The Lions Congregation – Week 11

July 6, 2018 Detroit News 0

Rev Spielman over at The Church of Schwartz continues his Q&A with several of theinternet’s top Lions bloggers. It is, as usual, a good read. Go check it out. Here’s the questions for this week and my responses.

1. Well respected ESPN columnist Kevin Seifert says the Lions have 7 keepers on their roster . Using his methodology, who do you see as a keeper on this roster ?

Motown Madmen: I agree with the keepers as those are pretty much the no brainers. I’ve heard people bitching, saying to draft a RB. Why? Smith will be a stud oncethey give him a line to run behind. Otherwise, the Lions are not stocked with great players, not even good players. They need to focus on the long term and those guys are ones to build around. As for the watch list, I like everyone on it but Backus. Seifert says move him to guard. That may work but I’d rather just they cut him loose. It’s time to move on. The O-line and D-line needs a complete overhaul and the secondary, with the exception of Delmas, needs replacing. I’d like them to look more at Zack Follett as well. I like his intensity and, at least, he’s a good addition to a poor special teams (get rid of Stan Kwan as well). It would be nice if they could keep the guys on Seifert’s lists and then get all new players for the rest of the team. The Ford family needs to give Schwartz and Co at least 5 years to rebuild this team. They need to draft linemen (both sides) this year and look heavily at free agency. Secondary is also a concern.

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Rumors and Rambling

July 6, 2018 Detroit News 0
  • The Lions were beaten pretty efficiently on Thanksgiving day, losing to the Packers 34-12.  Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson both started and played the entire game but both are pretty banged up.  You could see Stafford wincing over his left shoulder and CJ limping around and not playing up to snuff.  The game was bad and Detroit’s defense was worse.  The Lions brain trust knows what it needs to do in the offseason.  Hopefully things will improve next season.
Portrait of american football player wearing helmet against blue background
  • Lions back-up quarterback Daunte Culpepper was upset that he didn’t get the start on Thursday against the Green Bay Packers.  He was seen sulking on the bench and getting into a heated discussion with GM Martin Mayhew on the sidelines.  I’d rather have Stafford play injured than Culpepper at full strength.  he should be demoted to third on the depth chart or cut after this past weeks tantrum.
  • Rookie tight end Brandon Pettigrew is out with a significant left knee injury that will require season-ending surgery.  Brandon was coming into his own at TE and was developing into a good offensive weapon, working well with QB Matthew Stafford.  I hope he recovers well and is ready for the start of next season.  Good luck with the surgery, Brandon.
  • There is even more speculation about Detroit losing the Thanksgiving Day game after this years blowout by the Packers.  I believe the Lions should keep the game.  the team will improve in time.  The NFL really doesn’t care about tradition, though, just about their pocket books so Detroit losing the game wouldn’t surprise me but would disappoint me.

Packers at Lions – Turkey Day

July 6, 2018 Detroit News 0

The Green Bay Packers are coming to town on Turkey Day and it looks like the only turkey on the field will be Lions back-up quarterback Daunte Culpepper.  Matthew Stafford, who was injured in the 2nd to last play in Sundays victory over the Browns, will likely not play.  The Lions should start Drew Stanton in place of Culpepper.  We already know that Daunte is not the answer, even for one game.  Put Stanton in and let’s see if he’s worth keeping on as the #2 guy for the future.  Culpepper has no business starting a game for the Lions.  Demote him to the bottom of the barrel and let’s move forward.  Ok, enough ranting.

Thanksgiving Day in Detroit.  A tradition that dates back to 1934 when the Lions were defeated by the Bears 19-16.  In recent years, there has been a call to take the annual game away from Detroit (this year is no exception).  Dallas has been playing the afternoon game since 1966 and in 2006 they instituted a late game which begins at 8pm where they rotate teams every season.  The early game with Detroit is a tradition that should not be taken away from the team or it’s fans.  The Lions are 35-32-2 on Thanksgiving Day and I certainly hope the win column grows in the future and that the Lions continue to host the Thanksgiving Classic.

