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Like MSU against Pitt on Saturday, Lions win one against the Vikings that they would have lost last season!

September 16, 2007

Detroit, MI

Ford Field

Optimism was the name of the game as the Lions got set to host fellow NFC North member Minnesota Vikings. In most games the silver lining would be that your opponent was without their number one RB. Well when the backup is stud rookie Adrian Peterson it isn’t a silver lining.

The Lions came in fresh from a season opening win over the Raiders in Oakland and needed a win to not only start 2-0, but with all of the predictions that were floated by players (and people like me) this was one of those games that they couldn’t let slip.Â

The first thing that stood out was that the Lions have not had a home field advantage like they did today since the days at the Silverdome. The crowd was loud and the crowd contributed according to Kitna, “to that one fumble late.”

The Lions won today 20-17, but try to look at a much bigger picture than just the win. The Lions overcame adversity and similar to MSU on Saturday, they won a game today that they would have lost last season.

·       The DL looked very good. Coming into the season there was a lot of concern over that part of the team and they have showed us that they are one of the best in the NFL.

·       The Lions caused five turnovers and had two sacks.

·       When will the Lions make the change from Paris to Teddy? It’s time!

·       The OL is not a power group and they were going against one of the best-run defenses in the NFL but 56 yards rushing should embarrass them and as much of a “genius” Martz is with the passing game he has to fix that. As long as they can’t run and as long as he doesn’t fix it there is no way this team will make the playoffs.

·       The defensive backs played very well. Gerald Alexander has an incredible day. He showed all the signs of why teams called the Lions immediately after they picked him and wanted to trade for him. 3 DB’s and one DT (Cody) had interceptions.

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·       Kitna showed that he is a warrior and that this team rests on his back. The State of Michigan should embrace his blue-collar hard working attitude.

·        George Foster needs to take a seat and let Jon Scott get reps. He (Foster) is only signed until the end of the year and the Lions have to get more production from draft picks. He will make some mistakes but he is very young and there is no excuse for how Foster is playing, and in a contract year at that!

·       Marinelli has to get better organization with his staff upstairs. He had two bad challenges that cost the team time outs and the one challenge he needed to make, the Vikings spiked the ball before he could. That is unacceptable and Marinelli will fix it.

·       Is it time to give Alex Lewis some reps over Boss? It would appear to me that Barry should take some looks at that. Boss has to as an outside LB in the Tampa Two make more plays on that side like Ernie on the other and he isn’t. Since you just can’t run to the mall and pick up an outside LB at least let Lewis get some reps. He has proven to be a playmaker.

·       You have to love Jason Hanson reason number 56,768. He misses the kick and comes right back and nails it. Not enough is said about veteran presence in the kicker/punter department but the Lions are very fortunate to have both Harris and Hanson.

·       Please Lions: don’t ever put Brian Calhoun on the field for any reason. It was a wasted pick, accept it and let it go. Put down the depth chart, step away from the headset and let him go.

·       Watching the Lion WR group is worth the price of admission. Kitna and those four are like a well-oiled machine. Shaun McDonald ran the most precise routes yesterday that I have ever seen. I actually saw him make his break and have his hands up ready to catch before ever making the cut and on one blitz, he simply changed his route mid step (how is that possible but he did) and make the hot route read and adjustment.

·       The Lions should get KJ back this week and that will help. Bell has speed (which we all know Martz is in love with) but he just doesn’t offer much without an OL. KJ and TJ both can create at least and with an OL that is struggling you have to have that.

·       J.T. O’Harrington (yes I know it is O’Sullivan) according to Marinelli, “looked good” but I guess I was watching a different game. He was horrendous. It was clearly evident that without Kitna the season would be a complete loss. I looked at Drew Stanton in a T-shirt and sweats and just shook my head. He is in IR, meaning he can’t practice or play yet he couldn’t have done any worse than J.T. O’Harrington and as the Lions QB of the future those reps sure would have helped.

·       The Lions can’t fix the Drew mistake (putting him on IR) but they have to address J.T. O’Harrington. With such a complex offense can they just go sign a VET? Can he learn it that quick? Martz wanted O’Harrington and he has to fix this. Kitna is a warrior but he is human. Losing your QB is not an excuse this season for losses.

So the Lions start 2-0 and granted, both wins were against teams they should have beat and won’t be in the playoffs. That said they are wins in the NFL and that is all that matters. On the Philly and can they make it 3-0? Send me your thoughts on the game and I will post some of them.

This was a great win for the Lions and Marinelli. If anyone wanted or needed more proof that this group of guys has bought what Marinelli is selling there you go! Very good win.