Sunday, September 7, 2008

Atlanta in Denial?

Is there something I don't know, or is Atlanta in the equivalent to the early Millen years? I checked out the ACJ (Atlanta Constitution Journal) this morning -- along with a couple of other Atlanta sites, just to see what they were saying. After all, team sites are for propaganda, and the papers...well, they usually take a more realistic (read: willing to say negative things) view.

Imagine my surprise when a couldn't find a story entertaining the notion the Lions will win! I know, situations reversed, at least half (likely 3/4) of the stories would be about "tough game" and "unfortunate blowout."

Here are the poll results on the straight up W/L:

Who will win Sunday's game between the Falcons and Lions?
Falcons WIN: 79.05% (936)
Lions WIN: 20.95% (248 )


One writer on there expressed concern about the Atlanta secondary. Afraid it was going to be "scorched earth" back there against Roy and CJ. Then proceeded to "dude, it's only Jon Kitna. Take the Falcons to cover the three." He thinks Kitna would be the reason the Lions would lose by MORE than a FG?!? I think he was hanging out with those Sumos. There are definitely a host of ways the Lions could lose, but Kitna being unable to get CJ and Roy the ball is not high on the list of "probable problems likely to occur." Michael Turner razing the Lions defense for a couple hundred yards? That would be number one, but appears to be lost in Atlanta in a host of Ryan is the next "insert successful QB name here" and jokes about WR, Matt Millen, and "hey its the Lions" (forgetting they beat a Vick led Falcons pretty handily in their last meeting in 2006, Rod's first year.)

I love this comment on a story:

By Ken Strickland
September 5, 2008 1:52 PM
Link to this
For the Falcons to win they will have to effectively run the ball, convert on 3nd dn and control the clock. On DEF, they’ll have to pressure the QB and play solid run DEF. If they can successfully do those things, they’ll win. If not, they’ll lose. It’s just that simple. Oh yes, special teams play will be a factor as well.

Seriously, you could post this about every team for every game. It is at the heart of what a team needs to do in order to win.

then there was the usual stuff by those who don't actually look at what other teams did/have done, but do watch a lot of sportscenter...

By TNgizmo
September 5, 2008 2:07 PM
Link to this
The falcons are a much better team this year for a lot of reasons. Detroit did not make a lot of solid changes. The birds will win this one 20-17. I hope!

There were also quite a few with more realistic takes. I think it will be a good game, with the Lions showing strong and getting the win.

The Film will tell us in a few hours. I have company this evening, so look for the Game blog early tomorrow, or tomorrow evening -- with my first impressions, and then tape analysis later in the week.


Todd said...

Can anyone offer me some optimism after that debacle? I am the most optimistic Lion fan you can find and know we have weaknesses and would guess a little under or around .500 this year then improve next year. But WOW, I did not expect to see what I saw. I was actually sick to my stomach during the first quarter watching player after player whiff on tackles and not wrap up. WE ARE IN TROUBLE. I know we have this weird thing not being able to play well on the road but my goodness. If the tackling is like this all year every team in the league will RUN US OVER. Kitna was a little too fiery but you can understand his frustration seeing the scoreboard guys tired from changing the lights so much---21-0 IN THE FIRST QUARTER. I don't know I really am just disappointed. After the first 3 tds and whiffing the coaches benched Alex Lewis and Paris Lenon from what I could see for Dizon and new guy from Tampa Leache (spelling?). They did stop them on that drive and I thought we were going to have a chance 14-21 at halftime getting the ball back. I don't know what happened on that Lawyer Milloy INT, that was a hell of a catch but something went wrong that throw was nowhere near Roy. I thought Kevin Smith looked pretty good actually and so did Rudi. But you can't really run the ball much when you're down 21-0 in the first quarter. Anyways that's enough ranting I hope someone else saw some good things...Calvin looked unstoppable again that was another plus but WOW not the start I thought we'd have.

