very erratic. Far more often than not, when he has a player coming at him hard, his pass will not even be catchable. That is not poise!

As for intelligence, that is still up for debate. It will solely depend on if he can ever learn to read the defenses better than he does now.

When Tom Brady still played for Michigan, I was the only person I knew who actually believed he would be a good NFL quarterback. I watched him throw very accurate passes as he was taking hits too often. He showed me two of those three qualities. Accuracy and poise. The knocks against him coming out of college was that he tended to hold the ball too low, he sometimes hung his deep passes and was not great at escaping pressure. They also said his arm was not considered to be real strong. Funny how all the things that were held against him are things that are praised about Stafford. The strong points about Brady, the accuracy, poise and intelligence are not considered to be Stafford's strong points.

So many believe Matthew Stafford will become a great quarterback in the NFL. I stand now and say it will not happen. As I said, I gauge a quarterback by three important markers. Accuracy, poise and intelligence. In that order. Stafford does not have the first two in my opinion and those are two things that cannot be taught. Oh, Stafford will have his good games. Just like Joey Harrington, Charlie Batch, Scott Mitchell and every other Lion quarterback has had. I do not believe however, that Stafford will ever have great games on a consistent basis.

Once again, the Detroit Lions have wasted another first round pick.


Lions Lose to Seahawks in week-9

This week in Seattle, the Detroit Lions were hoping to make up for their debacle last week against the St. Louis Rams. They came away with a 32 to 20 loss.

If you did not watch the game and could not even listen to the game, you might see the score and think the Seahawks beat up on the Lions. I assure you the score is very deceiving. It was nowhere near as close as the score makes it sound.

The Seahawks came out flat and turned the ball over on their first two offensive plays of the game and Detroit took advantage, going up 14 to nothing. The first quarter ended with the Lions ahead 17-0. Then the real Detroit Lions showed up to play. In the final three quarters of play, the Lions accumulated only one field goal while giving up 3 touchdowns and 4 field goals.

Once again the Lions could not stop a pass as Matt Hasselbeck completed 76% of his passes for 329 yards. Often, almost every pass, his receivers caught the ball with no Lions player within three yards. On screen passes the Lions defenders often charged to within 3 or 4 yards of the running back and stopped, shuffling their feet while waiting for the running back to make the move and run by them. Seldom did the Lions defense attack.

Stafford was once again extremely inaccurate as he completed only 52% of his passes. Many of the passes he did complete were throws his receivers had to reach back behind them to grab. After throwing the two touchdown passes in the first quarter, he finished the game out by adding 5 interceptions.

On paper, the Lions are far more talented than they were in 2008, and yet they are playing worse than they did in that 0-16 joke of a season. Even though they won a game this season, their play in pass defense and offense has been much worse. They have now been beat up by two of the three worse teams (other than the Lions) in the NFL in consecutive weeks.


My Thoughts on the Detroit Lions

2008 was the worst season I have ever been through as a Detroit Lions fan. Of course that statement holds true for most all Lions fans. The problem is that this season might be worse!

The Lions hit a record low last year going winless for the first time for any team in the NFL. It was a disappointing and discouraging year as we watched the worst football team in NFL history. But last year we all knew the talent was desolate. We all knew that the Lions as a team were at an all time low. This year was supposed to be different!

Jim Schwartz took over a the coach. Gunthar Cunningham was the new defensive coordinator. Together they were supposed to build a much better tam and show a much more aggressive style of play. In came Larry Foote, Julian Peterson and Grady Jackson. They drafted a young hitting talent in Louis Delmas. They signed two new cornerbacks. On the offensive side of the ball, they drafted what is supposed to be the Lions future star at quarterback and Tight End. This year was supposed to be different!

So where is that difference? When a team as bad as the St.Louis Rams comes into Detroit and the Lions still lose, is this improvement? Are the multitude of dropped passes any different? Are the collage of missed tackles on each play anything new? The horrible accuracy by a quarterback, is that new? The stupid penalties and bad offensive line play, is that something we have never seen? Other than all of the new names on the roster, where is the difference?

How can a team look so much better on paper, be just as bad as the worst team in NFL history? How is it possible the Lions have not improved? Over 2009, don't they improve by simple default? So they won a game this year. You know what? That doesn't mean they are better! That only means one of their opponents finally had a horrible day!

