Go ahead, blame the officials.
Many fingers were pointed in the direction of the zebras after this game, and while I agree that it was a poorly officiated game, I refuse to believe that it cost the Lions a chance to win.
The Lions have only one direction to point the finger: right back at themselves.
I’ll start with the positives, number one being special teams. Jason Hanson connected on both his field goal tries, kick and punt coverage was outstanding, and rookie Stephfon Green ripped off an 80 yard kick return.
From there, the positives get tougher to find, so humor me while I dig for hope.
Matthew Stafford looked fine, although he wasn’t able to get it in the end zone and left the game with what looked like a minor injury to his left hand.
Mikel Leshoure actually looked good despite his five carries for one yard stat line. He was making the first guy miss, but the Lions’ line was so porous that the first guy was usually three yards into the backfield by the time Leshoure got the handoff.
Ryan Broyles hauled in both his targets for 16 yards, Ndamukong Suh had a sack on Oakland’s opening drive, and the Lions were able to force two interceptions.
Unfortunately, Broyles saw no snaps with the first team, indicating he isn’t quite ready to be a starter. Suh recorded his first sack of the preseason, but then seemed to fade, finishing with just two tackles. And while the Lions did snag two picks, they did precisely nothing with them.
Willie Young made a great one-handed interception on a screen pass deep inside Raider territory, but the Lions turned it over on downs. Coach Jim Schwartz elected to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the one and Detroit failed to score.
There were a few good things I was able to pull from this game, but the reality is that the Lions did nothing that impressed me offensively or defensively.
The defensive line did their part to pressure Carson Palmer and Terrelle Pryor, but Detroit once again looked like a team that can’t cover anyone. The Lions’ secondary got exploited all day, and lost its two starting corners to injury.
Bill Bentley left the game early with a shoulder injury and Chris Houston shortly after with a bad ankle. I don’t know how serious either injury is, but Detroit better hope they
It’s been all down hill for Fairley since being drafted in the first round two years ago.
are very minor because after those two departed, things got real ugly.
Nick Fairley looks more like a bust every week, something I have said from the beginning. Fairley is fat and slow and Detroit would be better off dumping him so he can go do what he really enjoys: smoking weed and driving drunk.
I can only say that because I actually like what I have seen from defensive tackles Sammie Hill and Andre Fluellen.
I mentioned the offensive line’s poor play earlier, but I want to reiterate how bad it really was. Just when you think they might be clicking, they produce a whopping 65 rushing yards on 24 attempts. That’s right sports nerds, 2.7 yards per carry!
I don’t know who exactly to point the finger at here, because the entire line was rough in this one, but I saw LT Jeff Backus get beat a few times. What else is new.
Detroit committed seven penalties for 43 yards, including one that negated an Alphonso Smith interception. I’ve been talking up Ronnell Lewis all preseason, but you can’t get flagged for illegal hands to the face. The call was questionable, but Lewis will be the first to tell you that his penalty cost his team the football.
The Lions are nowhere close to ready for the regular season. With safety Louis Delmas out, and now injuries to Bentley and Houston, they are in serious trouble. Maybe they can get past the Rams playing this level of football, but if it continues past that, look out. The 49ers will destroy this team right now, and unless the Lions get things figured out by week two, that game could be an absolute debacle.
It isn’t quite time to panic, but I see a ton of bad signs and not many good ones.
Follow me on twitter @ScottPeceny
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