Anonymous said...

I felt like crying watching that disaster. I have been on the train this season again since day one after the draft, but this, this was entirely unexpected. That was easily the worst tackling display I have ever, ever seen. It was not the second or even third man who was making the tackle during that game. How many tackles can one man break before these guys start wrapping and tackling? I am nauseated. Is our offense expected to score on every possession to keep the game tied? Where was the pressure on Ryan? If I see this same display of incompetence next week I am gonna be back on the waiting for the draft bandwagon again already. Sigh....

- Justin

Chris said...

That was sickening. I don't know what to think anymore. Another entire off-season of optimism completely flushed down the toilet.

Atlanta better be the surprise of the year, because right now I have no reason to believe this Lions team is going anywhere any time soon.

Anonymous said...

1. Everyone on the offensive line looked terrible, they took so many plays off today it was disgusting. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the right side looked to be most of the problem.
2. Kitna couldn't hit a wide receiver in full stride if his life depended on it. He is a second string QB and the Lions need to realize it. Make the commitment and go with one of the young guys this couldn’t be much worse then it is now, at least Stanton is a gamer and will make things happen.
3. The Defense, where should I even begin? Are the safeties the only ones that came to play?
4. Kevin Smith looked very good although the offensive line didn't help him much at all.
5. Rudi looked decent as well moving the pile on a few carries.
5. CJ looked pretty good as well but even with all his size he couldn't pull in a couple of Kitna's throws. Think about that for a minute... The tallest receiver with the largest wing span in the league can barely get his hands on routine throws. I will take Drew and Danny any day of the week over Kitna. He has lost it almost completely ever since the concussion at the beginning of their loosing streak last year.
6. Roy didn't get enough looks either, the twin towers were open all day but there was a lack of blocking and quarterbacking so they just looked good running all by their lonesome all day long... Today was extremely disappointing.


Isphet said...

I wonder why the Lions forgot the ability to tackle in the last week. They had guys in the right spots, they just couldn't tackle; it was a truly pathetic performance.

The offense wasn't terrible, considering they were down 21-0 after the first three ATL drives. I think I feel sick, this game makes me want to move elsewhere so I have a reason to root for a different team.

millersco said...

I didn't see the game but sounds like we weren't ready to play. Yes what happened to the defense that swarmed to the ball in the pre-season. Did we change that much in a week? Over confident? Seems we found out things we already know, that Lenon, Lewis and Cody are as good as they are going to get and shouldn't be starting. Seems the Falcons played our game, run it, wear down the lineman so they can't stop you in the 4th Qtr. Curious again why we had three inactive DL when we need them late in the game.

CHIEFGER139 said...

face it
ATLANTAS ROOKIES-starting on the offensive line blew are mity mites off the field and turner made us look like a mac team aginst one of the top big ten teams-and i agree we cant tackle worth crap-now i see we needed the middlelinebacker in the 1st rd. and unfortunately we have no beef up front on our d-and good running teams are gonna pound us to death-dont even like our chances against the bears anymore. at least it was a road game so still some hope-but the detroit defense is definately being cut from my fantasy league-they shouldnt even have fisher back there-he stinks-what were they thinking?? they should of kept blue and leon joe-at least they can tackle-and shows you big time without rogers beef were in for a world of hurt.hopefully kitna just had a bad day too-but he did out perform peyton for what its worth. not stopping the run was my biggest concern and unfortunately that appears to be our biggest problem to fix-at least on special teams you can kick it out of bounce-but on defense nothing you can do but suffer with the other team pounding you to death.hope this isnt a ongoing thing-if so-were back to 3-4 win seasons the other thing that makes me sick is this is rods 3rd year-he should be way a head of a 1st year coach named smith but hes not-go next week and these fellings will go away but a repeat makes me sick.
hope it dont happen.

jreffy said...

Wow, by reading these comments you'd figure the Lions just lost 8 games in a row.