When will the Lions finally get a clue as to how to put a real NFL team together? When Barry Sanders was here, the Lions still sucked! They weren't a good team. They just won some games because they had arguably the best running back of all time. Sure Sanders had some awesome years, but it wasn't because he had a great offensive line blocking for him. In fact he did not even have a decent line in front of him. That is why Barry was as well known for his one or two yard losses as he was for his 80 yard touchdowns. Because the line sucked and far too often he was hit as he took the hand off. Barry retired early because he was sick of the Lions losing ways.

Year after year the Lions place an emphasis on improving the running game. Every coach says the same thing. They will emphasize the running game. Yet no coach is willing to do what it takes to have a good running game. Get a decent offensive line!

Here are two extremely common yet very very accurate cliches in the NFL. ... "The game is won in the trenches" and "Defense wins Championships"! Oh how about, "You build a team from the inside, out!" I have debated many times before that if you give me an average quarterback with a great offensive line, I will beat a team with the best quarterback in the NFL history who has a bad line. So can someone please tell me why the Lions continue to draft high profile players like quarterbacks, Running Backs and Receivers?

If the Lions are improved, they need to start showing it. They do not get a free pass because they are using a rookie QB. They shouldn't have drafted him in the first place! If he is not ready, they should play another QB! It is time for our rookies to begin showing us why they were drafted so high! Delmas needs to wrap up on his tackles. Pettigrew needs to get open and catch some passes. Stafford needs to become much more accurate! If they cannot start showing they are a better team, the Schwartz needs to go. Even after only one year. Yes I agree a coach needs three years to put his team together with a scheme of his own. But when you come to a team as bad as the Lions and add so much more talent and get the same results, that is inexcusable!


Lions Lose to Rams in week-8

Disgusted! That is the word that describes what every Lions fan must be feeling today. The Lions who seem improved over their 0-16 season, lost 17-10 to the worst team in the NFL. Or would that now be the 2nd worst team in the NFL?

The Lions only scoring came from a safety, a quarterback scramble for a touchdown and a two point conversion. The safety came when Stafford's pass was intercepted in the end-zone. The Rams defender brought the ball out of the end zone than went back into the end zone before being tackled.

Matthew Stafford completed only 14 of 33 pass attempts. That is only 42%. According to the announcers there was as many as 8 or 9 dropped passes. In the last and final play for the Lions offense, Stafford showed just how green he still is. On 4th down and 20 yards to go for a first down, his pass went out of bounds with absolutely no receivers in the vicinity. That just cannot happen! You cannot throw the ball away on 4th and 20 on your final drive!

The fans have been in love with Jim Schwartz as the Lions coach. How long can that last? With so much of a turnover of player personnel. With so many 'better' players added to the defense, there is no excuse for the Lions playing at such a low level. When are players going to be held accountable for their bad play? Next week, Derrick Williams should get the start opposite of Calvin Johnson if he is ready to play. The constant drops by Bryant Johnson and Dennis Northcutt is inexcusable! If they are going to drop passes at this pace, they need to be sitting the bench and let others play. If the Lions cannot find a receiver who can actually catch the ball, they need to sign players from their practice squad.

First overall pick or not, if Stafford is having a bad game and he looks lost, sit him and use Culpepper or Stanton then bring Stafford back in the next week. He has not done anything to deserve to stay in the game if he is having a bad week. I don't care how many millions he is making.

If players cannot tackle, sit them and let other players have a chance! If a certain linebacker is not performing, let Zach Follett have a shot.

It is time to make players accountable for their level of play and that is up to Schwartz to make them accountable. If Northcutt and Bryant Johnson play next week, Schwartz is as much as saying to them that they don't have to catch the passes. Its not about playing well and it's not about winning.

This weeks game was disgusting! There is no excuse for losing to the Rams at home. We the fans have seen the Lions play like pansy ass bums for far too long now and it is time that changes! Ford needs to sell the team to an owner who will give them a chance!

People can love Stafford all they want to, but they cannot honestly say the Lions are playing better because they have him than if they did not pick him first overall. So far Pettigrew has shown very very little. If the Lions would have picked a good offensive tackle and moved Backus to guard where he belongs, they would have been much further along. If the Lions would have drafted a good defensive lineman with their second pick, instead of a Tight End, they would have been eons further along.

