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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-Bears recap

Whether Daunte Culpepper's first start as a Lion comes this week against Jacksonville, next week against Carolina or some other week soon, don't expect there to be much of a quarterback controversy in Detroit. Dan Orlovsky has been serviceable in his four starts since taking over for Jon Kitna, but there's a reason the Lions signed Culpepper beyond simply locking up a veteran for next year. They want to win games, now, and they think Culpepper gives them the best chance for a variety of reasons.

Orlovsky set career marks for completions, attempts and passing yards in Sunday's 27-23 loss to the Bears, but he left more to be desired than he showed. His two interceptions, his first two as starter, resulted in a minimum six-point swing in Chicago's favor. (The Bears scored on a field goal after Orlovsky's first pick on the first possession of the game, and his second came in the end zone early in the fourth quarter on a third-and-9 from the Chicago 19.)

Beyond that, Orlovsky missed several crucial throws as the Lions squandered their second straight halftime lead then failed in a late comeback attempt. With the Lions leading 23-20 and a chance to put the game away, Orlovsky overthrew a would-be touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson on the first play of the Lions' second fourth-quarter drive. Detroit went three-and-out on the series, and Rex Grossman scored on a 1-yard sneak on the ensuing possession to give Chicago the lead.

A series later, after an ill-conceived end-around to Johnson saddled the Lions with second-and-16, Orlovsky checked down and hit running back Kevin Smith with a 3-yard pass when Johnson had a chance for a big play on a post route down field. Late in a tight game with plenty of protection, that's a throw Orlovsky has to see.

I bring these plays up not to blame Orlovsky for another Lions loss – their problems Sunday had just as much to do with costly penalties (a fourth-quarter false start on Jeff Backus that knocked them out of field-goal range), a few late defensive breakdowns and poor field conditions – but to illustrate why the organization felt signing Culpepper was necessary. He will start soon because those on the inside feel he gives the Lions the best chance to win.

A few more leftover notes from Sunday:

- Soon-to-be-third-string-quarterback Drew Stanton said he doesn't know how the quarterback reps will be split going forward. "I guess we'll find out more (Monday) and hopefully have a better understanding of what's going on, not only next week but hopefully for the rest of my season and for my future here in Detroit," he said.

- I can't help but feel bad for Jason Hanson, who's having a heck of a season (he kicked his fifth field goal of 50 or more yards Sunday) but had an extra point blocked when he lost his footing in loose turf. "I usually come to Solider Field and I'm checking out the wind and it's going to be cold or something and really it wasn't," Hanson said. "That's about as decent a wind as I've ever had here, but then the field was soggy. Both teams were doing it but everybody was slipping and like I said, I had to make some adjustments. I couldn't do what I normally do." Hanson said he altered his approach to attack less off his toes and more flat-footed.

- The Lions scored 23 points in Sunday's second quarter and none the rest of the game. They had scored 29 points total in the second quarters of their first seven games, and 36 total in the first halves.

- Several times this year the Lions have wasted timeouts in the second half they could have used later in the game. It happened again Sunday, when they were forced to burn a timeout on first-and-goal from the 1 when they had 12 men on the field. "That's just a lack of focus on our part," defensive tackle Cory Redding said. "Those are crucial timeouts and we need to keep them, and here we had to waste one of them because we had 12 men on the field."


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