The week 12 match-up with Green Bay should be interesting.  The Packers are hurting on defense with both Al Harris and Aaron Kampman out for the rest of the season.  They do have a potent offense, though and will likely light up Detroit’s secondary at will.  With Stafford listed as doubtful and Calvin as questionable, I can’t see the Lions pulling off a victory with Culpepper at the helm.  The only way they have a chance is to play Stanton, a complete unknown to opposing defenses, and see what he can do.  Kevin Smith and Brandon Pettigrew will really need to play well for the Lions to get some points on the board.  Something else that would really help would be if Bryant Johnson could actually catch and hold on to a pass from anyone.  Enough with the drops, dude.  They’re paying you the big bucks to make plays, not look like a chicken-crap scrub who’d rather drop the ball than take a hit.  Man up, Bryant and catch the dang ball.

The injury report is long again this week.  Here’s what’s been reported as of Wednesday evening.

INJURY REPORT

DETROIT
OUT
S Kalvin Pearson, S Ko Simpson, LB Ernie Sims
DOUBTFUL
QB Matthew Stafford, DE Dewayne White
QUESTIONABLE
WR Calvin Johnson, S Louis Delmas, T Daniel Loper
PROBABLE
DT Joe Cohen, LB Zack Follett, DT Grady Jackson, RB Kevin Smith, LB Jordon Dizon

PACKERS
OUT

CB Al Harris, LB Aaron Kampman
DOUBTFUL
T/G Allen Barbe, RB Ahman Green,
PROBABLE
LB Brandon Chillar, T Chad Clifton, RB Ryan Grant, DE Cullen Jenkins, DE Johnny Jolly, FB John Kuhn, G Josh Sitton, C Scott Wells, CB Charles Woodson

It would be very nice to see our injury list shrink, especially CJ, Stafford and Delmas.  This game will likely be a blow out by the Packers but you never know, that’s why they play the games.

Vegas has the odds at 11 in favor of Green Bay with the O/U at 47.5 points.  I would stay away from the books this weekend.  Hard one to call with Culpepper being under center.  I’d have to say Pack 35, Lions 17.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate.  Have fun stuffing your faces, I know I will.  Just remember what your celebrating and giving thanks for (no, not a Lions victory, though that wouldn’t hurt).

As usual, the best place for game time conversation and play-by-play game thread is over at SBNation’s Detroit Lions blog .

Matthew Stafford is the Real Deal

March 6, 2018 Detroit News 0

he Lions defeated the Cleveland Browns 38-37 Sunday on a last second TD pass from injured quarterback Matthew Stafford to rookie tight end Brandon Pettigrew.

And I do mean injured.  Matthew Stafford was diagnosed with a separated left shoulder after taking a huge hit by Browns defensive tackle C.J. Mosley that drove him hard to the mat directly on his left shoulder.  Here’s how the end of the game came about.

Stafford was scrambling out of the pocket and had just released a pass as Mosley hit him.  Hard.  His pass was intercepted by safety Brodney Pool but Browns cornerback Hank Poteat was flagged for pass interference against Bryant Johnson.  That gave the Lions one more untimed play at the 1-yard line.  Stafford left the field holding his injured left shoulder and back-up Daunte Culpepper came into the game.  Before the play could get off, the Browns called a time out.  Stafford was on the sidelines being looked over by the Lions trainers and he was able to escape them and get back on the field for the last play.   He made a beautiful pass to tight end Brandon Pettigrew in the back of the end zone to tie the game at 37.  Jason Hanson came on to make the extra point and seal the victory over the Browns.

This was one of the most exiting games I’ve seen/heard in a long time.  I was listening to it on the Ticket, searching for a video stream and also following along on Pride of Detroit.  The Lions were down 21-3 in the first and I thought the game was over, as did a lot of the posters on POD.  There were some who were claiming they were through with the Lions (as usual) and most were just disappointed again.  Then came the second half and the Lions came back to go into half-time trailing 27-24.  I’m not going to do a complete break down.  For an excellent drive by drive of the entire game, check out this post  by Sean Yuille over at Pride of Detroit.

Matthew Stafford is the real deal.  He became the first rookie to throw five TDs in a game since Ray Buivid did it for the Bears in 1937 (according to STATS LLC.)  Stafford also set an NFL rookie record with 422 yards passing, tied an NFL rookie record with five TD passes and tied a Lions franchise record with five TD passes, matching Gary Danielson’s Dec. 9, 1978 game against the Vikings.

