Game 1 - St. Louis Rams - There couldn't have been a more tailor made introduction for our young secondary than this game in particular. While the Lions fledgling corners will be under scrutiny, they'll be facing off against the most unproven receiving corps in the league. The Rams will be relying on rookie WR's Brian Quick and Chris Givens along with veteran holdovers Danny Amendola, Denario Alexander, Brandon Gibson, and Austin Pettis. In their first game under new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, the Rams will still be feeling their way through the new offensive scheme. Fear Factor - 1
Game 2 - San Francisco 49ers - In this repeat edition of the "Handshake Bowl",, expect the 49ers to once again lean heavy on their run game. Although the 49ers receiving corps looks much improved on paper with the addition os Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, and 1st round pick AJ Jenkins to go along with Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, 8th year QB Alex Smith has yet to display that he is anything more than a game manager at QB. While many may argue that he has never had such a variety of targets before, I would counter that it will take awhile for these new additions to mesh and for chemistry to build while the 49ers still have an excellent running attack led by Frank Gore and newcomer LaMichael James. Fear Factor - 3
Game 3 - Tennessee Titans - Minus receiver Kenny Britt, who coming off ACL and MCL surgery has run afoul of the law yet again with a DUI arrest in FT. Campbell, Kentucky (I expect a bare minimum four game suspension here), the Lions secondary will face off against Nate Washington, 1st round pick Kendall Wright, and also rans Lavelle Hawkins and Damian Williams. While Matt Hasselbeck, who may or may not be under center, is a savvy veteran who will be afforded good protection by the Titans O-Line, this offenses fortunes will be determined by RB Chris Johnson. Fear Factor - 1
Game 4 - Minnesota Vikings - Yep, they have Percy Harvin and former Bengal WR Jerome Simpson to go along with Michael Jenkins. They also have Christian Ponder at QB. For some reason, I'm just not worried. Fear Factor - 1
Game 5 - Philadelphia Eagles - This is what I see to be the first true litmus test for the Lions secondary. Facing off against the multi-dimensional Michael Vick will put some of our corners on an island at times vs. Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, and Jason Avant. With four games under their belt, and the Bye week to prepare, the Lions young corners will have an interesting day at work as they face their toughest opponents yet. Fear Factor - 6
Game 6 - Chicago Bears - Jay Cutler finally has some tools to work with, with old Broncos partner Brandon Marshall back by his side, (I'm sure the bromance reunion was amazing) to go along with rookie WR Alshon Jeffries and veterans Earl Bennett and Devin Hester. The good news is Cutler still has the same O-Line in front of him that made him look like Rocky Balboa's side of beef versus the Lions on Monday Night last year. Cutler could do some damage here, but this is a chance for the rookies to shine as well, as pressure on Cutler should be good in this game. Fear Factor - 4
Game 7 - Seattle Seahawks - The Lions secondary will have some interesting matchups here. The first question for the Seahawks will be who's under center. Flynn, Tavaris Jackson, or rookie Russell Wilson? One of these three will have the oft-injured Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, Ben Obomanu, and the under-achieving Golden Tate to throw to. This will be a fair matchup, but nothing scary here. Fear Factor - 2
Game 8 - Jacksonville Jaguars - Ahh, the Glitter City Kitties. While the Jags truly went out to improve their WR corps in the offseason, they came back with aggravated DUI 1st round pick Justin Blackmon of spread offense fame, talented but brittle Laurent Robinson, who has yet to go 16 healthy games in the NFL season, Lee Evans (remember when he used to be someone?), and holdover Mike Thomas. Might not be a bad group, but QB Blain Gabbert is rumored to be the second coming of Joey Harrington, so..... Fear Factor - 1
Game 9 - Minnesota Vikings - Again, not seeing anything these guys shouldn't be able to handle with over half the season under their belts. Fear Factor - 1
Game 10 - Green Bay Packers - This is what it all comes down to. With half the season gone, these "rookies" should be primed and ready for the stretch run. Now in comes down to whether we can cover Jordy Nelson, Jennings, Driver, James Jones, Randall Cobb, and Jermichael Finley. With 9 games of NFL experience, and great physical talent, I would rather have our own rookies facing this group than some retread CB who has lost a step and was never that great in the first place. This is Game 1 in the the 2 game series that may well decide the division this year. This is what it comes down to, and this is what we need to gear these rookies up for. Fear Factor - 10.
Composite Fear Factor for this group through ten games - 3
Thoughts and comments on my analysis of the situation are appreciated.