Christmas Party Weekend - one weekend, 3 family Christmas Gatherings. Needless to say, the whole DF79 clan will need to go to work/school on Monday just to recuperate!!
While the Lions will be getting shellacked by Indianapolis this weekend (to say it in politest terms) the DetFan1979 Annual Redraft League Conference Championships are this week. Also, the DetFan1979 Dynasty FFB League Superbowl is this week as well!! (I made it this year, and also congrats both to my opponent, Detroit Revolution -- as well as everyone in the league as it was a tight race all the way through and 3 of 4 divisions and all but one playoff spot came down to the last week of play. Great demonstration of football acumen from all involved!)
I will be taping the game tomorrow, and watching it on VHS delay later in the week due to said Christmas functions. I do want to go over a few thoughts before turning in for the evening...
First of all, was I the only one shocked/not shocked at the personnel moves this week? Corey Redding went on IR with a "lingering" knee injury it appears no one really knew about until this week. Looking back at his play this season, which seemed to at many times mimic his play of the second half last season makes me wonder if his knee injury last year that supposedly didn't need to be operated on was really worse than they thought?? It would explain a lot, and would be about par for the course for the Lions. What type of injury wasn't disclosed, but it was said he needs surgery. Hopefully he can come back next year actually healthy and play up to his 2006/1st half of 2007 standards. (In that time span, he was #1 DT in the league for tackles for loss -- he still ended 2007 in the top 3 or 4 -- as per Pat Kirwan of NFL.com in an ifseason article, but I couldn't find the link just my notes.)
Langston Moore is a good re-signing, but I only hear about IAF, Fluellen, Cody and Moore in rotation at DT. Glad Fluellen is getting in there - but why no Cohen with move to Redding on IR? They cut Moore but felt the need to keep Cohen -- why not get him some PT? Especially against a team like the Colts where you need the front 4 to stuff the run so the LB and secondary can at least try to slow down the passing game. Unless, of course, you think Ramzee Robinson or an injury-slowed Keith Smith or Leigh Bodden can man-up on Wayne and Harrison?? Sure...
I do like that Avril is staying on the right as the pass-rusher, with White coming back on the left, where he was more effective last season. No comment on the line at this point -- saving that for the as-yet-still-not-finished "why the Lions should move to a 3-4" piece.
The Indianapolis game, if Indy keeps their foot on the gas -- which I fully expect them to do since with Tennesee clinching their division, the Colts need every win they can to ensure good seeding in the AFC Wildcard Race. I do want to address GB as a winnable game to end the season: Get Real. If the Lions couldn't beat their backups last year when the game meant nothing to them, do you really think this team will be able to outplay them on the frigid tundra in a pride game where Green Bay wants to avoid the embarrassment of being the team that finally dropped the ball on the Lions' "perfect" season?? Nope. Just like the Patriots and the Giants battling it out in week 17 last year, when the Giants were in at the WC spot and NE was going for the perfect season -- so the game came down to pride and the record and both teams put it all out there heading into the playoffs; I can only hope that DET @ GB is one quarter of what was one of the greatest games I have ever watched, bar none.
As with my earlier recommendation, sit back this weekend and enjoy history in the making, and know that after 0-16, there is nowhere to go but up. Want it or not, unless a miracle happens I don't see win #1 coming tomorrow.
Oh yeah, I also want to mention that I'll be watching DanO to see how he handles coming back from the injury --especially since the Lions appear to have been rushing players back a bit this year --- to the detriment of both the team and the individual players (see the IR list). He likely won't get the win, but if he can help keep it close it will go a long way toward either getting him re-signed by the new staff, or at least earning a bigger FA paycheck. Of the QB's on the market this ifseason, Leftwich and DanO are really the top two options in relation to recent performance and one or both will be signed early and for more than a fair amount of money. DanO is the perfect QB for any team in transition as he is careful with the ball and will not win a lot of games on his own, but he won't usually lose them (stupid safety on a poorly designed play notwithstanding).
I fully expect to see a Stanton sighting again this week as well. Over/Under on him leaving the field Injured again?? What do you all think??