I do believe, fellow Lions faithful, that we’ve got ourselves a franchise quarterback.

  • As a reward for his most excellent play this past weekend, Matthew Stafford was named the NFC most valuable player of the week.
  • Neither Matthew Stafford or Calvin Johnson practiced on Tuesday.  Stafford is not expected to play but CJ could see some time.  This would mean that Daunte Culpepper will most likely get the start against the packers on Thanksgiving Day.  I was hoping to see Stafford play Thursday as I don’t get to watch Lions games very often, living in Colts/Bengals country, and having to suffer through a game with Culpepper under the helm does not bode well for the indigestion on Turkey Day.
  • Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini believes the Lions faked injuries to slow down the Browns no-huddle offense.  The Lions have been inundated with injuries throughout the season and Sunday was no exception.  For an NFL coach to have so little class as to blame their incompetence on another team is ridiculous.

Weekend Rumors and Rambling

February 6, 2018 Detroit News 1

It’s official, Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield will not play against the Lions on Sunday.  If the O-line can keep Jared Allen out of QB Matthew Stafford’s face, it could be possible for the Lions to put some points on the board.  They’re going to need them as Butt Favre will undoubtedly light up Detroit’s secondary at will.  Rookie safety Louis Delmas has been the only bright spot in that secondary though he still makes a lot of mistakes.  He needs to improve and play consistent.

A large problem is keeping pressure of Stafford and giving him time in the pocket.  The line has not been doing it’s job, especially LT Jeff Backus.  I believe this’ll be his last year wearing the Honolulu Blue and Silver.

The Lions will have a tough time against Minnesota in the Metrodome and the game, unless they play lights out, will be over early.  The second half has been dismal for Detroit.  They can’t put up points or keep the opposition from doing so.  I don’t know if it’s conditioning or that the team is really that bad.  They do show signs of potential but it seems like it’ll be a few more years before that pans out.

There will be fewer Detroit players on the bench this week.  LB Ernie Sims is out for at least a month, if not more, with a torn hamstring.  Here’s the list of injuries for this weeks game.

INJURY REPORT : WEEK 10

Detroit
Out
LB Ernie Sims
Questionable
DE Dewayne White, LB Jordon Dizon, LB Larry Foote
Probable
QB Matthew Stafford, FB Jerome Felton, WR Calvin Johnson, DE Jason Hunter, DT Grady Jackson, DT Sammie Hill, DT Joe Cohen

Minnesota
Out
CB Antoine Winfield
Questionable
WR Bernard Berrian
Probable
QB Brett Favre, WR Darius Reynaud, LB E.J. Henderson, LB Jasper Brinkley

I certainly hope Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson can put some chemistry together tomorrow and make some good plays.  Both players have been hurt and need to get back on the same page and have a good showing.

Rev Spielman over at The Church of Schwartz continues his Q&A with several of the internet’s top Lions bloggers. It is, as usual, a good read. Go check it out. Here’s the questions for this week and my responses.

1. If Ernie Sims is ready to play in the next few weeks, where do you put him?

Motown Madmen: Sims is a good player but I think he’s underperformed in his time this season. He has showed some flashes of a top player but not enough to warrant an automatic start. I don’t believe that you play a guy just because he’s supposed to be the starter. Play whomever is performing and contributing the most. That’s how you win games. I’d start Levy in his spot and rotate in Sims until he can be better evaluated in game situations and then, play whomever is doing the best. I think it’s a moot point because Sims is likely to be out for at least a month, which could mean gone for the rest of the season. Why risk further injury when there’s really nothing to gain by having him on the field this season. Let him heal and get ready for 2010.

2. Jeff Backus hasn’t been horrific the last week or two. Is there any way he’s back with the Lions next season?

Motown Madmen: No. The Lions need someone who can protect Stafford. Backus just can’t do it. He’s the worst left tackle in the league. Here’s a great article by Seattle Lion Fan on Bleacher Report. He did a great study of all the tackles in the NFL who start and have at least 100 games in. Backus ranked dead last. Time to pick up a tackle or, better yet, snag one in the 2010 draft (Trent Williams or Russell Okung).

