I looked for the positive among the negatives in the loss to the Cleveland Browns. This week, I decided to look for something to take the edge off my expectations after a thrilling victory against Indianapolis, and a tough win over the Bills. Being a natural born glass half-full kind of guy, this is something that does not come easily for me. I’m just not the rip ‘em apart type.
Even as I was re-watching the games, it struck me that the weaknesses are all things that I’ve hashed over before; they are not unknown to you, me, the Lions’ opponents, or the Lions’ coaching staff. They made some moves with the roster at cut-down to try and improve the bottom few spots, but truth be told the team essentially is what it is until next ifseason.
- Secondary is still weak, with numerical but not talent laden depth
- Front 4 are not generating any pressure due mostly to youth at DT, and weakness at DE; Copeland should help the DE spot but is not going to be a game changer. He will, I think, be solid. Still, it will take a lot of high-risk, high-reward moves to get pressure on the QB and the opposing offenses.
- LB are not playing “clean” behind the line, and can still get trapped leaving it to the secondary to stop long runs from becoming even longer — this could be a concern until Delmas is able to calm down and settle in.
- Defenders like Delmas and Levy show promise, but are young and need experience.
- Offensively, it is all dependent on the offensive line and the #2 – 5 WR. If the line can get the kind of time and push to create lanes we saw in preseason, then the Lions offense could really hum.
- Matthew Stafford — of course he has looked much better, and while he makes rookie mistakes, he doesn’t seem to be making the same ones twice. As long as he keeps learning from his mistakes, they should lessen as the season moves on.
- One more word on Stafford: He is going to have INTs. He reminds me of when I first watched Brett Favre play for the Packers. With his arm and his swagger he will always be attacking the defense. While that will sometimes lead to maddening INT’s, it will just as often lead to long TD’s. Kevin Smith and the RB’s will love him — because as time goes by, teams will know that he is going to press the field which makes it near impossible to stack the line and not get hammered by him. Stack the line, and he’ll put it up 3 times in a row and connect on at least one (and we’re not talking Joey 3 yard outs), kill you with screens when you blitz, and live off play-action. Did I mention lots of mind-numbing INT’s? Gunslinger QB is thrown around too much these days, but it applies. There will possibly be more INT’s than TD’s at first, but eventually he will calm down some and manage more big plays for his team than the other team. How well the Lions offense does will be in direct correlation to that happening.
- It’s also worth re-mentioning that the #2-5 WR, TE, and RB need to catch the ball underneath and on the opposite side as CJ or opposing teams will just roll all the coverage his way. Someone really needs to step it up and be that #2 guy — the Anquan Boldin to Larry Fitzgerald; the Reggie Wayne to Marvin Harrison; you get the point. Roy Williams was not that guy who could be the #2 — who will it be? Is he on the roster? Will Williams finally step up his game at WR and take what could be? Will Bryant Johnson live up to his draft status — finally — and mature into a solid #2 threat??
- IF IF IF IF IF — the end of the IF season is upon us; now the real season begins. Instead of the primary focus on what could be, it shifts to what is…
- And what is right now is a team with 32 new players on the roster, a potentially explosive young offense, and a defense that at best can be titled “under construction”.
I prefer to look at the sunny side, but as the season gets under way, it is imperative to me as a fan that I glance at the other side to keep my expectations reasonable, and in check. Whether the Lions win big, lose big, or somewhere in the middle — remember, in the grand scheme of life it is just a game; a game that we watch and a team we support to be entertained. As long as they give a quality performance (which I did NOT feel happened most weeks last year) then that as a fan is the first thing I am looking for. Because win or lose, I want to enjoy the game.
It’s better if they win, though.
Tags: Detroit Lions News