Defense, defense defense. What can I say? The Lions may suck at running back, but they are an NFL team and those players get paid to play, regardless of draft position. 65 rushing yards allowed people. Only 65. Against any team, that's good. But so you know it is not a fluke, we rank 3rd in the Pre-Season in Team Defense, 4th against the rush with 82 yards per game allowed, 3rd in Total yards allowed and 5th in pass yards allowed at 153 per game.
I mean this is the Lions. They are a team on the up and up with star players on their team in Stafford and Megatron. Yet Stafford only went 8/10 for 68 yards and Johnson only caught one ball for 7 yards. Not to mention that the Lions only had 14 first downs, 1 by rushing and 13 by passing.
I am putting my money down in Vegas. Mark my words people......... Top 5 Defense this year.
Some of the key players to watch:
Miles Burris - He runs sideline to sideline and looks like a 3 down backer. He has good strength and plays with a very low pad position which will show in his tackle numbers.
Mike Mitchell- He has been playing later in the game in backup for Branch and Huff. I know, you think well that's lower on the totem pole so why worry about him? Well, he will be coming in to rest these guys out and he has been showing that he has slowed down in his pursuit on the ball and is making better decisions on his angles. I like what this staff has done for him thus far, if he can pull it together, he can be the next Jack Tatum. Come over the middle punk asses, I dare you!
Philip Wheeler- This guy has to be the Pre-Season Co-MVP along with Darren. He hustles to the ball, is a sure tackler and has been playing dominant football.
On Offense, I am going against the grain and popular opinion. I think Palmer had a great game. He was on time with most of his throws, made great decisions with the ball and moved the ball up and down the field. The two turnovers were the responsibility of the wide outs who have not played very consistent all pre-season.
He only went 17/26 for 187 yards. I think with a few more games under his belt, our scoring is going to go out of the roof.
Players to watch for:
Rod Streater - Talk about someone fighting for a position. He may have just won himself the 3rd receiver spot. Ford continuously rides the pine with one injury or another, Denerius Moore can't seem to stay healthy either, so I see this guy as the starter on the opposing side of DHB. I think Palmer likes him and I see at least 65-75 catches and 600-700 yards for this guy. Consider him the TJ Houshmenzadeh to Chad Johnson combo Palmer used to throw to in Cincy.
Taiwan Jones - Mr. Freshlegs may be exactly what we have been looking for. He is in his sophomore season and in his first game back showed some flashes of brilliance. If he can pick up 600 yards in a back up role, I would be stoked.
DHB - I think you can finally remove the veil of question on this Al Davis choice. He is starting to pay dividends. Love the acrobatics on the deep ball reaching over the former Raider Justin Miller. He is showing that mentality that he is going to go after the ball, and it is something we have not seen since Tim Brown.
Criner - He is the red zone answer. Bottom line!
I will leave it at this, something needs to happen in the next few weeks to get this aspect of the team together. They have played like crap and someone needs to be accountable to staying in their gaps and making tackles. We can't put the defense in the situations they have had to play in. Always backed up to our end zone. Its bullshit and needs to be fixed PRONTO!
The last game against the Sea Chickens will be a fight for those last few players that will make the 2nd and 3rd stringers and the practice squad. See you Friday. Check back for updates and post game video.