3. Is there any way possible the Lions beat the Vikings this week?

Motown Madmen: Never say never but, no, never. The Vikings are one of the top teams in the NFL and will be vying for a spot in the big dance. Favre is (unfortunately) playing well and they will be very tough to stop. Vegas has the line at -17 in favor of the Vikes with the O/U at 47. I’d have to take the Vikes against the spread and the over. I believe that the Lions will be embarrassed this week against Minnesota. Vikings 42 – Lions 24.

As usual, the best place for game time conversation and play-by-play game thread is over at SBNation’s Detroit Lions blog – Pride of Detroit.

Vikings @ Lions – Week 10

June 6, 2017 Detroit News 0

Sorry about the long stretch between updates.  I had a complete computer crash (hard drive, motherboard) and had to do a complete rebuild.  Lost everything.  Speedy friggin’ quick now.  Still have a lot of recovery to do data-wise but will start updating regularly as time permits.

This has not been a good season.  There are still a lot of problems for the Lions.  Kevin Smith hasn’t developed like expected this season.  There’s a revolving door in the secondary and it’s still a sieve for opposing quarterbacks to rack up the big plays.  The team just can’t seem to get it together in the second half.  Backus is Backus and can’t protect Stafford.  After the losses to St. Louis and Seattle, it’s obvious that the team needs help, bad.  Man, I never thought the Lions would be as bad as they are.

Week 10 brings the Lions to Minnesota to face Butt Favre and the Vikings.  I don’t see the Lions pulling an upset this week in the Metrodome.  On defense, Sims is out, probably for at least a month, more likely, the rest of the season.  Foote is injured as well and may not play though he says he will.  The Lions will need to keep pressure on Favre while limiting Peterson in the ground game.  Rice and Harvin are threats if Favre has any time at all in the pocket.  With the Lions porous secondary, he could have a huge game.  The only bright spot there has been rookie Delmas but he’s been occasionally inconsistent as well.

On the offense, Kevin Smith has been mostly non-existent and Stafford is up and down with his play.  Some of that is due to his healing from the knee injury.  The only bright spot has been CJ, and on occasion, Bryant Johnson.  Pettigrew will come into his own but the Lions need to re-vamp the o-line to protect Stafford and give Smith a chance to gain some yards.  With the Williams boys up front for the Vikes, and Jarred Allen rushing at Matthew all day, that’s going to be hard to do.  Look for Stafford to spend a bit of the game on his back looking at the ceiling.  Good news is that Vikes CB Antoine Winfield will probably miss the game.  That might open some options in the passing game.

Vegas has the line at -17 in favor of the Vikes with the O/U at 47.  I’d have to take the Vikes against the spread and the over.  I believe that the Lions will be embarrassed this week against Minnesota.  Vikings 42 – Lions 24.

I’ll have more Saturday night/Sunday morning along with injury reports.  Have a great weekend and GO LIONS!!

Rumors and Ramblings

November 7, 2016 Detroit News 0

  • The Lions were beaten pretty efficiently on Thanksgiving day, losing to the Packers 34-12.  Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson both started and played the entire game but both are pretty banged up.  You could see Stafford wincing over his left shoulder and CJ limping around and not playing up to snuff.  The game was bad and Detroit’s defense was worse.  The Lions brain trust knows what it needs to do in the offseason.  Hopefully things will improve next season.
  • Lions back-up quarterback Daunte Culpepper was upset that he didn’t get the start on Thursday against the Green Bay Packers.  He was seen sulking on the bench and getting into a heated discussion with GM Martin Mayhew on the sidelines.  I’d rather have Stafford play injured than Culpepper at full strength.  he should be demoted to third on the depth chart or cut after this past weeks tantrum.
  • Rookie tight end Brandon Pettigrew is out with a significant left knee injury that will require season-ending surgery.  Brandon was coming into his own at TE and was developing into a good offensive weapon, working well with QB Matthew Stafford.  I hope he recovers well and is ready for the start of next season.  Good luck with the surgery, Brandon.
  • There is even more speculation about Detroit losing the Thanksgiving Day game after this years blowout by the Packers.  I believe the Lions should keep the game.  the team will improve in time.  The NFL really doesn’t care about tradition, though, just about their pocket books so Detroit losing the game wouldn’t surprise me but would disappoint me.