I’ve got a Manheim Steamroller Christmas CD playing the background, and as I try to digest this game is seems perfectly appropriate. For the first time this season, there are few if any Silver linings on these Honolulu blue clouds. Daunte Culpepper better not be back, as he was worse than I feared. Start Stanton against Arizona if Stafford isn’t good to go. I’ll be attending the game, and would have liked to see Smith in action, as well as Stafford and CJ. Now Smith is out for the season (along with Fitzsimmons) and Stafford may not play.
The Lions got blown out in this game. Period. The defense actually held a bit in the first half, but after the miscues and messups, and ineffectiveness of the offense the defense just plain folded in the second half. If the offense scores some points instead of handing the ball over on short fields, the defense played well enough at first and may have been able to keep them in the game.
I’m an optimist, but the Cardinals could set offensive scoring records by the bushel-full this week. If you have Arizona offensive players, and your opponent doesn’t, you can start polishing your fantasy football trophy now! Seriously, though, these last injuries are the straw that broke the camel’s back. Smith was still getting them into 3rd and short situations, and yet it would still end up either a turnover or a punt. The lack of overall talent, compounded by injuries, has finally forced the team from competitive back to 11 guys on the field. I’m still going to hold off on draft talk (I know, I think I’m the only one) because there will be several months of that in just a few short weeks.
So what happens for the Arizona game? At running back, you will see Maurice Morris and Aaron Brown. I hope like heck we see more of Jerome Felton. After using him well early, it seems as if his ability to bulldoze the opposition as a power runner has been forgotten again. Why Felton is not utilized as a runner more, especially in short yardage and goal line situations, is a mystery that now spans two seasons and coaching staffs. When given the chance in game, he has gotten the job done. Lets hope we see a lot of him on Sunday.
The Lions did pick up a CB/PR/KOR that Jacksonville tried to slide through waivers. Maybe he will finally be the first player at any of those positions to show enough flashes to give some hope a possible answer may be on the team for next season.
Drew Stanton: Is the reason they aren’t playing Drew if Matthew doesn’t start because they know Culpepper will be gone, and would rather have him take the hits from what is likely to be leaky play from the OG, TE, and RB spots?? It may sound cruel, but if anyone gets injured again at the QB spot this season, I think they would most like that man to be Culpepper. Better the FA than your franchise QB or your #2 guy for next season. Cold, but possibly true.
On defense, I do see some hope outside of the secondary. They really only need one monster DT, an impact DE, 2 CB’s and a S. Despite this, they have played beyond their ability for the most part all season and Gunther has gotten more from them than I think most anyone but the most delusional fan expected this season. The offense has been a let down for me, but the defense has been a (relatively) pleasant surprise.
I guess this was a bit of a rambling type of post, but what else can you expect when you just got ran over by a steamroller? I guess one bright spot this Sunday will be that I get a chance to spend time with my brother, and see an exciting offensive display reminiscent of the greatest show on turf orchestrated by Warner to Fitz and Boldin. I’ll see good football from one team on Sunday; unfortunately, I don’t think it will be from the team I’ll be rooting for.