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
LB Ernie Sims
DE Dewayne White, LB Jordon Dizon, LB Larry Foote
QB Matthew Stafford, FB Jerome Felton, WR Calvin Johnson, DE Jason Hunter, DT Grady Jackson, DT Sammie Hill, DT Joe Cohen
CB Antoine Winfield
WR Bernard Berrian
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.