It is time for Ford to give up this team, even if the new owner moves them out of Michigan! It is time for the Lions to be put in the hands of someone who actually knows how to build a team! That is from the trenches out folks! Not with sexy picks like Stafford and Pettigrew who cannot play well if they do not have a good line in front of them!

This has gone on for far too long and it is time for it to stop! Give up the Lions Mr.Ford! To hell with your old man pride and finally do the right thing. Give the Lions up! Even if it is to your son.


Lions vs Rams - Pregame Week-8

This coming weekend is easily the most important week of the Detroit Lions 2009 season. The 1-5 Lions are facing off against the 0-7 Rams. It is the only game this season in which the Lions are actually favored to win.

As bad as the Lions have played, the Rams have been worse. The game is a home game for the Lions. It looks very promising that Matthew Stafford will play this week. It is possible to see Calvin Johnson play again. If the Lions should find a way to lose this game, the fans will be near riotous rebellion. The "Sell the Lions" signs will come out. "Forget Millen, Fire Ford" T-shirts will fly off the shelf. (If I can come up with the money to have them made they will.) The Lions should win this week, but with their losing history and the fact the fans have stopped believing enough to sell out games, if the Lions lose it would be disastrous.

The Detroit Lions absolutely have to win this week against the Rams!

The Positives: ... The Rams have one aspect of their offense that is worth mentioning. Steve Jackson! The strong point of the Lions defense, if there is a strong point, is the run stopping. They are far from a great run defense. In fact, they really aren't even a good run defense. But stopping the run is at least something they can do sometimes when they put their minds to it. They have yet to show they can stop a pass from any quarterback. The Rams passing offense is actually nearly as bad as the Lions pass defense. So the one dimensional Rams offense will face the one dimensional Lions defense that is actually suited to stop them.

The Rams defense is actually the equal to the Lions defense. Horrible! The Lions offense, believe it or not, is much better than the Rams offense. If Calvin Johnson should play, the odds of the Lions winning will skyrocket.

The Negatives: .... I will be up front with you. I am not expecting Calvin Johnson to actually play. I think he is still another week away from being ready. Without him, Stafford will be forced to read the defense a lot more and that could hurt the Lions. Without Calvin Johnson, the Rams will not fear the pass nearly as much and be more liable to bring 8 men up in the box to stop Kevin Smith.

I question if the Lions defense can even stop the putrid passing game of the St.Louis Rams. If they cannot, it will be a long day for the Lions and the season will be heading for a major crash landing.

What I would Like to See: .... I would love to see constant blitzing against a bad Rams offense. I would absolutely love to see a few plays calling for Brandon Pettigrew to be hit on deeper routes. I would like to see Stafford make more use of the hard count to draw penalties. I would like to see a little more imagination in the play calling. (Lately it has been reminiscent of last season.) I would like to actually see the offensive line blow open a couple decent holes for Kevin Smith. I would really love to actually see the game!

Food for thought: .... Isn't it funny that the only win the Lions have had since 2007 was blacked out so the fans could not see it happen? Now they play the Rams and actually have a decent chance of winning... and it is blacked out again! How long will it be before the fans actually get to watch a win?


Future Goals for the Lions

Once the trade market opens up again, when free agency begins and in the next draft, the Lions need to have a plan. They need to pin point specific weaknesses and address them. The Detroit Lions have a lot of weaknesses to address, we all understand that. Someone just needs to tell them that and get them to actually address those issues.

#1 ... Offensive line. Specifically the left tackle where Jeff Backus continues to falter. So far, after 6 games into the 2009 season, here are some statistics according to CBS2Chicago. With three penalties, Backus has more than any other one offensive line-man on the Lions. He has two false starts and one holding penalty. Even though that is the worst on the Lions, that doesn't seem all so bad. Here is the telling stat however. In six games, Jeff Backus has allowed 5.5 sacks. The next worse is Gosder Cherilus with 2.75 sacks. Only half of what Backus has allowed. He is easily the worst lineman on the Lions offensive line and he is supposed to be protecting our quarterbacks blind side.

