Week 1: @ New Orleans Score: NO 51 - DET 17 (Record 0-1)
Drew Brees has a banner day against the Lions patchwork secondary. Lions score two TD's in garbage time after falling behind 41-3 early in the fourth quarter. Culpepper is sacked 6 times and the Lions total 60 yards rushing.
Week 2: Minnesota Score: MIN 24 - DET 6 (Record 0-2)
Stafford gets his first start at home and is intercepted 4 times and sacked 5 times. Brett Farve and Adrian Peterson dominated the time of possession to the tune of 40 minutes. The game is closer than the final score indicates, but the Vikings win.
Week 3: Washington Score: WAS 42 - DET 13 (Record 0-3)
Jason Campbell comes into his own and "The Hogs" are back leading a punishing running game. A tenacious Redskins D yields only 56 yards rushing and intercepts Stafford twice. The rookie does throw his first TD pass to Maurice Morris during garbage time.
Week 4: @ Chicago Score: CHI 14 - DET 10 (Record 0-4)
Week 5: Pittsburgh Score: PIT 38 - DET 10 (Record 0-5)
The Steelers look every inch the defending champs. Schwartz wisely chooses to start Culpepper here, and watches him get sacked seven times before exiting early in the 3rd with a concussion. Lions get 48 positive rushing yards as Kevin Smith desperately tries not to get tackled during the handoff.
Week 6: @ Green Bay Score: DET 24 - GB 21 (OT) (Record 1-5)
The Lions stun the Packers for their first win under sunny skies at Lambeau. Stafford looks sharp, and Kevin Smith reels off his first 100 yard game of the season. The defense shows up in the crunch. Schwartz wisely takes the ball after winning the toss, instead of the wind.
Unfortunately, much to my own dismay, I have done rather well in my prediction thus far. My sack totals were way off, that's true, and I got the victory prediction wrong as well, but I also got some things frighteningly on target.
So, here we are at 1-5 headed into the Bye week. The putrid display I watched today was so reminiscent of last year that I checked the calendar to see what year it was. Make no mistake, this was a winnable game, but many of the weaknesses I saw going into the season reared their head and put themselves on front and center display today.
#1 - Aaron Rodgers is a good QB, no doubt about it, but the league is full of good QB's. If the Lions are waiting to play JaMarcus Russel and Jason Campbell every week, they'll be waiting a long time. The secondary is an atrocious train-wreck that must be addressed in the offseason if this team ever hopes to stop opposing offenses. I don't often do this, but I have to tip my hat to Donald Driver for making a truly spectacular one handed grab while being molested by the talentless cretin assigned to defend him. (My apologies to any cretin's out there who may have been offended for giving this shlep credit for being a cretin.) What will it take to get this organization to wake up to the fact that they need to DRAFT A CORNER IN THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS. The Lion's haven't done that since they drafted Ryan McNeil, who is retired from the league long since if that gives you a clue. Good corners rarely hit free agency. Usually the only ones out there are mediocre, or washed up.
#2 - After playing unexpectedly well for the first few games, the O-Line is showing signs of unraveling again, and without at least two people dedicated solely to help him, Jeff Backus is looking like.....well..... Jeff Backus. Gee, didn't see that one coming did you? I said it once and I'll say it again, if you're going to draft a franchise QB, you damn well better protect him, otherwise he'll end up watching the game from the sidelines.
#3 - Without Calvin in the lineup, the rest of the receiving corps are doing their best impression of Seattle Slew. Failing to get open, failing to come back to the qb on broken plays, and generally failing to do anything significant whatsoever.
#4 - Anyone who ever mentions "Stanton" and "Starting" in the same sentence ever again needs to get the Clockwork Orange treatment of this game tape rammed down their eyeballs til they get the point.
#5 - There were many points of this game that were positives that I hope don't go unnoticed. The D-Line, running short handed today, did an excellent job of pressure and run containment. The linebackers, after a couple early gaffes, did a solid job as well. Jerome Felton continues to impress me. He made a couple of very nice blocks today that kept the QB's head attatched.
#6 - Once again I have to ask the chicken and egg question. Is the current record a reflection of the mounting (again) injuries, or are the injuries a result of the dismal record? Either way, this has been far too commonplace for far too long. It's time to publicly execute the training staff. Perhaps it will send a message to their replacements.