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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Lions fall to 0-2; postgame thoughts

How bad are the Lions? They're 0-2, they fell behind 21-0 for the second straight week, incited a chorus of boos and "Fire Millen" chants in their home opener, and worst of all the team they lost to last week, the dreadful Falcons, got walloped by Tampa Bay and a Tampa 2 defense, 24-9. The all-pro looking Michael Turner was human against the Bucs (14 carries, 42 yards a week after running for 220 yards against the Lions) and quarterback Matt Ryan played like the rookie he is (13-of-33, two interceptions). It could be an ugly season.

A couple leftover notes from Sunday before I leave the press box:

• Calvin Johnson is silly good. He had a career-high 129 yards receiving and two touchdowns. The first was a juggling grab against Charles Woodson, the second he pulled away from half of Green Bay's defense, galloped to the end zone and capped the score with a kiss-the-rim dunk on the crossbar. He's a modern-day Barry Sanders, a phenomenal talent on a lackluster team.

• Daniel Bullocks (12 tackles) and Dewayne White (a sack and fumble recovery) played well, and Cory Redding (two tackles for loss) led a mostly good day against the rush. White won't appear on the injury report and his presence may not have made a difference, but he did not play on Atlanta's go-ahead field-goal drive in the fourth quarter after he lost a cap on his tooth. Cliff Avril was on the field instead.

• Gosder Cherilus didn't start either of the first two games, but he's the Lions' best tackle right now. Right tackle George Foster gave up two sacks before being lifted for Cherilus at halftime, and left tackle Jeff Backus had two holding penalties. Cherilus should have started from the get go, but there's no way the Lions can deny him now.

• Two of the Lions' most prominent secondary acquisitions, safety Dwight Smith and cornerback Brian Kelly, struggled Sunday. Kelly had a bad day in coverage and missed a big tackle on a third-down run. He was lifted briefly in the first half for Keith Smith. Dwight Smith played a decent overall game, but he missed a tackle on Greg Jennings' big 60-yard catch that set up Mason Crosby's go-ahead field goal after the Lions took a 25-24 lead. Keith Smith had man coverage on the play. "I got outside leverage, ride him inside to my alert man, which was the safety," he explained. "Safety's supposed to be there, there to make the tackle."

• From Roy Williams on the fans, who started booing after Johnson dropped a third-down pass to stall Detroit's second drive and didn't stop until the game was over (they even ended the third quarter with an ear-catching rendition of "Fire Millen"): "I've been here five years. That's old news. They cheer that more than they do the first play of the game when the defense is out on the football field. (After we took the lead 25-24) was the loudest I've ever heard Ford Field in five years, minus the 300 empty seats" — there were several thousand, actually. "This was the loudest I've ever heard. If we can get that first play of the game with Aaron Rodgers under center, can't hear, it pumps up our defense. It all works hand in hand, but at the same time we have to win to get the crowd behind us."

• I don't know if he meant it as a guarantee, but Williams essentially gave one about next week's crucial game at San Francisco. "I think we're going to go across country and steal that victory and gear up for the bye week, relax, get our minds back together and get ready for the season."

We'll see.

That's all for now. More thoughts when after I watch the TV replay.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

i THINK i'll d/l this game just to see how bad they are for myself....and also to hear all the boos, jeers, and fire millen chants. i need a good laugh since i've officially cut the lions off.

9:42 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lions would be better served by cutting George Foster and bringing back Jon Scott to be the backup swing OT since he can play both the left and right sides.

Moore and Cody have done little to justify their retention as the primary backup DTs. If that pair doesn't show something against the 49ers, it will be time to make them "inactive" and give the rookies a try. They certainly couldn't do worse.

10:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Detroit, we got a problem. Its called the Detroit Lions.

The fact that Roy said were going to steal a victory out in the Bay, doubly insures a loss next week.

The problem I see with the Lions is they are starting to bail on Marinelli. In the last 10 regular season games we're 1-9, and at what point does coach's coaching become blah, blah, blah in the players ears? 1 - 12? 1 - 15? How about today at 1 - 9?

Unfortunately the only one that can do anything, Bill Sr. is in a world unto himself, and the only one that will be able to convince him to do anything, Bill Jr. isn't about to confront "Dad" ... think inheritance.

31 - 83 is Millen, the laughingstock league wide in GM circles and fans alike, and the fact that Bill Sr. still trusts him to get the organization turned around is unbelievable and speaks volumes to how really clueless Bill Sr. unfortunately is. I understand Bill Sr. is 1970s style managing, once hired you got a job for life," but this is the 21st century.

The answer is found in the process of aging. At some point, should you live long enough, theres going to be a time when you want to continue to drive, but because of age, mentality/senility, health, reaction time, etc., etc. you don't renew your license because you're a danger to everyone else on the road, and you know it.

At 0-2, and Marinelli in danger of losing the team, I question if Bill Sr. has any real idea whats happening and is being fed a load of bull by management. Give Bill Jr. the ownership rights to do what's best for the team, {hint, hint = fire Millen} overnight if possible.

4:21 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hire Cowher!! And give him complete control.

11:37 AM 

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