#2 ... Defensive Line. At times this season the defensive line has looked okay. Other times they couldn't put pressure on a Powder Puff quarterback. They absolutely need the big powerhouse who will reek havoc in the middle and a true speedster to close in on the opposing quarterbacks from the outside. You simply cannot win in the NFL if you do not pressure the opposing quarterback.

#3 ... Corner Back. It has been a very long time since the Lions had any resemblance of a true shut down corner. If in next years draft there is a true shut down corner back, the Lions need to take him. Even if it is their first round pick. If you can take an opponents best receiver out of the game, it makes the rest of the defense's job far easier.

#4 ... Running Back. Yes, Kevin Smith is a hard runner. Yes a lot of fans like him. Yes he ran for almost a 1000 yards as a rookie on a winless team. No he is not a star caliber running back to make opposing defenses fear him. Good offenses have running backs who can take one to the house if he gets in the open field. Kevin Smith is a running back who runs like a talented full back. If you want a power runner, you need a big bodied runner like Michael Turner or Brandon Jacobs. 211 lbs power running backs just do not put the fear of God into opposing defenses. This is the only high profile position I would understand the Lions using a first round draft pick on in April of 2010. If they can get a RB the likes of Tomlinson or Adrian Peterson, I think they should do it before even considering the other more important issues.

Whatever they do with the first round pick, the Lions cannot afford to let free-agency and the second round draft go by without addressing the Left Tackle position. Not if they want to keep Stafford alive.


Lions Lose to Packers in week-6

I would like to say I told you so. That the Lions couldn't stop the pass. That the Packers would beat up on Detroit. I would like to say I told you so, but I cannot. Even I had no inkling that it would be this bad.

The Lions did exactly one thing right on Sunday afternoon. They put pressure on Aaron Rodgers. It didn't matter. He completed 78.4% of his passes for 358 yards and 2 touchdowns. You know what though? That wasn't very far from what I was expecting. It wasn't how bad the defense played that upset me. It was the offense.

Culpepper could hardly complete a pass and left with an injury in the beginning of the second half. He only had 48 yards at that time. Stanton came in and played about the same level. There is no defending him this week. Daunte Culpepper was horrid. Yet I cannot place the blame squarely on his shoulders either. The receivers rarely got open, the running game was non-existent and the play calling.... oh let me tell you about the play calling.

The play calling had no imagination. The only play that showed any kind of imagination was a fake punt that looked like a little league coach designed it. It was so bad that they actually showed the Packers it was a fake punt before they snapped the ball. Worse! They waited until Green Bay adjusted their defense before they snapped the ball! The play calling had not even an ounce of aggressiveness. Culpepper never took a shot down field. There were no reverses. There were not even any quick slants called! I actually had flash backs to Marinelli and Marriucci calling the plays.

In the end, the Lions lost to the Packers 26 to 0. The Lions were shut out for the first time since 2001. Think about what that means. The Lions just accomplished a feat of futility that even the 2008 0-16 Lions did not. They were shut out!

I still believe this team is much improved over last years team. However, right now, I seriously would have no evidence to back that statement up in a debate. The team we saw play today was no better than last years team.

The Lions only have two things to be glad for right now. One is that they cannot possibly lose next week since they are on a bye-week. Second is that the following week they play the lowly Rams. But until they beat the Rams (if they beat the Rams) the Lions have nothing to be proud of.


Lions vs Packers - Pregame Week-6

Once again Jim Schwartz is hiding the answer to which quarterback will play come game time. Even though Matthew Stafford did not practice Friday and missed 4 of the 5 practices this week, Schwartz recently moved him up to probable and said he will be a game time decision.

In my personal opinion, this is nothing more than an amateurish move by Schwartz. If he starts Stafford when he has only practiced once this week, it would be a completely idiotic move. A good coach would have a hard time starting a veteran quarterback if he hasn't practiced. To start a rookie with no practice? Idiotic! So I don't believe for a moment that Stafford will start. In this case, for Schwartz to try to make it look like he might play Stafford is amateurish. If I am not about to fall for that, I really doubt the Green Bay Packers brass is going to.

One more week it looks like Culpepper will start for the Lions and once again it looks like he might be without his top receiver Calvin Johnson. I don't know about you, but I doubt there is a player in the locker room whom Culpepper wouldn't trade to get Calvin Johnson back. Once again, Daunte will need to count on Dennis Northcutt and Bryant Johnson to pick up the slack.

