I AM BACK!!!!!

In the past, I tried to do too much with this site with way too little time. Yet, I have been feeling a need to write about the Lions lately. So I have decided to change the Detroit Lions Observer to a few basic things. Writing articles when I feel a need to, keeping track of their wins and losses, and I am still deciding if I will go through and update Ndamukong Suh's Sack List.
Ndamukong Suh's Sack List
Keep track of which quarterbacks Suh has faced and which ones he has taken down.

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9/3/09

Stafford Looks Good in Lions Last Preseason Game

In his one half of play in the Detroit Lions last preseason game, rookie Matthew Stafford looked good. Though his numbers were nothing good to look at, his level of play was nice.

Stafford completed 5 of his 9 pass attempts for 81 yards. He had one interception and no touchdowns. Stafford also had one run for 7 yards.

To look at the numbers, you might roll your eyes and think he did not have a good game. What the stats don't show is that his one interception came on a play where the receiver fell down, giving the defensive player free access to the pick. The stats also do not show the touchdown that he did throw to Calvin Johnson in his first drive, but was called back due to a holding penalty on #70 Daniel Loper.

In that first drive, Stafford threw a bullet down the right sideline, just out of reach of the defense to hit Calvin Johnson who was knocked out of bounds. His next pass found Johnson again on a timing play where he threw the ball before Johnson even turned around. It was then that Matthew Stafford let another pass loose to the end zone. The ball floated just over the defenders and Johnson again pulled it in for the touchdown that was called back because of the holding penalty.

That seemed to be the end of Stafford looking like a star however. He was almost picked on another pass where he had his eyes locked on Calvin Johnson as the star receiver ran across the field, allowing two defenders to close in for what should have been an interception if the pass would not have gone through the defensive players hands.

Though the rookie got away with one there, it was made up later when he threw the ball to the left side and his receiver fell down allowing the defense to intercept it and return the ball down the sideline. It looked like it would be returned for a touchdown but Stafford did a good job of getting there to make the tackle.

Matthew Stafford did look good but the offensive line showed why the Lions might be smart to let him learn on the bench for a season. Twice in the first half, Stafford took sacks because the offensive line had breakdowns. The line did look very good for most of the half, but it is those breakdowns that gives one reason to fear. They were not sacks where a player gets a hand on him and slowly drags him down. One sack rode Stafford over ten yards backwards by a couple players before he went down hard and on the other, Stafford had his arm hit as he cocked it back to make the pass, which concluded in a lost fumble.

Two sacks may not sound like much to worry about, but consider the facts that it was only one half and he only attempted 9 other passes. If he was to get sacked 4 times a game, he would be dropped for an amazing 64 times in a season. That is not something you want your quarterback of the future to go through. That is something that can ruin any rookie quarterback, however confident or tough he may be to start.

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