Friday, October 16, 2009

Lions Congregation Week 6

Lions Congregation Week 6

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Here is my submission for this week’s Lions Congregation at the Church of Schwartz. At least it will give us some relief from theorizing as to if, when, and how much Matthew Stafford did or did not allegedly practice this week. ???? Guess we’ll see on Sunday!!

1. With the expected absence of Megatron this Sunday, how do you attack the Packers defense with the weapons you have?

While the loss of Megatron (I’m assuming) this week is not good for the Lions, you do what you can. The trick this game is going to be running on the Packers D (which has not been particularly effective against the run) and most importantly, establishing the play-action game. This is the gameplan Minnesota followed, and the one the Lions need to imitate. Fortunately, if the Vikings can pull of the passing game against the Pack that they did with their WR, that should mean Northcutt, BJ, Standeford & Williams can step up and take care of business. What will really matter in this matchup is how the Lions Offensive Line takes on the Packers Dline. Kampman is still not comfortable at OLB, and this only helps the Lions as the Pack had ZERO pass rush on Minny — even worse than the Lions’ line did against them (if that is possible) so protection should be there.
If Daunte plays, the Lions lose. If Stafford starts, they have a chance to keep pace with Rodgers and the pack as long as the Lions D can keep blitzing pressure on him like Minny did. With Daunte under center and CJ, I see GB stacking the box to stop Smith until Daunte proves he can beat them with his arm. Or proves he can’t…

2. Which player have been the biggest surprise to you this year? I’d like 2 players: one positive surprise and one negative.

One positive surprise for me has to be Deandre Levy. I didn’t know who he was when the Lions indicated they traded down and still got the guy they would have taken at the top of 3. While I was thrilled with getting Hill, I thought Levy was an odd pick. Not anymore. He has already shown capable of playing all three LB positions well, and seems to be growing better with each game. Sure, he’s had some rookie mistakes but has played well above what I was expecting out of him by the end of the year, much less after 5 games.
I am disappointed by the play of Cliff Avril. I know he has been battling an injury, but he has not shown any of the flashes of the off the edge rush that had me excited to see him progress this year. Instead, we see him struggling to even make an impact as a 3rd down specialist much less an every down DE.

3. Whats your projected score for Lions-Packers?

Hmmm… I’m going to say “shoot-out” and leave it at that. If Daunte starts, Lions in the 20’s somewhere and the Pack ring up 30, but not 40. Anyone else note that of the 20 year losing streak at Lambeau, the Lions have only played the Pack in the first half of the season at the Pack 3 times? The other 17 were late, with at least 3 the final game of the season when the Frozen Tundra home advantage was in full play. Just sayin.
If Stafford starts, I still think the Lions lose — but a close shoot out. They have a chance win as the Pack are more beatable right now than any opponent other than Washington this season — unfortunately, I don’t think this team is ready to play the kind of game they need to on the road to secure the win. It will take a minimization of mistakes ala the Steelers game that I just don’t see happening at Lambeau.
Rating: 7.6/10 (5 votes cast)

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