The Lions almost beat the Steelers last week, so they should have a chance to beat the Packers right? Here are the facts people. The Lions defense is allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete an astounding 73% of their passes. They have given up an average of 3 passing touchdowns per game and have less than one interception per game. Though the defense has given up some big gains to running backs, they have also shown signs of stopping the run at times. They have not come close to even slowing down the passing game. Green Bay relies on the pass far more than the run.

Once again, I will say it. The Lions best hopes of stopping the Packers is to blitz Aaron Rodgers. If they do not, Rodgers will tear the Lions defense up. The Packers offensive line has major problems right now as they allowed 8 sacks in their last game. The Packers are excellent at getting rid of the ball quickly to defeat the blitz, but the Lions would be better off giving up a lot of five yard passes and hitting their quarterback than to be giving up a lot of 15 yard passes because we give him all day. The Detroit defense will just have to count on the fact that it is unlikely the refs could make a bad call on hitting the QB in the legs two weeks in a row.

All in all however, the Lions chances of winning this one are slim. No, I mean slimmer than most weeks.

Packers - 41
Lions --- 20


Lions Fans Often See what They Want to See

Human nature. It is human nature to survive. It is human nature to learn. It is the nature of learning that curses the fans of the Detroit Lions.

If a child touches matches and you ignore it, he will sooner or later burn himself. If you slap his hand when he touches them, once, twice or a dozen times (depending on how intelligent the kid is), he will learn not to touch those matches. When the Lions lose as often as the Lions have, the fans learn to expect it. When the Lions play bad football for as long as they have, the fans learn to focus on the bad football. I saw evidence of this since last Sunday's game against Pittsburgh.

Culpepper has not started a single regular season game this year. He comes in against the defending Superbowl Champs. Almost immediately in the game, he loses his star receiver Calvin Johnson to an injury. Let's face it, the guy was up against some pretty harsh circumstances for his first game since the preseason. Yet Culpepper threw for almost 300 yards, 62% completion, a TD and scrambled for two big first downs to keep drives going.

Daunte Culpepper did an admiral job under those circumstances and yet, throughout the week I have heard far more complaining than I have heard praises for the veteran quarterback. People want to point out his mistakes. That he had an interception and an intentional grounding called on him. It doesn't matter that the intentional grounding was nothing more than him trying to throw it away and would have been legal if he would have gotten the ball three more yards down field. The fans still say it was a stupid play. It doesn't matter that his interception came while he was scrambling for his life and he overthrew a wide open receiver. The fans want to say it was a stupid play on his part. Not a bad throw, but a stupid play. If he would have thrown the one another three plays, the fans would have said he did what he should have done. If he would have hit that receiver, the fans would have said it was a great play then forgot about it. We don't remember the good but we look for the bad.

The Lions got called for a personal foul for hitting the QB low. Replay showed it was an awful call by the refs. Rather than the Lions having the ball after an interception, the Steelers got it back plus a first down, plus an additional 15 yards. They scored a TD they should never have had. Take that away and the defending champions only scored 21 points against the Lions defense. Yet I have not heard anyone saying how well they played. I hear how the Lions could not tackle again.

Every team except for Jacksonville scored last weekend. How could that be? If other teams always played perfect, they would shut their opponents out. So how come even all of the great teams of the NFL were scored upon? How did Philadelphia give up 14 points to Tampa bay? How did Minnesota allow the lowly Rams to score 10 points? How is it the great New York Jets defense gave up 31 points? Could it be that maybe they don't play perfect every play? Could it be that they miss tackles sometimes and miss coverage sometimes?

The fact is, every defense, even the great ones will mess up sometimes. They all let teams score on them. The Steelers offense is no push over. They can run and they can pass. The Steelers are a very good team in the NFL and look how much they crushed the Lions by. Eight points! And seven of those came from a lousy call by the refs.

The Lions played a pretty good game Sunday against the defending Superbowl Champions. They played pretty darn good on offense and defense. Under the circumstances, Culpepper played very good. Far better I think than most of us thought he would in that situation.