Geez. A bunch of whiners "oh my god everything sucks" in here.

Did the Lions play terribly? Perhaps, was it kind of an embarrassment, sure. Did Atlanta play their butts off? You bet they did.

My observations:

1) I don't know defense was playing Sunday, but it definitely didn't look like the Lions defense we saw in the preseason, or even last year. No flying to the ball, everyone looked REALLY SLOW. That's probably what shocked me the most. The next biggest suprise was the ESPECIALLY POOR TACKLING. That in and of itself is enough to doom a defense. However, give some credit to Atlanta. They have ALWAYS been a big rushing team, even when Vick was there. Didn't they lead the league in Rushing for a couple years between Dunn and Duckett? They aren't exactly a bunch of slouches, and Turner has been touted as a talented RB for a couple years now. Does that excuse the Lions terrible defensive play? Certainly not, but it's not like they got run over by some high schoolers.

2) The offense played well, despite being put in a hole early and being taken out of their gameplan. By dropping 21-0 in the first quarter, the Lions couldn't really afford to establish the run. This also made things easier on the Atlanta defense since they knew Detroit was going to have to throw the ball to play catchup. Kevin Smith and Rudi Johnson both looked good, despite not getting much help from the Offensive Line. I agree that it looked to be the right side of the line that was getting blown up (especially Foster on a couple of occassions), looks to me like Cherilus will be starting soon enough.

3) Our offensive studs didn't help the effort either. Between Kitna yelling at teammates and coaches, he also made a couple key mistakes that cost the Lions. I remember on a goalline 3rd down, he had what looked to be an open lane to the endzone, but instead of running it he tried to force a pass to Gaines in the back corner. I don't know if Kitna would have made it, but I thought a run would have been the right option. Earlier in the game he also cost them a 1st down opportunity when he chose throw the ball instead of run for the 1st down, and also choosing to slide 1-2yds short of another 1st down opportunity. Roy Williams wasn't all-pro either, apparently making a mistake on that pass play that cost the Lions their only turnover. It was a good drive that ended up being a punch in the gut when they needed to make a score.

OVERALL: Lots of room for improvement no matter how you look at it. Part of me wants to think the Lions were a bit overconfident after the only 4-0 preseason, looking great, and facing what appeared to be a weak Atlanta team. Looks like they got punched in the mouth and went home licking their wounds. There will be no room for slacking in next week's home stand against Green Bay.

Anonymous said...

You know...At first I was pissed as I watch play after play go down the tubes...At first I thought...MAN WE SUCK...then it dawned on me..No we are just simple minded...All the players were talking the talk about the preseason means nothing and it is a new season...but in the end..they thought TOO highly of themselves and not enough about Atlanta....and disregarded them... am not saying we are out of the woods...but they need to get their heads out of their........:) This really reminds me of 1991...Great preseason, first game...RAN ALL OVER by washington...we lost 4 games that year...Makes me wonder if we will see Atlanta again later in the year.... We were supposed to suck in 1991 if I recall...think about the offense back then....Journeyman OB (kramer&peete) Outstanding receivers...Moore, Perriman, Green , Clark, Matthews(if I recall) RB sanders....the only difference I can think of was the OFFENSIVE and DEFENSIVE LINES. Gee...I guess there really is not a similarity at all...


CHIEFGER139 said...

must see-lions blue light special
if you havent heard
det d up for grabs for a rb who gets points-how can you pass?? felton too what a steal-even the mighty gaines who actually got points-even willing to sacrifice mc donald the greatest lions receiver since god knows when-lord how can you lions fans resist? jump on it while the gettings good-may be other lions too worth your drooling wonders-my god a true lions dream and the chief is willing-jump on it while the getting is good-know its so hard to believe im willing to give up so much-dont fight over who offered 1st-especially with gaines almost won me the 1st game-lord i hate this but fell must be done all offers welcomed-no serious buyer will be denied