Found September 28, 2013 on Football and Futbol:
TEAMS: Detroit Lions
Clevelan-browns-detroit
Normally, I try to write in a completely objective manner. Twice per year, however, I am treated to a bitter rivalry dating back to 1930 between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. Let’s look at the headlines, shall we? Key Matchups: Ndamukong Suh vs Kyle Long. It was reported by Lions beat writer Tim Twentyman this week that Long was drafted with Suh in mind. This will be a good opportunity for a young stud to prove his worth against one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the league. Suh was interviewed about the matchup stating that he is looking forward to digesting Long. Long will definitely have his hands full but the real key here is how the rest of the defensive line plays. Suh’s stat sheet has been lacking this season but he has been causing mayhem in opposing backfields both by taking double coverage and by putting pressure on QBs. An additional note on Suh: Footballandfutbols’s own Christopher Fore wrote an opinionated article on Suh which can be found at http://www.footballandfutbol.com/ndamukong-suh-when-is-it-enough/. I have a couple thoughts on this. The first goes to our readers. While Footballandfutbol has provided an excellent outlet for amateur writers and fans to share their love of the game, not everyone on the site is a professional writer. Chris provided a biased, yes, but valid opinion on Suh and the comments did nothing but attack him on a personal level. There is no productivity to that. Second, I wholeheartedly disagree with just about everything Mr. Fore wrote, so I’ll respond in what I believe to be a more productive fashion. Suh has a bad rap, he probably deserves that. There is no arguing that stomping a player, no matter the reason, is unacceptable behavior. Suh was lucky he only got two games for it. The only two legitimate fines on the list you provided were the stomp and the roughing the passer call from when Suh attempted to rip Andy Dalton’s head off of his body. The rest is a biproduct of the stench he has from being labled a dirty player. Cutler has personally called the hit on him as a legal hit, and while Suh is talented, I do not believe he was able to conjur his inner Pele to purposefully kick Matt Shaub in the groin. Ultimately, he has received far fewer penalties going back to last season, and he has altered his game to be rough but within the expectations of the game. The focus on Suh will probably follow him throughout his entire career, which is unfortunate because there is no reset button on this dirty player label and it is taking the focus off of other players who are being dirty. Other matchups: Charles Tillman vs Calvin Johnson; Nate Burleson vs Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Tillman is definitely an autobot, if not Optimus Prime. In the last three meetings between the two teams Johnson has been held to an average of 62.3 yards, peanuts (hyuk hyuk hyuk). Tillman likely will not be on Johnson for the entire game but Chicago’s defense is nasty all around and this is going to be a tough one for the Lions. I suspect the lack of receiver depth to be readily apparent in this game. This will be an ongoing problem until Burleson is able to return from surgery on his broken forearm. While he has sworn he will never allow himself to be distracted while driving again, I hope he goes for an original hand tossed next time: it could save the season. Speaking of Burleson, there has been talk of trades in an effort to pick up the slack while he is out. I have strong doubts this will happen. The major talk has surrounded Josh Gordon or Kenny Brit but after the train wreck known as Titus Young, I’m not convinced the Martin Mayhew has the guts to tempt fate on a troubled but talented receiver once again. There was a faux trade rumor for Hakeem Nicks posted on a local New York based site such as this one. The author later retracted the statement claiming that he had three sources confirm its truth, and a fourth saying the offer is still on the table. Until it is confirmed by a more legitimate source, I wouldn’t hold breath waiting for this to happen. If anything, these options are all one step short of insane for Detroit to pursue. One more arrest, or failed drug test is going to make Britt and Gordon unavailable for the entire time Burleson is out. Nicks is a wonderful receiver but his contract is up this year and it would be asinine for for Detroit to give up what the Giants would expect for Nicks for a 12 game season. Greg Little is the best option I’ve seen discussed and the Lions might be able to do a straight trade with Cleveland by ponying up Mikel Leshoure. Watch this in weeks approaching the trade deadline as Leshoure is a bruising back who is sitting out in every Lions game as long as Reggie Bush stays healthy. That also might be the reason Leshoure doesn’t get traded. This will be a fun game that I, as a fan, hope is close until the very end. The winner of this game will be first place in the division and while it is early in the season, that is a good place to be. Whichever team protects the ball best will be given the driver seat in this game. In my heart I am hoping for a Lions 31 Bears 28 victory. In my mind I expect the Bears to be 4-0 when the dust settles.
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