Lions fans need to shed the losing mentality just as much as the team does. If they play really bad, the fans need to let them know it by screaming out about it. But when the Lions play a decent game, win or lose, the fans should acknowledge that as well. Last weeks loss aside, I saw a much improved Lions team on the field from what I saw last year. If they continue to improve, the fans will have a much brighter future ahead of them.


Lions Lose to Steelers in week-5

With less than three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the Lions had the ball and were 8 points down. They were well within field goal range but it was not an option. They needed the touchdown and a two point conversion to tie it. At the Steelers 21 yard line Culpepper took the snap and all hell broke loose.

The Steelers sent a full compliment of blitzers from Culpeppers right side and the defensive back came through untouched. Culpepper was dropped for a six yard loss.

2nd and 16 at the Steelers 27 yard line Culpepper took a snap in the no-huddle offense. Pittsburgh sent the same blitz and the Lions reacted the same way. A sack for a five yard loss.

3rd down and 21 yards to go from the Steelers 32 yard line. What do the Steelers do? Send another full blitz. For the third straight play the Lions could not even begin to slow down the blitz and Culpepper was dropped for a loss of 13 yards.

So now it is 4th down and 34 yards to go at the Steelers 45 yard line. The Lions only hope was to throw a Hail Mary. Culpepper took the snap, dropped back and actually got the pass off. The pass came down at the goal line where a group of Steelers defensemen were waiting. The Lions receivers were all waiting outside hoping for a tip. The tip came and the ball landed where no receivers stood. Game over. The Lions lost to the defending Superbowl Champions 28-20.

Listening to the radio after the game, I heard a lot of things from callers. They complained about the stands being 80% Steelers fans. They complained that Culpepper did not look like an NFL Starting QB. They complained that the Lions choked when the game was on the line. I learned something today. Most fans do not know what they are talking about.

Daunte Culpepper was 23 of 37 for 282 yards. He had one touchdown and one interception. Those are decent numbers. Considering he did this while being sacked seven times because the offensive line rarely gave him time to throw says he played very well. The fact that Culpepper rushed 3 times for 44 yards, two of them coming when he avoided a heavy rush and ran for first downs to keep drives going. Considering Culpepper did this against a very good team with no rushing game to take some of the pressure of of him and in his first and only start of the season? I give the veteran quarterback a solid "A" for his performance. Oh, did I mention that he put up those numbers with Calvin Johnson on the sideline all game with an injury?

The only real knock on Culpepper in today's loss was his interception, which is the reason so many were upset with him. The ball came out of his hands after the snap and he had to scramble to pick it up. When he finally got a hold of the ball, he had two Steelers coming hard at him and he turned and threw the ball across the field. The ball fluttered into the stomach of another Steeler. Announcers said it was a horrible decision. Fans said it was a stupid pass. I disagree.

If you can see a replay of the pass, you will notice the ball sailed over the head of a Lion. If the pass would have been lower, it would have ended in a first down and Culpepper would have been heralded for such a great job. Under the extreme pressure, his only real stupid mistake came from throwing the ball without setting his feet which is the reason it was thrown off target and too high. Culpepper did not throw a blind pass and he did not throw a pass at a covered player. He saw the open receiver and it was a smart pass to throw. He simply threw it to high.

The Lions didn't choke with the game on the line. When the game was on the line, the defending Champs exploited the Lions offense greatest weakness. The offensive line! The Steeler blitzed hard with five to six players because they know the Lions line cannot handle that. They knew the Lions needed a longer play and a deep pass would need time to develop. They didn't give it time. Yet, in my opinion the Lions should not have been in that position to begin with. The refs put them there.

Earlier in the game, the Lions blitzed Roethlisburger, forcing him to throw early. The pass resulted in an interception and should have been the Lions ball... if not for yet another bad call against the Lions this year. The flag? Going for the quarterbacks knees.

Replay showed that the Lions did not go for Ben's legs. One player hit him high on the shoulder. Another player was blocked into the ground. That player, already on the ground turned and grabbed Roethlisburger around the legs and pulled him down as he loosed the ball. It was a clean and a very legal play. It should have been the Lions ball. Instead, it was a fifteen yard penalty, first down for Pittsburgh. The Steelers scored a touchdown on the drive.

If that horrid call would not have been made, the Steelers would have had only a one point lead at the end. The Lions would have been running Smith rather than passing and so they would have been able to kick a field goal for the win.

