Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lions Congregation: Week 2

Lions Congregation: Week 2

September 17th, 2009 | by detfan1979 |

As usual, find the answers from the web’s best Lions bloggers at the Church of Schwartz.

1. Explain how you’d defend the Vikes this upcoming week.

There are a lot more ways to defend the Vikings than there were the Saints. Best idea I’ve heard is to assign one LB to shadow AP every play. At the same time, bring at least one extra rusher at Favre (preferably in a run-blitz) every down. Harvin is a dangerous threat, but Favre isn’t the Favre of 5 years ago. Put the game on his back, and blitz him to rattle him. He isn’t settled into his hot reads yet, and the Vikings aren’t loaded with the kind of talent at WR that the Saints are. Take away AP and make Favre beat you. With Buchanaon (hopefully) back, that will be a boost to the secondary as he is definitely a step up from Eric King, who was brutalized by Brees for no less than a half dozen significant plays last week on his way to proving beyond a doubt King is NOT an NFL starting CB. The Lions, for whatever reason, have always done well keeping AP in check — especially at Ford Field. Favre doesn’t have the patience of Brees, and will make more mistakes.

If the defense can force Favre to feel the game is on his shoulders to win, he will start pushing to make plays — if the defense takes advantage like it did last week at New Orleans, then they can keep the Lions in the game. Minnesota may have the “Williams Wall” but dump-off screens to Kevin Smith and Pettigrew underneath, with a dose of maybe Felton/Smith up the gut, and Brown on the edge can wear them down. Get them chasing ball catchers down on the short routes and they will get gassed pretty quickly — when Minny rests them, or gives them help underneath, that will open up CJ and the play-action game deep as well as help with the run game.

The Vikings are counting on running out the clock with AP and stopping the opposing team with the Williams wall to win the game — turn it into a shootout and lock-out AP and the tide could favor Detroit. It’s a big IF…

The key will be that LB to shadow AP so he never gets “lost” as they move him around, and so that he isn’t getting any one-on-one matchups with guys in the secondary when he has momentum. Put it on Favre, and hope he pushes into mistakes…and run blitz the “Millen” out of them.

2. How do you fix the Lions inability to run the ball in short yardage situations? New personnel packages or just play better?

Just play better. You don’t get much more jumbo than Heller, Pettigrew, Terelle Smith and Jerome Felton with the rock. The Line especially just needs to man-up and blow those guys off the ball into last season. They also need to get Pettigrew more involved in the passing game versus Heller — Heller dropped two good passes for first downs that Pettigrew likely would have caught. Even one more first down keeps a drive alive, and the defense off the field…

3. What’s your projected score for Vikes – Lions?

Lets go 27-24 Lions over Vikings in a hard fought contest.

Rating: 10.0/10 (4 votes cast)
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5 Responses to “Lions Congregation: Week 2”

  1. By nubsnobber on Sep 18, 2009

    1. Defending the Vikings is about as easy as how you made it sound, Josh. Load up and stop the run. My co-worker is a Vik-Queen fan from birth. He even turns the horned helmet into a punch bowl and likes wearing golden pigtails around the house while playing poker or with the wife. If you saw A.P.’s highlight run last week, that may be his CAREER highlight run. He is an animal and the Lions can’t let him get started. All the hot reads in the system are slants to wide receivers. If the corners know this, they should be “popping” at the ball.

    “Popping” is a technicque basketball players use to steal the ball. If you swat down on the ball, a slap is heard, and it is a foul. If you swat up at the ball, it goes in the air, or worse, the dribbler moves his hand up and “carries” the ball to keep control of it.

    The reason you do this in football is to get the ball in the air. You “pop” up at the ball because everyone is still five yards or closer to the line of scrimmage and ready to play “tip drill”. You may see the Lions load 9 in the box.

    2. I don’t know the Lions can run the ball in short-yardage situations without some trick-er-a-tion. You have two Jerry Ball-like bodies in the middle. Make them run and move and get them tired out sure sounds good. I would make them move around. Who knows, maybe they took their “alli” weight loss and they’ll have the walking farts. I think you run a few quick pitches to Aaron Brown. I think you run option to the wide side with Williams at QB. You have to do SOMETHING other than dive to the 0,1,2 holes. They will be plugged (and probably plugged with chocolate if the Wiliams’ can sneak it on the field.

    3. I hope the Lions are reading Minnesota papers. Vegas has odds, and there is talk that A.P. will run for MORE THAN the NFL record (that he owns) for yards in a game and shatters 350. I hope I’m wrong; but Vikings 45 Lions 24.

    Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  2. By RIP on Sep 18, 2009

    I hope the score is closer than that Nobs, more like Josh’es 27-24 Lion’s win.

    I like the game plan. I too am concerned about the slant plays and also the TE as a reciever.

    Can see the Lion’s using more counter-tre , off tackle, and end around running plays against the Vikes.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  3. By Isphet on Sep 18, 2009

    Nubs is right; there’s no way the Lions are running through the 0,1,2 holes this week. The Williams wall is super-effective because they’re so big, there’s no way for an O-lineman to squeeze through them to eliminate a LB, which is what makes the inside run game work.

    I can see the Lions running some effective plays off-tackle, though. Raiola has his work cut out for him this week; he’ll be better in a pulling & lead-blocking role than in a pure blocking role this week. Pull him out and let him block an LB through a hole just inside the TE or one of the guards, and I think the Lions can still run fairly well this week.

    I think Foote and Peterson will have something to say about A.P. this week. They will keep him from running completely wild on the Lions, but he’ll still probably get 100-150 yards and a score or three.

    The secondary has to do their part to not get repeatedly burned this week. They’re going to be on an island out there, mostly 1 on 1 matchups. Favre could very likely pick them apart this weekend; he’s still got a pretty good arm. I just don’t see how the Lions will keep the Vikes from getting 400 yards+ this week; unless the Vikes themselves go into some kind of a shell and play ultra-conservative football.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  4. By StreetWorm on Sep 18, 2009

    I think this one’s going to be a route for the Vikings. They have too many weapons on the defensive line which means no running game and an attacking pass rush which doesn’t really bode to well when you have a rookie QB who was rattled badly in his first start.

    The one good thing is that you have one of the best run-stuffing corners I’ve ever seen in a Lions jersey. If Buchanon is even half as good as Henry in that department the Lions may have a shot at at least containing the damage Peterson can do. That said though, our interior line is just far too weak and I dont think Peterson will have to bother running outside of the tackles. I know recent history says otherwise, but I just don’t see how this defense can stuff the holes, run blitz or otherwise.

    Final Score: 35-17 Vikings

    Still hoping to see some improvement for Stafford though, especially against the pass rush. The one thing he really needs to learn how to do, and quick, is throwing the ball away…especially with the O-line and talent he’s currently surrounded by.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  5. By StreetWorm on Sep 18, 2009

    By the way, when I say recent history shows otherwise, I mean that the past few scores have been oddly close considering the large gap in talent between the Lions and Vikings since Peterson came into the league.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

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