Lions go 0-4 but offense, DT's and LB's on D give us reason for hope!

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October 1, 2006

St. Louis, Missouri

Edward Jones Dome


It was warm and hot outside and it didn’t take long for that same temperature outside to get inside the dome. The Lions came out and looked bad. The Rams marched down the field helped by Jamar Fletcher getting burned again (he was benched later) and the Rams got a field goal when the Lions D refused to let them in the end zone. On the Lions  first drive they committed a dumb penalty on the kickoff and a Jon Kitna fumble gave them the ball at the 17.


The Lions defense however came to play ball and added by a Paris Lennon monster goal line tackle, the Rams got held on a great goal line stand by the Lions. The Rams got the field goal but the Lions got huge momentum as the heat from the outside got under the collar of the Rams fans and they boo birds came out, even with a 6-0 lead.


It was then Lions time as they marched for a FG and the Rams came back for a 16-yard TD pass making the game 13-3 St. Louis. Remember the boo birds? Well they came back as the Lions marched for 14 unanswered points, both of them TD passes from Kitna to Furrey (a former Ram) they were both Furrey’s first and second NFL TD’s on offense. The Rams were able to march for a late in the first half in spite of some terrible clock management and the first half ended with the Lions in the lead 17-16.


The Lions had some setbacks but looked decent in the first half. Kevin Jones who was a huge part of the offense even though he only had 35 yards and Roy Williams was on fire with 103 yards on 6 catches it was his first back-to-back 100-yard games. Kitna however was magnificent. He had a 114.7 passer rating and was 15 of 19 and burning it up. The critical thing however is that the Lions had accomplished something. They had kept the Rams to only 47 rushing yards and had pressured Bulger. It finally looked as if the vaunted rushing D and an improved passing D had come together with a good offense and we had hope at halftime.


The Lions first drive of the third quarter was costly as highly heralded rookie Frank Davis was injured and taken off of the field strapped to a backboard and on a gurney. In spite of that they still had a chance to convert on third and nine but Az Hakim dropped an easy pass from Kitna and the Lions had to punt.


After a Rams TD the Lions came back and got a beautiful 4-play 65-yard drive that was finished off by a nice 35-yard TD run by Kevin Jones.


The Rams however came back attacking the Lions terrible pass D and Jamar Fletcher who had been benched at the end of the first half got burned again (second time in the second half) and that lead to a Ram TD run and with the successful PAT the score was 30-27 Rams with :44 left in the third quarter. WHY IS FLETCHER STILL IN THE GAME?????


Kitna however was not at all concerned with his defenses lack of ability to hold the leads he kept giving. He led a masterful drive mixing the pass and run with just enough balance to keep the Rams off balance (culminated in a Kevin Jones 7-yard TD run) and the Lions retook the lead 34-30 with 11:11 to play in the fourth.


The Rams however drove for a field goal and then marched right down the field on the horrific Detroit pass defense and with the 2-point conversion had a 41-34 lead with 1:56 to go in the game.


The Lions began their next to last drive of the game on their own 20. That drive however was not to be as Kitna through an interception on the first play and the Lions hopes were dwindling. The Rams missed a field goal and the Lions marched down the field and Roy Williams caught what would have been the winning TD but he was out of bounds.


GRADES


Offense: A played valiantly and put 34 points on the board. An effort plenty good enough to win in the NFL.

Defense: F run defense is very good but the pass defense is so terrible they can’t blitz and have to move LB’s back in coverage. If you cannot stop the pass you cannot win in the NFL.

Coaching: C great offense and even had a good defensive scheme, they just don’t have the talent to stop the pass. Talent is not their job and that clearly takes some time.


This team is improved in every area except the pass defense. Dre’ Bly is playing terrible and we have nothing at the other corner. I am convinced that I could play better then Fletcher who is horrendous. Anyways, you could not have watched this game and not see that the Lions are getting better, the sad thing is that they just can’t go purchase a CB at the store. I criticized the Lions letting R.W. McQuarters go and as good as he is playing for the Giants I was correct.


Is this disappointing? You bet but this team clearly needs a new CB and Dre’ Bly to play better. That will allow the front seven to continue what they are good at and what could make this a very good Lions team.