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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9/18/10

Lions vs Eagles

The Detroit Lions gave the fans plenty to smile about in the first week of the season, but it was washed over by all the reasons for the fans to be upset. One thing for sure, it was a very emotional week.

The Lions defense was great against the Bears, allowing only 19 points while racking up 4 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, and an interception, with an amazing goal line stand as well. On top of that, they played that well in a game where they had little rest as the offense could not seem to get a first down. The question is how will they play against a better team in the Philadelphia Eagles?

DEFENSE
With Kolb out and the infamous Michael Vick starting against the Lions, Detroit is starting the week off with a bad break. With the Lions improved defensive line, the more stationary Kolb would have played into their hands. Vick presents an entirely different problem. Vick will be looking for any opportunity to pull the football down and take off running and he is faster than any of the linemen or linebackers the Lions will have in pursuit.

The common thought on defending Vick is to play a contained defense. Rather than the defensive ends charging in after him, they are to methodically work their way to him while keeping in position to contain him from escaping to the outside. I believe the Lions need to add an element to that. They need to blitz from the outside a lot. Whether it be a cornerback, a safety or a linebacker, they need to send someone in fast. Vick is not a quick thinking passer. He is a fast thinking runner. Especially in his first start since 2006, if he has a blitzer coming in, from the outside, he will pull the ball down and look to escape, shutting down the pass. The quicker this happens, the less time Lions players have to get out of position to defend against him running.

OFFENSE
The Lions offense is an entirely different beast this year. Many fans are worried about the Lions having Shaun Hill under center this week. Without Stafford, they feel the Lions offense will do nothing. Don't worry about Hill. He has talent, experience and is 10-6 as a starting quarterback in the NFL. The problem on offense wont be talent. It will be Linehan.

Linehan was exceptionally conservative an unimaginative in the first week. Schwartz played it off that he couldn't be aggressive with the Lions backed up in their own territory all of the time. Some columnists believe that because the Lions couldn't run, they were never able to pass down field. The fact is neither of these excuses hold water. If you are backed up, you have to make a play. Running a quarterback sneak from your own endzone will only get you one or two yards at most. How much more room does that give you to be aggressive? Often, the run does not work simply because the pass is not there. The fact is, the run feeds off of the pass as much as the pass feeds off of the run. They need each other. More than anything, they need better play calling.

The question this week will be, how stubborn is Linehan? Will he try adding any imaginative plays to his book this week? Will we see an end around? A reverse? How about a few play actions to open up the pass? Jahvid Best is enough of a threat at running back to make a good play action a real help. Will we see more slants? How about sending a tight end or running back deeper for a pass? All of these things can be used to open the offense up more and it is up to Linehan if he wants to be aggressive or conservative. If the Lions want a chance to win, we better hope he will break away from being so conservative.

OVERVIEW
The Eagles are a decent team. A team that very few will pick the Lions to beat. But if the Lions have the talent to match up to them if used right. I know the logical pick is the Eagles but something tells me Shaun Hill will surprise a few people.

PREDICTION
Detroit Lions 23
Philadelphia Eagles 20

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