Some final notes on Green Bay -- I mentioned in my Blog earlier this week that I would go into what I thought about the Lions holding GB to 27 points. I had it in my mind that holding the GB offense to 27 points was about what teams were able to do, on average, last season. (Notice I don't count the 21 points off of Kitna's INT's -- I'm curious how the defense did.)
So, being the curious fellow I am -- I looked it up. Only taking into account their 16 regular season games, they scored an average of 27.16 PPG. Their lowest score was 7 week 15, and highest was 38 against Oakland - though against most teams (including Detroit) they were in the low 30's. Adding in the playoffs, the average was 27.61 (they actually had a new high score - 42 - in the playoffs round 1 which increased their average.)
If you add in the first game this season, the average is 27.42 PPG heading into Detroit last week. That is NOT a shoddy team -- that is one heck of an offense.
But how about their D?
They weren't high in scoring defense. Despite two pick-6's against Detroit, it is not common. Usually they stop the opponent on down and distance versus a large number of turnovers (Less especially against them with the 'ol gunslinger having moved on.)
As for PPG, the GB D gave up an average of 18.18 PPG over 16 games, 18.55 through the playoffs, and 18.57 going from week 1 2007 through week 1 2008 (including playoffs.)
The Lions scored 24 points, which is above the average -- and, had they avoided shooting themselves in the foot had an opportunity to put up at least another field goal.
So overall, the offense performed (until the last 5 min) above average versus the GB D, and the Det D held GB at their average (until said meltdown).
I did re-watch the end of the game to see a bit more what was going on. I noticed (and I chatted a bit about it, and noticed a couple of other people see the same thing.)
First off, GB LB Nick Barnett was fined for his hit on Kitna where he jolted him in the helmet. Speculation: Kitna suffered a minor concussion. His play really went down the crapper after that, and he was making poor decisions all over the place -- from where and how to throw the ball, to walking off the field.
While Kitna is certainly a "warrior" -- the coaching Staff needs to be able to see when something is not right and send in his backup -- that is what backup players are for!
I do not think starting Stanton right now makes sense, and agree there seems to be no right way to season a QB -- there's just no telling, although I think that allowing them to sit a year and rotate in for blowouts/etc. does help a lot --- just practicing and being with the Vet mentor.
Keep in mind, Stanton is really in year 1 since he essentially lost all of last season. Again, I'm for rotating the rookies in to get playing time -- but I do think this team is gelling together and finally starting to click a little -- especially on defense. That and Cherilus on the line will help the offense.
Special teams did look a lot better, especially with Middleton doing returns. I'm glad they brought him back -- the coverage and blocking units looked pretty good too, overall.
49ers preview tomorrow -- followed by another game blog for your thoughts. Once again, thanks to family obligations (this time my Mother-in-Law's birthday) I will be watching the game via VHS on the DF79 network!
Good thoughts -- keep them coming!!