The Lions are still not a very good team, but today they played a pretty good game. Good enough in fact that they should have beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. A feat nobody believed would happen. A feat the refs made sure would not happen.


Lions vs Steelers - Pregame Week-5

Though no word is out whether Detroit Lions quarterback, Matthew Stafford is playing or not, I do not expect him to be ready. So Daunte Culpepper with only a week of first team snaps will have to face the toughest defense the Lions have yet to face.

When the Lions have the ball...
With Culpepper not having much regular season action, we can expect the already aggressive Steelers defense to step it up a notch. They will show us why the better defenses like to blitz. The Lions will need to counter this by using a lot of quick dumps to Kevin Smith and Brandon Pettigrew. This will not be enough. They will need to use a lot of quick slants as well, but that is something the Lions have a history of staying away from. If they use the quick slant more than two times I will be shocked. Until they force the Steelers defense to back off a little, there will not be enough time for plays to develop and that will keep Calvin Johnson from playing a big part.

When Steelers have the ball....
Mendenhall showed last week why they drafted him and the world expects him to light up the Lions defense. He will likely break away for one long one, but other than that, the Lions will hold him down for the most part. The Lions have shown they can stop the run this year. It is the pass that still seems to be beyond the Detroit defense's comprehension. Roethlisburger is one of the best at avoiding pressure and the only way the Lions will get to him is to blitz. Last week the Lions blitzed around eight times in the first half and not one of the longer gains came from being burnt on the blitz. The Lions have shown this year that they will be burnt far more often while NOT blitzing than when they are blitzing. Somehow I doubt they have learned that lesson yet though.

Things to watch....

Pay attention to the Lions special teams this week. They signed the hard hitting rookie Zach Follett from the practice squad in hopes of injecting some life into the special teams. This guy can light someone up. If he gets a hard hit on the returner early, it could add life to some of the other players as well.

It will be interesting to see if Culpepper will take some chances down field if he gets the time to throw. In the preseason he gained the reputation for not taking chances down field. I think he was a victim of play calling and if given the chance he will want to prove his worth.

If the Steelers do blitz a lot, it would not surprise me to see the Lions use Aaron Brown more to counter the pressure. His speed on the draw plays and screens could force the Steelers defense to back off quicker than Kevin Smiths hard running style would.

Look at the stands. Many expect the stadium to be nearly 40% Steelers fans. I would expect more in the lines of 30% but it will be enough to see virtual seas of black and yellow.

The Lions are looking improved over last season. There are vast improvements in run defense and offensive rushing. They are in no way ready to beat a Pittsburgh Steelers team.

Steelers - 30
Lions ---- 20


A Joke for Detroit No1

No... Seriously, this is a joke. That wasn't a sarcastic title.....

A man is walking through down town Detroit when he is mugged and killed. Not having led a very good life, he finds himself standing in a cavern of flames and realizes he had gone to hell. Suddenly Satan appears before him.

"Pretty hot here huh?" Satan asks with an evil grin.

The Detroit man shrugs his shoulders a bit. "I'm from Detroit. Our summers get pretty hot sometimes."

Satan disappears then and goes and turns up the heat. He re-appears before the man. "How's that? Pretty hot now huh?"

Again, the man shrugs his shoulders. "As I said, I am from Detroit. Gets pretty hot in Detroit."

Satan gets a little frustrated and in a blink he is gone and this time he cranks the heat up as hot as it will go, then he goes back to the man.

"Now it's hot huh?" Satan asks the man.

The fellow stands there sweating, but to Satan's surprise he once again shrugs his shoulders. "This is pretty hot, but like I said, it gets hot in Detroit in mid summer. I can handle it."

Satan disappears again and this time he is furious. "So he can handle the heat can he? Let's see how he handles the cold." And he cranks the temperature all the way down.

When Satan gets back to the Detroiter, there is ice and snow piling up around the fellow, but to Satan's surprise, the man is ecstatic. He is jumping around laughing and shouting for joy.

"What the hell is this?" Satan asks. "How can you be so happy about how cold this is?"

The man is just going nuts and he grabs Satan by the shoulders and yells at him. "Look around you man! The Lions won the Superbowl! The Lions won the Superbowl!"