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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12/16/11

Lions vs Raiders Pre-game

There is something intriguing about the Detroit Lions going to the west coast to play the Oakland Raiders. Two teams that love to get after the opposing quarterbacks and both teams take a lot of penalties. The key however is the ability to get after the quarterbacks.

Last week against the Packers, Carson Palmer threw 4 interceptions. He has 6 of his passes picked off in the last three games. So it is clear that if you put pressure on Palmer, he will make his mistakes. Another thing that is clear is that the Lions are indeed a team that can and will put pressure on him.

People have complained about Ndamukong Suh this year. His 31 tackles and only 3 sacks, after all, are far below his totals as a rookie. The fact is however, stomp aside, Suh is having an outstanding year. Every team knows how good Suh is and they are not going to allow him to just beat up their quarterbacks. So to defend him, they put Suh in a double team on most plays. This double team is effective in that it slows him down enough that either the quarterback has enough time to throw the ball, or someone else on the Lions defensive line gets to the quarterback before Suh does. But if you are wondering how much Suh means to the Lions defense, go back and watch the Vikings game from last week again.

Yes I know the Lions caused fumbles, got sacks and played well, but go look at something in particular. Look at how much pressure the Lions got on the QB up the middle of the line. There really was not much. The Lions were depending on the DE's to get the pressure and Avril and Vanden Bosch came through. But the Detroit defensive Tackles did not do much.

This week Ndamukong Suh will be back from his suspension. After watching his team play without him for two weeks, you know he is hungry to get going again. Believe me, there is little a quarterback likes less than pressure up the middle that keeps him from being able to step up into the pocket.

On the other hand, the Raiders have more sacks than the Lions do, so they are no slouch in getting pressure on the quarterbacks either. The difference is that the Lions protect the ball much better than the Raiders do.

I know it is easy to look at Stafford's stats and see how he has thrown 14 picks this year so far. Not the best stats. But keep in mind that he had a fractured finger on his throwing hand bothering him for a while. In the weeks that was an issue, Stafford threw 9 of his interceptions. Take those away and he has only thrown 5 picks in the other 10 games when he was healthy. So when he is not playing with an injury to his throwing hand, Stafford does not tend to throw interceptions even when he is under a lot of pressure.

Even with Stafford's bad three games, the Lions are a +11 in the turnover ration. The Raiders are a -4. On top of that, the Lions lead the NFL in defensive touchdowns. So with the Raiders propensity for turning it over and knowing they will be facing a very strong pass rush, and Stafford's ability to protect the ball when he is healthy, this looks like a game the Lions should win.

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